Threat and/in Inoculation Theory

Josh Compton


For years, scholars of the inoculation theory of resistance to influence have considered threat to be a major part of the resistance process—the motivational force that triggers such responses as counterarguing against future challenges to a position. More recently, scholars have begun to question the conventional explanation for the importance and/or role of threat in inoculation, (re)considering its importance, its conceptualization, and in some cases, its very existence in the process of attitudinal/belief inoculation. This theoretical article synthesizes some of the key arguments advanced about threat in inoculation theory and traces its development from the earliest iterations of the theory to its contemporary development and application. It proposes five avenues for future investigations of threat and/in inoculation theory in the continuing study of persuasion.


inoculation theory, persuasion, resistance to influence, threat, social influence

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