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On the generalization of attitude accessibility after repeated attitude expression

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European Journal of Social Psychology

Published online on


The more accessible an attitude is, the stronger is its influence on information processing and behavior. Accessibility can be increased through attitude rehearsal, but it remains unknown whether attitude rehearsal also affects the accessibility of related attitudes. To investigate this hypothesis, participants in an experimental condition repeatedly expressed their attitudes towards exemplars of several semantic categories during an evaluative categorization task. Participants in a control condition performed a non‐evaluative task with the same exemplars and evaluated unrelated attitude objects. After a 30‐minute interval, participants in the experimental condition were faster than controls to evaluate not only the original exemplars but also novel exemplars of the same categories. This finding suggests that the effect of attitude rehearsal on accessibility generalizes to attitudes towards untrained but semantically related attitude objects. © 2016 The Authors. European Journal of Social Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.