Persistence of emotion in the process of inoculation: experiencing post-attack threat, fear, anger, happiness, sadness, and surprise

Bobi Ivanov, Erin B. Hester, Joe C. Martin, Will Silberman, Amanda R. Slone, Sean Goatley-Soan, Sarah Geegan, Kimberly A. Parker, Taban F. Herrington, Seth Riker, August Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This investigation assessed the mechanisms that contribute to post-attack attitudinal persistence. A three-phase experiment was designed to uncover why inoculation works even after it has been challenged by a counterattitudinal attack. The results of this study show that threat, both motivational and apprehensive, not only persists after the attack, but it may be heightened by an increase in post-attack fear and sadness. Greater anger and less happiness were also expressed by inoculated individuals in response to the attack. An increase, rather than decrease, in surprise was a surprising outcome. Taken together, the findings from this study suggest that the effects of inoculation continue to persist beyond the attack as threat and multiple other emotions interact to form and inspire a formidable attitudinal barrier that endures over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-582
Number of pages23
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Volume68
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Eastern Communication Association.

Keywords

  • Inoculation theory
  • attitude change
  • post-persuasion emotions
  • resistance
  • threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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