Past research has indicated that attitudes can be based on different types of psychological information or components, such as emotions and beliefs. It has also been suggested that the amount of ambivalence and inconsistency between and within these components are important aspects of attitude structure. In this paper, we discuss the relation between ambivalence and inconsistency, and their effects on message processing. Based on past theorizing and research, and on our reanalyses of previous data (Maio, Bell, & Esses, 1996), we conclude that ambivalence and inconsistency are distinct constructs, which are empirically unrelated and produce different effects on message processing.
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