The Influence of Affect on Attitude

Authored by: Gerald L. Clore , Simone Schnall

The Handbook of Attitudes

Print publication date:  April  2005
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780805844924
eBook ISBN: 9781410612823
Adobe ISBN: 9781135626174


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Priests of the medieval Catholic Church understood something about the relationship between affect and attitude. To instill the proper attitude in parishioners, priests dramatized the power of liturgy to save them from Hell in a service in which the experience of darkness and fear gave way to light and familiar liturgy. These ceremonies "were written and performed so as to first arouse and then allay anxieties and fears" (Scott, 2003, p. 227):

The service usually began in the dark of night with rhe gothic cathedral's nave filled with worshippers cast into total darkness. Terrifying noises, wailing, shrieks, screams, and clanging of metal mimicked the chaos of hell, giving frightened witnesses a taste of what they could expect if they were tempted to stray. After a prolonged period of this imitation of hell, the cathedral's interior gradually became filled with the blaze of a thousand lights. As the gloom diminished, cacophony was supplanted by the measured tones of Gregorian chants and polyphony. Light and divine order replaced darkness and chaos

(R. Scott, personal correspondence, March 15, 2004).

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