Confirmatory processes in attitude transmission: the role of shared reality

Arthur A. Stukas, Boyka Bratanova, Kim Peters, Yoshihisa Kashima, Ruth M. Beatson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In social communication, do message senders’ expectations about message recipients play any role in the construction of social stereotypes? In particular, can senders’ expectations about recipients’ attitudes toward social groups initiate a confirmatory process whereby both senders and recipients come to hold the expected attitudes when there is no basis for them? In Study 1 senders composed messages biased in the direction of randomly assigned expectations about a recipient's attitudes toward students living on campus by selectively modifying items of gossip. Senders also subsequently reported attitudes biased in the direction of their messages. In Study 2 yoked participants read the original messages and formed attitudes that reflected the biased content of the original messages. Importantly, this confirmatory effect of attitude transmission was heightened by receivers’ perceptions that shared reality was created with the sender.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-117
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Influence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Shared reality
  • Social influence
  • Confirmatory bias
  • Communication
  • Attitudes


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