This study examined the ‘value‐justification hypothesis’. Derived from accentuation theory (Eiser, 1987), this hypothesis states that people with different attitudes will appeal to different values to justify, or account for, their attitudes. Subjects completed measures of their attitudes towards abortion and nuclear weapons, ranked the importance of 18 values (Rokeach, 1967) and ranked the relevance of these values to each attitude issue. Multivariate analyses revealed that subjects with negative and positive attitudes differed in the values which they regarded as relevant to each issue. For example, subjects who favoured nuclear weapons regarded ‘national security’ as more relevant in comparison to subjects opposed to nuclear weapons who viewed ‘wisdom’ as a more relevant value consideration. Further, these effects occurred over and above differences in value importance. Finally, the results suggested that these value‐justification effects were stronger among low, relative to high, self‐monitors (Snyder, 1974). The latter finding is consistent with the notion that value‐justification effects are more likely to occur when attitudes fulfil a value‐expressive function. The relation of these findings to the functional approach to the study of attitudes and Tetlock's (1986) value pluralism model is also discussed. 1988 The British Psychological Society

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Journal British Journal of Social Psychology
Kristiansen, C.M, & Zanna, M.P. (Mark P.). (1988). Justifying attitudes by appealing to values: A functional perspective. British Journal of Social Psychology, 27(3), 247–256. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8309.1988.tb00826.x