The Perception of Research Quality Based on Institutional Esteem
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2015
The present study examined whether institutional esteem contributes to how readers were persuaded by presented research information. It was hypothesized that the prestigious reputation of an institution may cause readers to process the presented information less thoroughly, and that they would use the institution as a heuristic cue when forming an attitude towards the presented topic. In Study 1, 267 participants on Amazon’s MTurk read an argument in favor of junk food taxation that varied based on the esteem (high, low) of the institution that conducted the research and on the strength of the argument (strong, weak). Results indicated a main effect of argument strength, such that individuals who read strong arguments had more favorable attitudes toward junk food taxation than those who read weak arguments; however, there was no main effect of institutional esteem on junk food taxation attitudes. In Study 2, 213 introductory psychology students followed the same protocol as Study 1 with an additional manipulation of cognitive load (high, low, none) while reading the junk food taxation argument. Results of Study 2 indicated no effect of institutional esteem, argument strength, or cognitive load on attitudes toward junk food taxation. Implications for the understanding of how institutional esteem may affects attitudes are discussed.
Academic Major: Psychology
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