(Psy Blog) Our Secret Attitude Changes
When you change your attitude about something, do you know why? Psychologists have argued that the inner workings of our minds are largely hidden away from us. One aspect of this is the surprising finding that people are often unaware when they have changed their attitudes.
We may well, for example, be able to identify our current opinions on global warming. We might find it easy to say, “Yes, I think global warming is occurring and humans are to blame,” or, “No, it’s just a long-term trend that has nothing to do with humans”. But when our opinions change, by say watching Al Gore’s documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, psychologists have found we are unlikely to be aware what changed our minds.
It gets weirder. In certain circumstances we may even be convinced that our attitude has never changed. So that we are convinced our ‘new’ attitude is the one we always had. Whether or not this sounds far-fetched to you, the effect is dramatically demonstrated in an experiment carried out by Goethals and Reckman (1973).