From a paragraph that I was reading about the inoculation theory had this sentence:

Those receiving a one-sided message showed almost no remaining attitude change after they were exposed to counterpropaganda.

What confuses me in this sentence is the word remaining. By reading the sentence without the word remaining, it reads as "showed almost no attitude change", which means the attitude of the people stays the same.

Now, with the word "remaining" added, I don't quite understand what extra meaning is added to the sentence.

Does the sentence mean there is "almost no attitude change" or "a great change in attitude"?

Similarly, in the paragraph's following sentence, probably talking about its converse, using the word "remaining" again:

In contrast, those receiving a two-sided message showed almost as much attitude change remaining after counter propaganda as they did when they were not exposed to counterpropaganda.

Again, the word "remaining" confuses me about the logical of the sentence. Does it mean that there is a change or not change?

2 Answers 2


Remaining signals a reference to a change in some physical or metaphorical substance, where

  1. the substance was changed, at least partially, in the past, and
  2. that previous change was previously discussed in the discourse.

In this case, the substance was "additude change" (whatever that means, and however measured). So you have to refer to whatever "attitude change" took place in the subjects previously, as described by the previous discussion (in the I presume psychological experimental) discussion.


It suggests that upon receiving the first message, their attitudes may have changed, but after receiving the second message any change that happened because of the first message has gone away; any possible change from the first message does not remain.

  • So this means that in the second statement, those who received a two-sided message will remain to have the changes from the first message? Also, does the "second message" introduced referring to the counterpropaganda in this context?
    – xenon
    Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 13:22
  • Yes, the second message is the counter propaganda. Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 13:38

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