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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Report on EASP Meeting

01.04.2024, by Media Account in meeting report

Psychology of Attitudes: Social Processes of Evaluation

EASP Attitudes meeting 2023
EASP Attitudes meeting 2023

Medium Size Meeting on the Psychology of Attitudes: Social Processes of Evaluation
July 5 – 8, 2023
University of Bath, UK
Organising Committee
Pablo Briñol, Teresa Garcia-Marques, Anne Gast, Geoff Haddock, Rob Holland, Greg Maio, Richard Petty, Iris Schneider, Duane Wegener, Lukas Wolf

In July, 2023, the University of Bath hosted the EASP Meeting on the Psychology of Attitudes. The meeting would have normally taken place in June 2020, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic advancing rapidly in the spring, we unfortunately had to postpone the meeting. This was especially unfortunate because organisers and attendees had looked forward to the meeting as a 20-year anniversary since the first EASP-sponsored meeting on the psychology of attitudes in 2000 in Cardiff, Wales. We were hence very happy that after a 7-year hiatus, we were able to hold a sixth meeting in this broad and important area of research. Earlier meetings focused on specific issues in this domain, including “Contemporary Perspectives on the Psychology of Attitudes” (Cardiff, 2000), “Conscious and Non-Conscious Attitudinal Processes” (Madrid, 2004), “Affective Processes in Evaluation” (Nijmegen, 2008), “Motivational Processes in Attitudes” (Ghent, 2012), and “Experience-Based Versus Information-Based Attitude Processes” (Cologne, 2016). The focal topic in our meeting at Bath was “Social Processes of Evaluation.”

This chosen topic reflected the rising importance of social processes in basic research on attitudes, alongside the important global discussions regarding issues such as climate change, vaccination, immigration, and human rights. Across these topics (and many others), the formation and expression of attitudes are affected by familial networks, peer groups, societal norms and networks, and the use of social media. The aim of this conference was therefore to bring together researchers who are interested in how social processes influence evaluation.

The local organizing team consisted of Lukas Wolf (University of Bath), Gregory Maio (University of Bath), and Geoff Haddock (Cardiff University), who were supported by the wider committee consisting of Pablo Briñol (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Teresa Garcia-Marques (ISPA Instituto Universitário), Anne Gast (University of Cologne), Rob Holland (Radboud University Nijmegen), Richard Petty (Ohio State University), Iris Schneider (University Dresden), and Duane Wegener (Ohio State University). The meeting was attended by 47 researchers from various European (Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain) and non-European countries (Canada, Israel, and the United States of America).

The meeting started with a welcome reception on Wednesday, 5 July – a day after the EASP General Meeting 2023 in Krakow ended. The organising committee agreed that all presenters would be invited to speak in a 15-min slot, including 3 minutes for questions. The 41 talks were grouped into nine thematic sessions, consisting of 4-6 talks each, and each session was followed by a 30-minute discussion round covering the session theme. Below is the overview of sessions, chairs, and presenters.

Thursday, 6 July

Session 1: Attitude Strength
Chair: Rob Holland

Pablo Briñol (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Hedonic vs. Epistemic Mindsets: Implications for Attitudes, Cognition, and Emotion

Lorena Moreno (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Elaboration moderates reliance on attitude certainty.

James Hillman (Queen’s University)
Miserable But Validated: The role of belongingness in attitude congeniality effects.

Jake Taylor (University of Arizona)
At least I don’t have that one! The role of attention and construal processes in post-decision dissonance.

Iris Schneider (Technical University Dresden)
Trust me; I’m ambivalent: The effect of expressed attitudinal ambivalence on trust.

Ruiqing Han (Cardiff University)
How people perceive (non-)ambivalent others and why it matters.


Session 2: Human Motives
Chair: Jeff Stone

Lukas Wolf (University of Bath)
Correcting misperceptions of intergroup differences: Effects on polarisation and hope

Sam Taylor (University of Bath)
Shared attitudes vs values as predictors of wellbeing.

Aysheh Maslamani (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Feeling ambivalence about values.

Paul Conway (University of Southampton)
Standing up or giving up? Moral foundations mediate political differences in evaluations of Black Lives Matter and other protests.


Session 3: Attitude Formation 1
Chair: Geoff Haddock

Anne Gast (University of Cologne)
Evaluative conditioning in everyday settings

Tarini Singh (University of Trier)
Investigating attitude formation and memory in older adults.

Tjits van Lent (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Instrumental learning shapes the subjective value of ingroup and outgroup members’ faces

Joanna Wąsowicz (Polish Academy of Sciences)
Exploring the role of propositional processing in Evaluative Conditioning: Effects of cathodal tDCS of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) on attitude formation

Friday, 7 July

Session 4: Intergroup Contexts
Chair: Leaf van Boven

Paul Hanel (University of Essex)
Has actual political polarisation increased over time?

David Santos (IE University)
Perceiving cognitions and meta-cognitions of others

Eliana Buonaiuto (Flinders University)
When do people take the perspective of other group members? A meta-analysis of the effects of perspective-taking on intergroup attitudes and actions.

Sarah Smith (Cardiff University)
Reflections of Narcissus: Evaluations of the concept of narcissism, narcissistic acquaintances, and narcissistic faces are driven by perceiver narcissism.

Kate Ratliff (University of Florida)
The influence of legislative change on policy support and relevant intergroup attitudes

Gregory Maio (University of Bath)
Attitudes towards children: Distinguishing between affection and stress


Session 5: Implicit Measures
Chair: Kate Ratliff

Adam Hahn (University of Bath)
You can bend it, but you can’t flip it: The limits of intentional control of IAT scores

Maximilian Primbs (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Implicit attitudes update immediately in response to societal events

Hannah Peetz (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Specificity in Measuring Implicit Attitudes – The Single Person Approach

Jeff Stone (University of Arizona)
Can people change their nonverbal behavior to reduce the expression of implicit prejudice? Some evidence that training and rehearsal may help.


Session 6: Attitude Formation 2
Chair: Paul Conway

Cristina Zogmaister (University of Milano-Bicocca)
Vicarious effects of approach/avoidance behaviours on observers.

Tal Moran (The Open University of Israel)
Attitudes of others moderate the effect of behavioral information on automatic and self-reported evaluations.

Janina Hoffmann (University of Bath)
Prior beliefs and belief-updating in social evaluations

Hadar Ram (Bar-Ilan University)
Psychological distance increases attitude generalization.

Joshua Tenn (University of Bath)
The wisdom of algorithmic crowds: How do decision-makers evaluate crowd-based algorithmic advice?


Saturday, 8 July

Session 8: Persuasion and Attitude Change 1
Chair: Duane Wegener

Richard Petty (Ohio State University)
The role of reciprocity in persuasion: Understanding one versus two-sided messages.

Teresa Garcia-Marques (ISPA-Instituto Universitário)
Is 'more' always better? Argument quality and quantity in persuasion.

Zakary Tormala (Stanford University)
Perceiving attitudes and attitude change: A categorical perspective

Guy Itzchakov (University of Haifa)
Can high-quality listening depolarize attitudes during disagreements?

Mid-morning refreshments


Session 9: Persuasion and Attitude Change 2
Chair: Gregory Maio

Maria Stavraki (Universidad de Castilla La Mancha)
Curiosity can not only increase processing but also decrease it depending on appraisals: Consequences for attitude change.

Anand Krishna (University of Würzburg)
Persuasiveness of nonverbal emotional expressiveness.

Duane Wegener (Ohio State University)
Discomfort as a motivator when misinformation is labeled as false.

Joel Cooper (Princeton University)
The influence of dissonance processes on health-related attitudes.

Discussion and Closing Words

At the end of the first, intense day of talks and discussions, we travelled to Bath town for a tour through the historic Roman Baths, followed by a dinner in The Architect. Perhaps unexpectedly, the weather played along and many attendees were able to enjoy a scenic 30-minute walk down from the university campus with beautiful views of the city. During the dinner, Greg Maio thanked our sponsors, including EASP, for generously funding our meeting. The full day of sessions on Friday were followed by groups organising themselves to explore some of the pubs and restaurants in town (with suggestions from the local organising team). The meeting ended at lunchtime on Saturday with a few closing words from Lukas Wolf, mentioning some of the common themes that had been discussed during the meeting. There was a strong consensus that, with ongoing diversification of methods to examine and understand attitudes in research around the world, there is a lot of scientific merit to holding another meeting on attitudes soon. Some attendees suggested holding the next meeting at their university, including at University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy, The Open University of Israel, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and ISPA-Instituto Universitário in Portugal.

It is worth noting that the format of presentations and discussions deviated from the standard 15-minute talk followed by a 5-minute discussion. We had to slightly reduce the presentation time to 12 minutes to allow us to fit in all presentations as talks, and we gave 2-3 minutes of time for clarification questions and change between presenters. We asked the audience to keep any broader questions until the end of a session where we reserved 30 minutes for a discussion across the session theme. This worked very well, with deeply probing discussions across specific research questions that felt very productive and exciting to us and the attendees. The discussion often led to an integration of topics or an open research question that would be of interest to many in the field of attitudes. Many attendees reported being happy with the format, its egalitarian approach, and the high engagement with the discussions. Many liked the 12-minute length of talks, which seemed neither too short (mainly for presenters to cover enough content) nor too long (for the audience to keep focus), and there many positive comments about the deep-diving discussions.

In sum, this EASP meeting on Social Processes in Evaluation was all that we hoped it would be. It was fulfilling to have a provocative, engaging scientific meeting that helped participants at all career stages (including 17 postgraduates) from different parts of Europe and the rest of the world. We are grateful for the EASP’s support in postponing the meeting during the pandemic and for the enjoyable scientific exchange that this postponement enabled.