Examines the process of attitude formation and change in audience members and the modification of behavior upon attitude change.
A person's attitude is an important mediating variable between exposure to new information and behavioral change.
Emotional, logical, short, long
High or low in prior knowledge
Elaboration Likelihood Model (Cacioppo and Petty)
Persuasion can occur when thinking is high or low. The process that occurs during the yielding stage can be thought of as engaging either of two relatively distinct routes of persuasion; central and peripheral.
Effortful cognitive activity. Careful scrutiny of the information relevant to determining central merits of the position advocated.
Lazy organisms/ cognitive misers. Reliance on simpler means of evaluation.
Receiver-related variables that affect the amount of thinking.
1) Personal relevance
2) Need for cognition
3) Eternal distraction
4) General intelligence
Often function as peripheral cues; under some conditions some source factors can influence elaboration likelihood.
Personal Relevance-Central Route
Percieved importance. Higher relevance =
Greater elaboration likelihood
Greater scrutiny of the argument
Greater significance of argument quality in persuasion.
Personal Relevance-Peripheral Route
Lower relevance =
less likelihood of elaboration
less scrutiny of the argument
greater significance of cues in persuasion
Need for Cognition
People differ in their tendency to think in a wide variety of situations. Different personality traits.
Social context; distraction reduces the ability to think about a message. A message that elicits favorable thoughts will be less effective. A message that normally elicits unfavorable thoughts will be more effective.
Message Factors-Elaboration Likelihood
Unexpected or unusual message; Questions vs. Statements; Channel of origin.
Long term effects. Relatively easy to access from memory; persistent over time; predictive of behavior; resistant to change.
Short term effects. Less accessible; less enduring; less resistant to subsequent attacking messages; less predictive of behavior.