Affect and cognition in attitude formation towards familiar and unfamiliar attitude objects: The case of nanotechnology

Promotie

Affect and cognition in attitude formation towards familiar and unfamiliar attitude objects: The case of nanotechnology

Promovendus ms. RI (Roxanne) van Giesen
Promotor prof.dr.ir. JCM (Hans) van Trijp
Copromotor dr.ir. ARH (Arnout) Fischer
Organisatie Wageningen University, Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)
Datum

di 30 juni 2015 16:00 tot 17:30

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
362
6703 BG Wageningen
0317-483592

Summary

This thesis shows that people, when it regards unfamiliar attitude objects, often rely on affect. For example, when it regards nanotechnology. However, people are able to draw on cognitive inferences provided that there are enough cues available. These cues can be derived from the product context, or if people enjoy to think, or when they are more often exposed.

In addition, whether people rely on affect or cognition depends on which process is the easiest. For instance, let’s assume that cognition is the attitude component which is decisive in the attitude formation process, it is then often the case that the cognitive process is the least elaborate. This thesis contributes to a better process understanding underlying attitudes as multiple dimensions of the attitude formation process are simultaneously studies, namely both the so-called affective-cognitive and deliberative-intuitive dimensions.

Finally, it is concluded that attitudes toward unfamiliar attitude objects, in this case nanotechnology applications, are still subject to change. This has implications for communication about new technologies, as it is important to address both affective and cognitive aspects.