A Cognitive-Consistency Based Model of Population Wide Attitude Change

  • Kiran LakkarajuEmail author
  • Ann Speed
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)


Attitudes are an important component in human decision making. We focus on developing a model of attitude diffusion across people that includes social and cognitive factors. We will describe the model and the underlying theories that support its elements. Our results focus on better understanding the resiliency of attitudes—how long does it take for attitudes to change and what do they change to?



Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energys National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA0003525.


  1. 1.
    Bednar, J., Bramson, A., Jones-Rooy, A., Page, S.: Conformity, Consistency, and Cultural Heterogeneity. University of Michigan, Mimeo (2006)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Castellano, C., Fortunato, S., Loreto, V.: Statistical physics of social dynamics. Rev. Mod. Phys. 81 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Castellano, C., Vilone, D., Vespignani, A.: Incomplete ordering of the voter model on small-world networks. Eur. Lett. 63(1), 153–158 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Change, Y.P.O.C.: Climate change in the american mind: Americans’ climate change beliefs, attitudes, policy preferences, and actions. Technical report, George Mason University (2009)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chen, P., Redner, S.: Majority rule dynamics in finite dimensions. Phys. Rev. E 71 (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Delgado, J.: Emergence of social conventions in complex networks. Artif. Intell. 141(1–2), 171–185 (2002). Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dovidio, J.F., Kawakami, K., Gaertner, S.L.: Implicit and explicit prejudice and interracial interaction. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 82(1), 62–68 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fazio, R.H., Jackson, J.R., Dunton, B.C., Williams, C.: Variability in automatic activation as an unobtrusive measure of racial attitudes: a bona fide pipeline? J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 69, 1013–1027 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fazio, R.H., Olson, M.A.: Attitudes: foundations, functions, and consequences. In: Hogg, M.A., Cooper, J. (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Social Psychology. Sage, London (2003)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gawronski, B., Bodenhausen, G.: Associative and propositional processes in evaluation: an integrative review of implicit and explicit attitude change. Psychol. Bull. 132, 692–731 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gawronski, B., Strack, F.: On the propositional nature of cognitive consistency: dissonance changes explicit but not implicit attitudes. J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 40, 535–542 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Goldstone, R.L., Janssen, M.: Computational models of collective behavior. Trends Cogn. Sci. 9(9) (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hopfield, J.J.: Neural networks and physical systems with emergent collective computational abilities. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 79, 2554–2558 (1982)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jones, C.R.M., Fazio, R.H.: Associative strength and consumer choice behavior. In: Haugtvedt, C.P., Herr, P.M., Kardes, F.R. (eds.) Handbook of Consumer Psychology, pp. 437–459. Psychology Press, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Krosnick, J.A.: The role of attitude importance in social evaluation: a study of policy preferences, presidential candidate evaluation, and voting behavior. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 55(2), 196–210 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kunda, Z., Thagard, P.: Forming impressions from stereotypes, traits, and behaviors: a parallel-constraint-satisfaction theory. Psychol. Rev. 103(2), 284–308 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lakkaraju, K.: Agreement, information and time in multiagent systems. Ph.D. thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2009)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lepper, M.R., Shultz, T.R.: Dissonance. In: Wilson, R.A., Keil, F.C. (eds.) The MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. MIT Press, Cambridge (1998)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Levitan, L.C., Visser, P.S.: The impact of the social context on resistance to persuasion: effortful versus effortless responsees to counter-attitudinal information. J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 44, 640–649 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lima, F., Sousa, A., Sumour, M.: Majority-vote on directed erdos-renyi random graphs. Phys. A 387, 3503–3510 (2008)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mason, W.A., Conrey, F.R., Smith, E.R.: Situating social influence processes: dynamic, multidirectional flows of influence within social networks. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Rev. 11 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    McConnell, A.R., Leibold, J.M.: Relations among the implicit association test, discriminatory behavior, and explicit measures of racial attitudes. J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 37, 435–442 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Page, S.E., Sander, L.M., Schneider-Mizell, C.M.: Conformity and dissonance in generalized voter model. J. Stat. Phys. 128(6), 1279–1287 (2007)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pereira, L.F.C., Moreira, F.G.B.: Majority-vote model on random graphs. Phys. Rev. E 71(016123) (2005)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Read, S.J., Snow, C.J., Simon, D.: Constraint satisfaction processes in social reasoning. In: Proceedings of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (2003)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Read, S.J., Vanman, E.J., Miller, L.C.: Connectionism, parallel constraint satisfaction processes, and gestalt principles: (re)introducing cognitive dynamics to social psychology. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Rev. 1(1), 26–53 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Russo, J.E., Carlson, K.A., Meloy, M.G., Yong, K.: The goal of consistency as a cause of information distortion. J. Exp. Psychol.: Gen. (2008)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rydell, R.J., McConnell, A.R.: Understanding implicit and explicit attitude change: a systems of reasoning analysis. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 91(6), 995–1008 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Shoda, Y., Mischel, W.: Personality as a stable cognitive-affective activation network: characteristic patterns of behavior variation emerge from a stable personality structure. In: Read, S.J., Miller, L.C. (eds.) Connectionist Models of Social Reasoning and Social Behavior. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah (1998)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Simon, D.: A third view of the black box: cognitive coherence in legal decision making. Univ. Chic. Law Rev. 71 (2004)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Simon, D., Holyoak, K.J.: Structural dynamics of cognition: from consistency theories to constraint satisfaction. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Rev. 6(6), 283–294 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Simon, D., Krawczyk, D.C., Holyoak, K.J.: Construction of preferences by constraint satisfaction. Psychol. Sci. 15(5), 331 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Simon, D., Snow, C.J., Read, S.J.: The redux of cognitive consistency theories: evidence judgments by constraint satisfaction. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 86(6), 814–837 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Simon, D., Krawczyk, D.C., Bleicher, A., Holyoak, K.J.: The transience of constructed preferences. J. Behav. Decis. Mak. 21, 1–14 (2008). Scholar
  35. 35.
    Sood, V., Antal, T., Redner, S.: Voter models on heterogenous networks. Phys. Rev. E 77 (2008)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Spellman, B.A., Ullman, J.B., Holyoak, K.J.: A coherence model of cognitive consistency: dynamics of attitude change during the persian gulf war. J. Soc. Issues 49(4), 147–165 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Strogatz, S.H.: Exploring complex networks. Nature 410(6825), 268–276 (2001). Scholar
  38. 38.
    Suchecki, K., Eguiluz, V.M., Miguel, M.S.: Voter model dynamics in complex networks: role of dimensionality, disorder and degree distribution (2008). arXiv:Cond-mat/0504482v1
  39. 39.
    Thagard, P.: Coherence in Thought and Action. Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology. MIT Press, Cambridge (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Visser, P.S., Clark, L.M.: Attitudes. In: Kuper, A., Kuper, J. (eds.) Social Science Encyclopedia. Routledge, London (2003)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Visser, P.S., Cooper, J.: Attitude change. In: Hogg, M., Cooper, J. (eds.) Sage Handbook of Social Psychology. Sage Publications, Los Angeles (2003)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Visser, P.S., Mirabile, R.R.: Attitudes in the social contex: the impact of social network composition on individual-level attitude strength. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 87(6), 779–795 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Watts, D.J., Strogatz, S.H.: Collective dynamics of ‘small-world’ networks. Nature 393(6684), 440–442 (1998). Scholar
  44. 44.
    Wilson, T.D., Lindsey, S., Schooler, T.Y.: A model of dual attitudes. Psychol. Rev. 107(1), 101–126 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright projection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sandia National LaboratoriesLivermoreUSA
  2. 2.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA

Personalised recommendations