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Psykhe (Santiago)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2228


GALLARDO, Ismael et al. The Study of Rhetorical Questions in Attitude Change. Psykhe [online]. 2013, vol.22, n.1, pp.43-54. ISSN 0718-2228.

Current research in social psychology has shown that rhetorical questions (RQs) in communicative contexts affect the attitudes that people have about an object, leading either to positive or negative attitudes towards it. The main explanation for this effect is that RQs increase cognitive elaboration, which allows the receiver of the information to distinguish the strength of the arguments presented. As a consequence, people can guide their judgments based on the positive or negative thoughts generated as a response to RQs. This paper reviews the literature on attitude change and RQs and identifies procedural and content limitations not previously under control. It is discussed that controlling these limitations would make it possible to obtain new effects and potentially new explanations to them. In the final section new avenues for research and professional applications are proposed.

Keywords : attitudes; change; rhetorical questions; revision.

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