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62 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Premise of ELM
People want to hold “correct” attitudes
People vary in their willingness and ability to process (elaborate on) information
People integrate new information with what they currently know
Receiver plays an active role in persuasion
Cognitive reactions during message processing determine its effectiveness
Continuum of elaboration
Little ---------------------------------Great deal
mental activity of mental activity
Two Ways to Process Information
Central route processing (high mental activity)

Peripheral route processing (low mental activity)
Central Route Processing
Great deal of cognitive processing
Attitude change via the central route is a function of:
message content (argument quality)
individual’s self-generated thoughts (elaboration)
Peripheral Route Processing
Little amount of cognitive elaboration
Persuasion is based on aspects of the message other than the arguments being made
Attitude change via the peripheral route is a function of:

Reactions to positive or negative (peripheral) cues in the message environment

Source expertise, trustworthiness, attractiveness, etc.

Message length, tone, etc.
Peripheral cues
We don’t have time to process everything around us

Mental shortcut  rule of thumb
rules we have developed through:
our previous experiences
Heuristics – three types
Credibility heuristic
“Credible sources can be trusted”

Liking heuristic
“People I like usually have correct opinions”

Consensus heuristic
“If other people believe it, then it’s probably true”
Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)
We process both centrally and peripherally
Content can be processed C or P
Imagery and other non-argument based cues can be processed C or P

Both central and peripheral routes can induce attitude change

ELM explains conditions under which people use central versus peripheral routes
Predicting Elaboration
A variety of situational and personal factors may affect elaboration

Two factors getting the most attention in ELM research are:

ELM -- Motivation
Receiver must be motivated to engage in effortful cognitive processing
Personal relevance/Involvement
Motivation may also be affected by the receiver’s need for cognition
ELM -- Ability
Message elaboration is also affected by ability
Recipient must be willing and able to elaborate
ELM -- Implications
Central processing
Changes/reinforces attitudes
Leads to more long term change than peripheral processing

Peripheral processing
Relies most typically on cues relevant to credibility and attractiveness
BUT attractiveness can be a peripheral or central cue (i.e., celebrity selling make-up)
The character of the speaker
Most potent for persuasion
A perceptual factor
Made up of two factors:
Measuring Ethos (McCroskey, 1966) – Authoritativeness scale
I respect this speaker's opinion on the topic.
This speaker is not of very high intelligence.
This speaker has high status in our society.
I would consider this speaker to be an expert on the topic.
The speaker is well-informed on this subject.
This speaker is an authority on the topic.
Few people are as qualified to speak on this topic as this speaker.
This speaker has considerable knowledge of the factors involved with this subject.
This speaker has had substantial experience with this subject.
Measuring Ethos (McCroskey, 1966) – Character Scale
This speaker is a reputable person.
I trust this speaker to tell the truth about the topic.
I admire the speaker's background.
I believe that this speaker is concerned with my well-being.
I would like to have this speaker as a personal friend.
The character of this speaker is good.
This speaker is an honorable person.
Dimensions of ethos
Authoritativeness  Expertise*
Respect opinions
High status
Knowledgeable/well informed
Substantial experience
Character  Trustworthiness*
Attributions of message sources
Questioning motivations/intentions
Attribution Theory
We behave like naïve psychologists (Kelley, 1967)
We try to explain why people behave a certain way

Two major categories of causal inference
DISPOSITIONAL (personal/internal)
Behavior is due to some personal characteristic
Does the speaker believe in this?
Does the speaker really care about me?
ENVIRONMENTAL (situational/external)
Behavior is due to some situational factors
Is the speaker profiting from this? Benefiting in any way?
Expectations of Message sources
Based on our existing knowledge/information

Two biases people anticipate (Eagly et al, 1981)
Knowledge Bias
Inferring that the source does not have complete or accurate information
Source is biased because of background or occupation
Reporting Bias
Source is unwilling to report all of the information
The context may affect how much information is disclosed
Related source Characteristics;
Effective persuasion may begin with establishing a personal connection
Testimonials in ads
Political candidates mingling with citizens
Related source Characteristics: Physical Attractiveness
Chaiken (1979)
Field experiment: Will you sign a petition to eliminate meat in breakfast and lunch menus on campus?

More attractive sources
Generated more agreement with position advocated
Received more petition signatures
Perceived as friendlier
Chaiken’s (1986) meta-analysis found:
Physical attractiveness can be persuasive
Only in relatively unimportant situations
Not related to evaluations of expertise
The Influence of Status
Crossing on the Red Light Experiment
(Lefkowitz, Blake, & Mouton, 1955)

Downtown Austin 3 successive afternoons/3 street corners
N=2,103 pedestrians
Experiments’ model was either high/low status
HIGH = suit, pressed white shirt, tie, shined shoes
LOW = dirty pants, scuffed shoes, wrinkled denim shirt

When the model disobediently crosses the street (against the light), will others follow?
Disobedience without model (control condition)
1% of pedestrians cross the street

Disobedience with model influence
Low status: 4% follow his lead
High status: 14% follow his lead

Conclusions: “class counts”
Tactics to reduce credibility
Hilary Clinton
accused of intentionally darkening Obama’s complexion in a commercial she aired
Recipient-Oriented framework
Active audience
Perceives credibility (expertise/trustworthiness)
Credibility is subjective!
Can change over time
Can change from person to person
It is a perception!
Integrates new and old information
But also relies on heuristics
Evidence is persuasive when…
It is attributed to highly credible sources

It is plausible and novel
It is not overwhelming
One-sided messages
contain only supporting arguments
more effective when target person has little education (less than high school)
Two-sided messages
address opposing viewpoints
more effective when target person has at least some high school education
The effectiveness of one- versus two-sided messages depends on
Person’s initial position on the issue
Level of education
Two-sided message- Nonrefutational
Merely acknowledges another viewpoint
Allen (1991): meta-analysis

2-sided non-refutational = 20% less effective than one-sided
Two-sided message- Refutational
Recognize opposing viewpoints
Refute them
Allen (1991): meta-analysis

2-sided refutational = 20% more effective than 1-sided
Organizing a persuasive appeal
Primacy Effect
We remember the first things we hear
Recency Effects
We remember the last things we hear
So repetition is always good
Vampire creativity
Marketing term
Remember the ad…not the product
Message Factors
Message sidedness
Order effects
Emotional Appeal
Persuasion by appealing to audience members’ EMOTIONS
Emotional appeal can be in content or visual form
Language choice can affect audience response
Mood, music, pace, and other features can appeal to emotion
Audio-Visual Redundancy
When the same information is presented in text/audio and visuals  more effective
Visual Connectedness
The more closely the visuals relate to the overall message, the more effective it will be
Visual Superiority Effect
When text/audio and visuals conflict  visuals carry more weight
Visual and Persuasion - Claim 2
Visuals can evoke emotions in audience members, which influence message processing (and success of persuasion attempts)
Visual and Persuasion - Claim 1
4 different perspectives about fear appeals
Drive Model
Parallel Process (Response) Model
Protection Motivation Model
Extended Parallel Process Model
Perspective about fear appeals: Drive Model
Fear = drive state (fear drives actions)
Inverted U-shaped relationship
Need just the right amount of fear appeal to elicit action
Too little- no motivation to act
Too much- leads to avoidance (no motivation to act)
Message recommendation
If fear is reduced, you will accept the message
If fear is not reduced, message will not elicit change
Perspective about fear appeals: Parallel Process
Fear appeals have two components:
(1) cognitive  danger control (adaptive):
Recognition of danger
Motivation to protect self or others
Attitude and behavior change
Message acceptance

(2) emotional  fear control (maladaptive)
Fear arousal
Motivation to control fear (defensive motivation)
Denial/minimization of threat
Message rejection
Perspective about fear appeals:
Protection Motivation Model
A message is effective when all 4 cognitions are addressed:
Perceived severity
How bad is the outcome?
Perceived susceptibility
Will it happen to me?
Response Efficacy
Is there an action that can be taken to divert this threat?
Can I enact this response to divert the threat?
Perspective about fear appeals:
Extended Parallel Process Model
Blends Parallel Process & Protection Motivation Models:
MOTIVATION- If threat is perceived as irrelevant/insignificant little motivation to process message
If threat is perceived as serious and relevant, individual becomes fearful; motivated to reduce fear by changing a behavior
EFFICACY- Threat < Efficacy  Danger Control
Adaptive outcome (persuasion successful)
Threat > Efficacy  Fear Control
Maladaptive outcome (denial, etc.)
People may be unmotivated or unable to scrutinize content (ELM) because of...
Personality traits may affect how motivated and able people are to elaborate on info

Receiver = plays an active role
personality (and other variables affecting the receiver) must be considered
Personality trait
The extent to which a person is close minded
Highly dogmatic  prefer a particular conclusion  may not elaborate on the validity of a message
Of all the different philosophies that exist in the world, there is probably only one that is correct”
“There are two kinds of people in this world; those who are for truth and those who are against truth”
High dogmatism
Difficult to persuade
Credible source may increase effectiveness
Low dogmatism
More susceptible to persuasion
Can acknowledge their own shortcomings
Recognize flaws in their own reasoning
Strength of argument more important than credibility of source (Vicchiano, 1977)
Too little- preoccupied; do not process content
Too much- process arguments; but do not yield
Mid-range - most persuadable
Bettinghaus Claim:
Receiver with HSE- more persuaded w/optimistic tone
Receiver with LSE- more persuaded w/pessimistic (threatening) tone
Need for Cognition
Personality variable: To what extent do you enjoy to cognitively elaborate (think)?

High- quality of arguments

Low- cues (heuristics)
Attitudes serve social adjustive function
Engage in approval-seeking behavior
Susceptible to persuasion
Under pressure
Consensus Heuristic (Strickland 1977)
Example: Ad showing the popularity of a product
Attitudes serve value expressive function
Distinguish between high/low credibility of source
Persuaded by highly credible source
Example: Ad with a low credible source, even
Inoculation Theory
Metaphor: Interaction with less harmful disease can prevent harm from (make one immune to) more harmful disease
Inoculation can come from many sources
Previous experience/knowledge
Media (or persuasion source) itself
Theory of Cognitive Dissonance: Three Basic Assumptions
People need cognitive consistency
Cognitive inconsistency- psychological discomfort
Psychological discomfort- motivation to resolve inconsistency (restore balance)
Inconsistency between attitudes =
Inconsistency once a behavior has taken place
Theory of Cognitive IDssonance: Festinger describes two cognitive states
1) Consonance
State of consistency
Thoughts, ideas, values, behaviors
EXAMPLE: The democratic process is important to me, so I’m registered to vote

(2) Dissonance
State of inconsistency  leads to psych. tension
EXAMPLE: The democratic process is important to me, but I’m not registered to vote
Dissonance Increases With…
Personal relevance or importance to us
Strength of the conflicting elements
Inability to rationalize, explain or remedy the inconsistency
Responding to Dissonance
A state of dissonance
(inconsistency of attitudes, behaviors, beliefs)

Powerful motivation to retain cognitive consistency

Potential for irrational and even maladaptive behaviour
Resolving Dissonance
Change behavior
Change attitude
Justify behavior by adding a new cognitive element
Induced Compliance
When you get someone to engage in a behavior that is not in line with their attitude
Paid subjects to lie

But induced compliance, or creating dissonance for individuals, can be a persuasive tactic to change attitudes & behaviors
Examples: free samples, Pepsi challenge
Critiques of Cognitive Dissonance
Not everyone experiences the same level of dissonance
Cannot predict resolution to dissonance
Not falsifiable