Do smokers experience conflict when their negative implicit attitude and positive explicit attitude towards smoking is activated? In study 1 attitudes were activated by anti-smoking arguments. The stronger negative implicit attitude smokers had the more aversive tension (an indicator of conflict) they experienced. Non-smokers, whose both explicit and implicit attitude was negative, did not experience aversive tension. Study 2 assumed that cognitive capacity allows for conflict as positive explicit and negative implicit attitude may be activated simultaneously. Smokers resolve this conflict by fixing explicit attitude (smoking more cigarettes). With no cognitive capacity only implicit attitude is activated, and thus no conflict arises. Results confirmed this assumption. In cognitive capacity condition, the stronger negative implicit attitude was, the more cigarettes were smoked. Without cognitive capacity, smokers tended to cut down in keeping with the strength of their negative implicit attitude.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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