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We review research on “attitude conflict” —- competitive disagreement with regard to beliefs, values, and preferences, characterized by parties’ intolerance of each other’s positions. We propose a simple causal model of attitude conflict, including three antecedents that drive it and two consequences that frequently emerge. Whereas prior research has focused on the consequences — negative inferences about holders of opposing views and negative affect at the prospect of interacting with them — we focus on the antecedents. Specifically, we propose that disagreements that lead to attitude conflict are often characterized by perceptions of high (1) outcome importance, (2) actor interdependence, and (3) evidentiary skew. Our analysis offers multiple paths for future research to more accurately predict and more effectively intervene in such situations.


Minson, Julia, and Charles A. Dorison. "Toward a psychology of attitude conflict." Current Opinion in Psychology 43 (February 2022): 182-188.