STUDY ALERT: Assessing Individual Differences in Commitment to Beliefs

by Scott Barry Kaufman, February 13, 2012 in Study Alerts

Assessing Individual Differences in the Degree to Which People are Committed to Following Their Beliefs

Matthew A. Maxwell-Smith, Victoria M. Esses

The authors developed a new dispositional measure of Commitment to Beliefs (CTB)— the degree to which people feel it is important to follow their value-expressive beliefs— across three phases of research. In Phases 1 and 2 (Studies 1-4), the CTB scale demonstrated strong internal consistency, and convergent and discriminant validity. Phase 3 demonstrated the scale’s predictive validity: high-CTB individuals were more likely to report engaging in activities during the past month and year that followed directly from their beliefs (Study 5), act on their beliefs when given the opportunity (Study 6), and show more polarized attitudes toward ideologically-relevant groups (Study 7). These findings illustrate the utility of a dispositional approach for examining the extent to which people follow their beliefs.

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