Attitudes and Social Cognition Lab


Research Team


Kevin Blankenship, Ph.D.

Lab Supervisor

A general theme guiding my research interests is the idea that attitudes are an important guide for how people interact with their world.  Knowing the strength of one's attitude provides us with an understanding of the consequences regarding how people use their attitudes in behavior and information processing.  Based on this perspective, my research focuses on three primary areas.  The first area concerns the role values play in attitude formation and strength-related consequences.  My current work in this area deals with how values affect the processing of persuasive messages.  The second area concerns the possible contributions of attitude theory in judgment and decision-making, particularly in understanding numerical anchoring effects.  An "attitudinal" approach for numerical anchoring helps explain previous findings and leads to new predictions related to the possible strength-related consequences of numerical anchoring effects.  Finally, a third area of research deals with message characteristics in attitude structure and change. In particular, I have been studying how different linguistic markers (e.g., tag questions) affect information processing and persuasion.


Renee Murray, M.A.

Graduate Student

My research reflects an integration of interests in both the attitudes and stereotypes and prejudice domains. For example, I have been working on a project looking at the effect discovering information about a target (such as the race of the target) that is either consistent or inconsistent with initially formed impressions on thought confidence and subsequent reactions to the target. I am also working on a project examining a possible link between openness to experience (a personality characteristic) and motivated cognition, which I may eventually explore within the stereotypes and prejudice domain depending on where the project takes me. Additional interests include the role of values in attitude formation and change, exploring possible links between implicit and explicit attitudes, and exploring individual differences in motivated cognition.


Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Rob Barger

Grant Ferguson

Samantha Johnson

Rachel Kaufman

Lindsey Vietz



Traci Craig, University of Idaho

Brian Detweiler-Bedell, Lewis and Clark College

Natalie Dove, Eastern Michigan University

Thomas Holtgraves, Ball State University

Sunde Nesbit, University of Northern Iowa

Richard Petty, Ohio State University

Duane Wegener, Ohio State University

Bernard Whitley, Ball State University