The key feature of this theory is that many factors can affect the level of confidence in these thoughts.More importantly, the solid arguments are especially likely to shape the attitudes of individuals if, a few minutes earlier, they had been instructed to recall occasions in which they had succeeded on some task (Petty, Brinol, & Tormala, 2002).Recollections of success bestow a sense of confident, validating their favorable thoughts towards the policy.Not surprisingly, the self esteem of individuals tends to improve after they transcribe three of their strengths and achievements on a piece of paper.Intriguingly, however, this exercise is more inclined to be effective if individuals transcribe these strengths with their preferred hand and nod their head during the process (Brinol & Petty, 2003).The self validation hypothesis explains a variety of observations.For example, individuals are obviously more inclined to change their attitudes towards some policy after they are exposed to solid, rather than tenuous, arguments to support this proposal.Individuals might recognize they are competent on many tasks, but ultimately perceive themselves as unworthy.
Thoughts do not always affect the attitudes of individuals.
These individuals, for instance, might think that arguments in support of euthanasia are convincing, but nevertheless not change their attitudes towards this practice.
Obviously, only the thoughts that seem valid rather than tenuous will affect the attitudes, and ultimately the behavior, of these individuals.
Several cues or movements--nodding the head, memories of confidence, and so forth-tend to validate these thoughts, increasing the likelihood that perhaps they will shape attitudes (Brinol, Petty, & Tormala, 2004& Petty, Brinol, & Tormala, 2002).
This finding, and many other observations, can be ascribed to the self validation hypothesis.
In particular, according to this theory, individuals often entertain a variety of transient thoughts, such as "This argument is convincing" or "I am likeable".