Year of Publication


Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)



First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Leone

Second Advisor

Dr. Russell Jones


A trait-based impression formation task was used to investigate whether inconsistency discounting is one of the cognitive processes that produce self-generated attitude polarization. Three predictions were made. First, attitude polarization would increase as opportunity for thought increased. Second, inconsistency discounting would also increase as opportunity for thought increased. Third, the relationship between discounting and opportunity for thought would differ with individual differences in need for closure, need for structure, and intolerance of ambiguity. The results did not support the predictions. In contrast with the findings of previous self-generated attitude change investigations, differential opportunity for thought did not affect attitude change. Explanations for the results and directions for future research are discussed.