Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Sociology and Anthropology
Three theories (social judgment, cognitive dissonance, and attribution) are contrasted to identify the theory from which abortion attitudes are most accurately predicted. Four concepts (abortion-related socialization, abortion-related experience, ego-involvement with abortion decisions, and abortion-related extremism) are identified, and the relationships between these concepts are predicted in accordance with the theories, providing a standardized test with which to discriminate between the theories;The critical tests of hypotheses show consistent support for attribution theory as the theory from which abortion attitudes are most accurately predicted. Specifically, experience is associated with an increase in the width of the latitude of acceptance, indicative of a comparatively less rigid perception of appropriate conditions for obtaining an abortion. The theoretical basis for these findings focuses upon the importance of individuals' "reality constraints" and the need for increasingly information-intensive decisions, as people become personally involved in new and difficult decisions;Three ancillary issues are also tested (the importance of religion, concern for the life and health of the fetus, and respondents' feelings of powerlessness and normlessness). The results show that, while attribution theory is supported as the best predictor of abortion attitudes, specific current behaviors are vital for understanding abortion attitudes.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/
Stephen Louis Goettsch
Goettsch, Stephen Louis, "Attitude extremism in the abortion controversy: a test of social judgment, cognitive dissonance, and attribution theories " (1983). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 7675.