William McGuire’s Attitude Inoculation Theory (AIT) predicts that the act of warning women that they may be exposed to attempts to change their attitudes can “inoculate” them against persuasion. The warning can be compared to a weakened virus when it enters the body. In response to the threat or “virus” people will strengthen their attitudes. After a short delay the participant is introduced to the message and their resistance to this message is evaluated. The purpose of this study was to analyze women’s attitudes towards infant feeding by utilizing the inoculation theory. Overall, we found that the inoculation had no effect for participants who had pre-existing, positive breastfeeding attitudes. However, participants who had pre-existing, negative breastfeeding attitudes and received the inoculation strengthened their negative attitudes toward breastfeeding.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Dr. Aaron Wichman
Parks, Jessica M., "Can Persuasion Research Increase Commitment to Breastfeeding? A Test of Women's Resistance to Pro Infant-Formula Messages" (2013). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 401.