Performance evaluation as a determinant of willingness to defend a counterattitudinal position

Daniel Druckman, Richard M. Rozelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of several factors on willingness to take a counterattitudinal position in a forthcoming debate were investigated. Subjects were presented with the dilemma of either compromising their own position and thereby not forfeiting a competitive advantage in the debate or forfeiting a competitive advantage by not compromising their own position. Subjects were more willing to compromise their own position when they anticipated performing before an evaluative audience than when the debate was to be held in “private”. This effect generalized across type of audience (teammates or experimenter), type of issue (central or peripheral religious issue), and subject's initial position (extreme or moderate). While several of the manipulated variables significantly affected perceptions of the situation, none of the perceptions was strongly related to the behavioral measure. One implication of the results is that perhaps evaluation of performance per se is largely responsible for the observed lowered willingness on the part of group representatives to forfeit a competitive advantage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-253
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Behavior and Personality
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1975
Externally publishedYes


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