Article ID: 2021-A156
Attitude persistence involves the maintenance or reinforcement of an initial attitude, despite the counter-opinions of others. Previous studies suggest that the importance of a topic has a significant impact on attitude persistence. However, it is not clear whether the effect is invariant in different communication environments. This study investigated two presentation modalities (audio and video) and visual access to the speaker’s eyes (looking at the eyes or mouth) to determine whether topic importance invariantly induces irritation about the counter-opinion that leads to attitude persistence. Our results revealed that: 1) irritation upon hearing a counter-opinion led to attitude persistence regardless of the modalities and 2) topic importance affected irritation with the audio presentation; its effect was slightly weaker with the video presentation. Our results also indicate that when the effect of topic importance is directly compared across modalities, it is generally related to irritation in both modalities.