chapter  5
32 Pages

The Relation Between Opinion and Memory: Distinguishing Between Associative Density and Structural Centrality

Since the classic work by Hovland and his colleagues (Hovland, Janis, & Kelley, 1953), persuasion, as well as resistance to persuasion, is commonly explained in terms of strength of learning. In the former case, it is assumed that well-learned arguments in a message exert more influence on opinion than poorly learned ones; and in the latter, that individuals are able to resist persuasion because supportive arguments are learned better than nonsupportive ones (Hass & Grady, 1975; McGuire, 1964). In both cases, the basic idea is that knowledge that is congruent with the opinion is more memorable than knowledge that is incongruent with the opinion.