WorldCat Identities

Tormala, Zakary L.

Works: 11 works in 11 publications in 1 language and 11 library holdings
Roles: Thesis advisor, Author
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Zakary L Tormala
Experiences in the form of packets : an epi-hedonic framework of active versus passive experiences by Jayson Shi Jia( )

1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Conventional wisdom suggests that to maximize a hedonic experience (e.g., vacations, concerts, movies), one ought to actively prepare for those experiences (e.g., by planning, anticipating, savoring). However, in situations ranging from creating music playlists to watching TV shows to studying art, I find that not preparing for experiences (having passive experiences) yields greater pleasure, while preparing for experiences (having active experiences) can reduce pleasure. This occurs because information processing before an experience distorts how that experience is consumed. Unlike basic stimuli, experiences are structured events that flow and unfold over time, and are often composed of ordered sequences of information-packets (e.g., scenes in a movie). Since not all packets are remembered or promoted equally, active experiences (which can depend on memory and/or exogenous cues for information) result in focalism on focal packets and derogation of non-focal packets. In other words, passive versus active modes of experiencing can change the relative experienced utility of the individual packets of an experience. However, preparing for experiences (active experiencing) is not strictly hedonically detrimental; active experiences can enhance pleasure when 1) the worst packets are considered along with the best packets, or 2) when there is no information on the structure of the experience (e.g., you do not know when the focal packet will come). Experimental findings contribute to a conceptual framework of Epi-hedonics (the impact of pre-experiential cognitive processes on experiencing hedonic experiences) that has theoretical implications and an integrative framework for conceptualizations of utility and reward, and practical implications for repeat consumption, service design, promotional strategies, and the validity of marketing
What motivates people to try to persuade others? Ironic and contradictory determinants of advocacy by Omair Akhtar( )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

This dissertation explores various factors that influence advocacy. When people seek support for a cause, they typically present the strongest arguments they can muster. The current research departs, however, in identifying the conditions under which (and processes through which) presenting weak arguments can stimulate greater advocacy. Chapter 1 examines this ironic predictor of advocacy. This research also explores the impact of people's lay theories about attitudes on advocacy. People vary in the extent to which they believe attitudes are fixed (entity theorists) or malleable (incremental theorists). Results indicate that entity theories of attitudes simultaneously motivate and demotivate willingness to try to persuade others. Chapter 2 explores the contradictory ways in which these lay theories affect advocacy
Elaboration and Attitude Strength: The New Meta‐cognitive Perspective( )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Abstract The effect of elaboration (i.e., information processing) on attitude strength has been a key prediction of some of the most influential theories of persuasion over the past few decades. This article provides a new look at this relationship. After reviewing support for the notion that structural processes (i.e., knowledge acquisition, structural consistency, and attitude accessibility) drive the effect of elaboration on attitude strength, we examine recent work investigating the role of meta‐cognitive factors in this domain. Based on recent evidence, we propose that the effect of elaboration on attitude strength depends largely on people's perceptions of their own elaboration and their beliefs that more elaboration produces better judgments that can be held with greater certainty. We highlight the role of naïve theories in these effects, suggesting that they might be more malleable than previously known, and call for future research into some of the important remaining questions in this area that have yet to be fully explored
What doesn't kill me makes me stronger : the effects of resisting persuasion on attitude certainty by Zakary L Tormala( )

1 edition published in 2002 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Unpacking attitude certainty : attitude clarity and attitude correctness by Zakary L Tormala( )

in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

The upside of evaluative inconsistency : when contradictions foster persuasion and protect the self by Taly Reich( )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Decades of past research point to the downside of evaluative inconsistency. Generally, this past research suggests that evaluative inconsistency is an unpleasant state that can result in negative affect. Consequently, when people have inconsistent reactions to evaluative targets, they often attempt to reduce their ambivalence in various ways (e.g., paying careful attention to new information that might help them resolve their ambivalence). Similarly, when people detect inconsistency in others' views, past research indicates that they will be less open, or more resistant, to those views. This dissertation takes a different track and explores the possibility that evaluative inconsistency can, in some instances, offer specifiable benefits. In particular, in two separate bodies of work, I examine the conditions under which, and mechanisms through which, evaluative inconsistency can protect the self and persuade others. In one series of studies, I have unveiled a contradiction effect, whereby changing one's stated opinion can, under specifiable conditions, introduce a persuasive advantage. My studies suggest that contradicting oneself can enhance one's persuasiveness relative to offering just a single message with no contradiction or even offering multiple messages that are consistent across time. I observe this effect across several distinct contexts including medical decisions, university policy assessments, and real consumer choices. I propose an attributional account to explain these effects, whereby conflicting messages, or opinion shifts, stimulate attributional reasoning by virtue of their unexpectedness. Extensive literature points to the role of expectancy violations in fostering attributional reasoning. I apply this logic to the current context, postulating that contradictions can promote persuasion as a function of the attributions they elicit. I show that contradictions' effect on persuasion is mediated by perceptions that the contradicting source had considered more information and engaged in more extensive thinking about the message topic. In addition, I also establish several moderators that point to an attributional account. The contradiction effect emerges only when strong arguments support the opinion shift, when that shift comes from a single source, and when trust is high. Under weak arguments, multiple source, or low trust conditions, the effect disappears or even reverses. Thus, only when conditions encourage favorable attributions does the effect emerge. In the second body of work, I demonstrate that there are situations in which people desire to be ambivalent. Specifically, when people want an object or outcome that is uncertain, such as a coveted job, house, or admission to a prestigious school, they will cultivate ambivalence in order to protect their feelings in the event that they fail to get what they want. I find that people are most likely to generate ambivalence when they are least certain that they can obtain their desired target. Depending on the outcome, this cultivated ambivalence can either be useful (when people fail to obtain the desired target) or backfire (when people obtain the desired target). In other words, cultivating both positive and negative thoughts and feelings towards a desirable target can potentially protect one's feelings in the event that it is not obtained. However, if the desirable target is obtained, these cultivated thoughts and feelings can be detrimental, as the person has now endorsed of the drawbacks of their object of desire. Across educational, employment and consumer choice settings, I show that when people fail to obtain their desired target, the more ambivalent people are prior to finding out the outcome, the better they feel about themselves, whereas the opposite pattern emerges when people obtain their desired target. In that case, the more ambivalent people are, the worse they feel about themselves once they find out the outcome. Interestingly, while past research has shown that ambivalence is usually associated with discomfort, I show that it depends on the outcome. That is, ambivalence before the outcome is known is associated with more discomfort and less favorable thoughts only when people obtain their desired target. In order to further establish the causal link between ambivalence and self-protection, I directly manipulate ambivalence and rule out an alternative attitude account of my results by showing that the protective utility of ambivalence is independent of attitude. Finally, I explore whether ambivalence reduces risk aversion. I posit that the protective utility of ambivalence allows people to open up to failure. In particular, I demonstrate that for those who are in the midst of a job search, the more ambivalent they are about their future job opportunity, the more willing they are to take risks (e.g., negotiate various aspects of the position). In the same vein, I find that people are most likely to make a lower bid on a desired house to the extent that they are ambivalent. A voluminous body of research has highlighted the negative aspects of evaluative inconsistency. Together, the two streams of research outlined in this dissertation suggest that evaluative inconsistencies in both the self and others can sometimes be beneficial. Understanding people's responses to inconsistency within self and in others is an important part of predicting and shaping their attitudes toward objects and issues they encounter in their daily lives. In the current dissertation I sought insight into this issue by exploring the effect of contradictory messages on persuasion as well as the effect of ambivalence on the self. The former counterintuitive effect provides unique theoretical insight into the complex relationship between source perceptions and message consistency effects in persuasion and the latter expands our understating of the consequences of being ambivalent
Resisting persuasion by the skin of one's teeth : the hidden success of resisted persuasive messages by Zakary L Tormala( )

1 edition published in 2006 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Valence asymmetries in attitude ambivalence by Aaron Isaac Snyder( )

1 edition published in 2016 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Existing models of ambivalence suggest that as the number of conflicting attitude components increases, so too does the experience of ambivalence. Interestingly, though, these models overwhelmingly assume that this relationship is independent of valence. Across three studies we observe that this effect is in fact heavily influenced by two established valence asymmetries: negativity bias (greater impact of negative reactions than positive reactions) and positivity offset (baseline positive reactions even in the absence of positive information). Consistent with a negativity bias, we observe that subjective ambivalence is greater when conflicting reactions are negative rather than positive. However, we also document an opposing effect of positivity offset as attitudes become less mixed (i.e., more univalent) that counteracts the valence asymmetry due to negativity bias. This is the first work to describe the opposing roles of these valence asymmetries in attitude ambivalence. Our investigation also uncovers an interesting consequence of these asymmetries: when reactions conflict, people do not experience maximum ambivalence at equal levels of positivity and negativity, as is suggested by canonical ambivalence theory. Rather, subjective ambivalence peaks when positive reactions outnumber negative reactions
Interview with GSB Professor Zak Tormala by Zakary L. Tormala( Visual )

1 edition published in 2009 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Prof. Tormala talks about his work at Stanford Graduate School of Business
Consumers, interrupted : the effect of interruptions on persuasion and decision making by Daniella M Kupor( )

1 edition published in 2016 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Individuals experience a greater frequency of interruptions than ever before. In the current research, I find that interruptions provide opportunities for subjective cognitive experiences (e.g., curiosity, need for closure) to enter consumers' thought processes and shape their attitudes and decisions about products not only within the interrupted domain (Chapter 1) but also outside of it (Chapter 2). Chapter 1 reveals that interruptions that temporarily disrupt a persuasive message can increase consumers' processing of that message. As a result, consumers can be more persuaded by interrupted messages than they would be by the exact same messages delivered uninterrupted. In documenting this effect, the current research departs from past research illuminating the negative effects of interruptions, and delineates the mechanism through which and conditions under which momentary interruptions can promote persuasion. When consumers are prevented from returning to the interrupted information, Chapter 2 reveals that their unsatisfied desire to view the interrupted information manifests as a need for closure that reduces their processing of unrelated content. Together, this research illuminates the powerful impact that interruptions can have on consumer persuasion and decision-making
Persuasion and attitude change( )

1 edition published in 2003 in Undetermined and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

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English (10)