Research Problem: To examine the relationships between the personality – centered and issue-centered approaches to a study of attitudes.
1) There will be a significant relationship between closed-mindedness and high ego-
involvement in the sample group.
2) There will be a significant difference in the size of the latitude of rejection in a
highly ego-involved group when compared with a low ego-involved group.
3) There is a significant difference between the highly ego-involved group and the
low ego-involved group with respect to closed-mindedness. The highly ego-involved
group will possess greater closed-mindedness.
This study examined the relationships between Rokeach’s personality-centered theory of open – and closed- mindesness and Sherif et al.’s issue-centered approach to social judgement. The nine-position technique, the Method of Ordered Alternatives (MOA) was used in this study. The nine statements used concern riots in American cities, overlaid with racial implications. The Dogmatism Scale was simultaneously administered to the sample groups. These tests were administered to three groups at a large state university in the southwest:
1) a partisan and highly ego-involved male fraternity,
2) a partisan and highly ego-involved female sorority, and
3) male and female students meeting for a required government course.
The first hypothesis, that there would be a significant relationship between closed –
mindedness and high ego-involvement in individuals in this study, was upheld, significant at the .05 level. The second hypothesis, that there would be a significant difference in the size of the latitude of rejection in the highly ego-involved group when compared with low ego-involved group, was accepted, significance being < .001. The third hypothesis, that there would be significantly greater closed-mindedness in the highly ego-involved group than in the low ego-involved group, was not upheld statistically and implications for the Dogmatism scale were discussed.
Conclusion: The results of this study add to the body of knowledge available to those interested in attitude and attitude change and its implications for communication theory. The more an individual knows about both the nature of attitude rigidity and the kinds of people who hold such intense attitudes, the more adept he should be in designing persuasive messages.