Description of Attitudes Interests

Having spent 14 years in the Ohio State system (an epicenter of the attitude universe) and having rubbed elbows with folks like Tom Ostrom, Rich Petty and Tim Brock, I suppose that it was inevitable that I would do some attitude stuff while I was there. While I would not be classified as a "hard core" attitudes researcher, it is certainly the case that my own interests in social judgment significantly overlap with the interests of many people who work in the attitudes area (e.g., assimilation and contrast effects in social judgment). Some indication of the overlap between the areas of social cognition and attitudes can be obtained from a chapter that Tom Ostrom, Andrezj Nowak, and I wrote several years ago (see selected references).

One of my current interests concerns the extent to which pre-existing attitudes (such as racial or gender attitudes) bias judgment, memory, and behavior, and the mechanisms by which such effects occur. A number of recent studies suggest that such biases sometimes occur implicitly - that is, they manifest themselves without peoples' knowledge or awareness. Members of my research team and I have just begun some research designed to examine how implicit racial attitudes toward an outgroup might unintentionally affect behavior toward outgroup members.

Selected and Recent Papers Related to the Topic of Attitudes

Skowronski, J.J. & Lawrence, M.A. (2001). A comparative study of the gender attitudes of children and college students. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 25, 155-165.

Skowronski, J. J. (1997). On the psychology of organ donation: Attitudinal and situational factors related to the willingness to be an organ donor. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 19, 427-456.

Ostrom, T.M., Skowronski, J.J., & Nowak, A. (1994). Attitudes: It's a wonderful concept. In P. Devine, D. Hamilton & T.M. Ostrom (Eds.), Social cognition: Its impact on social psychology (pp. 195-258). New York: Academic Press.