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Lydon, J., & Dunkel-Schetter, C. (1994). Seeing is committing: A longitudinal study of bolstering commitment in amniocentesis patients. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 218-227.



In the face of a challenge to one's commitment, situational factors may focus attention on aspects of the commitment that bolster the commitment. Forty-six women were interviewed at four times: immediately before (1) and after (2) ultrasound and amniocentesis procedures and a few days before (3) and after (4) receiving amniocentesis test results. Number of fetal parts seen by the woman during the ultrasound examination predicted degree of commitment at Time 3, controlling for Time I assessments of commitment and perceived choice about becoming pregnant. Choice was associated with commitment at Time 1 but not at Time 3. Three dimensions of commitment were explored-affective, behavioral, and cognitive. Number of fetal parts seen predicted changes in affective and behavioral commitment from Time 1 to Time 3. Cognitive commitment decreased while women awaited test results, particularly in planned pregnancies-but less so for women who saw more fetal parts. The choice-commitment relation and the multidimensionality of commitment are discussed.

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