Persuasion Theory And Research Pdf
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Persuasion: Theory and Research
The elaboration likelihood model ELM of persuasion  is a dual process theory describing the change of attitudes. Petty and John Cacioppo in The ELM proposes two major routes to persuasion: the central route and the peripheral route. For instance, as the picture shows, a person is considering buying a car and he is persuaded by his friend to buy a certain model.
Once he generates favorable thought along the central route, the ELM predicts he will accept the message and the result is enduring. Elaboration likelihood model is a general theory of attitude change. According to the theory's developers Richard E. Petty and John T. Cacioppo , they intended to provide a general "framework for organizing, categorizing, and understanding the basic processes underlying the effectiveness of persuasive communications". The study of attitudes and persuasion began as the central focus of social psychology, featured in the work of psychologists Gordon Allport and Edward Alsworth Ross Allport described attitudes as "the most distinctive and indispensable concept in contemporary social psychology".
Petty and Cacioppo suggested that different empirical findings and theories on attitude persistence could be viewed as stressing one of two routes to persuasion which they presented in their elaboration likelihood model. There are four core ideas to the ELM. Conversely, as argument scrutiny is increased, peripheral cues become relatively less important determinants of persuasion.
Assumption 7: "Attitude changes that result mostly from processing issue-relevant arguments central route will show greater temporal persistence, greater prediction of behavior and greater resistance to counter-persuasion than attitude changes that result mostly from peripheral cues. The elaboration likelihood model proposes two distinct routes for information processing : a central route and a peripheral route.
The ELM holds that there are numerous specific processes of change on the "elaboration continuum" ranging from low to high. When the operation processes at the low end of the continuum determine attitudes, persuasion follows the peripheral route. When the operation processes at the high end of the continuum determine attitudes, persuasion follows the central route.
The central route is used when the message recipient has the motivation as well as the ability to think about the message and its topic.
When people process information centrally, the cognitive responses, or elaborations, will be much more relevant to the information, whereas when processing peripherally, the individual may rely on heuristics and other rules of thumb when elaborating on a message. Being at the high end of the elaboration continuum, people assess object-relevant information in relation to schemas that they already possess, and arrive at a reasoned attitude that is supported by information.
The first are the factors that influence our motivation to elaborate, and the second are the factors that influence our ability to elaborate. Motivation to process the message may be determined by a personal interest in the subject of the message,  or individual factors like the need for cognition.
However, if the message recipient has a strong, negative attitude toward the position proposed by the message, a boomerang effect an opposite effect is likely to occur.
That is, they will resist the message and may move away from the proposed position. Being at the low end of the elaboration continuum, recipients do not examine the information as thoroughly. Because people are "cognitive misers," looking to reduce mental effort, they often use the peripheral route and thus rely on heuristics mental shortcuts when processing information. When an individual is not motivated to centrally process an issue because they lack interest in it, or if the individual does not have the cognitive ability to centrally process the issue, then these heuristics can be quite persuasive.
Robert Cialdini 's Principles of Social Influence , which include commitment, social proof, scarcity, reciprocation, authority, as well as liking the person who is persuading you, are some examples of frequently used heuristics.
Peripheral route processing involves a low level of elaboration. If these peripheral influences go completely unnoticed, the message recipient is likely to maintain their previous attitude towards the message. Otherwise, the individual will temporarily change his attitude towards it. This attitude change can be long-lasting, although durable change is less likely to occur than it is with the central route.
The two most influential factors that affect which processing route an individual uses are motivation the desire to process the message; see Petty and Cacioppo, and ability the capability for critical evaluation; see Petty, Wells and Brock, The extent of motivation is in turn affected by attitude and personal relevance.
Individuals' ability for elaboration is affected by distractions, their cognitive busyness the extent to which their cognitive processes are engaged by multiple tasks  , and their overall knowledge. Attitudes towards a message can affect motivation.
Drawing from cognitive dissonance theory , when people are presented with new information a message that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values, they will be motivated to eliminate the dissonance, in order to remain at peace with their own thoughts. They may also use their world knowledge to construct new theories about how their particular personality traits may predispose them to academic success Kunda, If they succeed in accessing and constructing appropriate beliefs, they may feel justified in concluding that they will be academically successful, not realizing that they also possess knowledge that could be used to support the opposite conclusion.
Personal relevance can also affect an individual's degree of motivation. For instance, undergraduate students were told of a new exam policy that would take effect either one or ten years later. The proposal of the new exam policy was either supported by strong or weak arguments. Those students who were going to personally be affected by this change would think more about the issue than those students who were not going to be personally affected.
An additional factor that affects degree of motivation is an individual's need for cognition. Individuals who take greater pleasure in thinking than others tend to engage in more effortful thinking because of its intrinsic enjoyment for them, regardless of the importance of the issue to them or the need to be correct. Ability includes the availability of cognitive resources for instance, the absence of time pressures or distractions and the relevant knowledge needed to examine arguments.
Distractions for instance, noise in a library where a person is trying to read a journal article can decrease a person's ability to process a message. Cognitive busyness, which can also serve as a distraction, limits the cognitive resources otherwise available for the task at hand assessing a message. Another factor of ability is familiarity with the relevant subject. Though they might not be distracted nor cognitively busy, their insufficiency in knowledge can hinder people's engagement in deep thinking.
Some psychologists lump opportunity in with Ability as it primarily relates to the time available to the individual to make a decision. The popular train of thought today is that this is a category of its own. Message repetition enables more argument scrutiny. If the argument is strong, repetition leads to more change in attitude. For example, in marketing research, advertising leads to a favorable brand attitude as long as the arguments are strong and tedium is not induced.
The effect of repetition also depends on other factors such as content of argument, and previous knowledge and attitude. When Distraction is high, elaboration is lower due to limited mental power. In this case, people are less influenced by the quality of the argument in a persuasive message. Rather, they focus on simple source cues. A variable is essentially anything that can increase or decrease the persuasiveness of a message.
Attractiveness , mood and expertise are just a few examples of variables that can influence persuasiveness. Variables can serve as arguments or peripheral cues to affect the persuasiveness of a message. Under high elaboration, a given variable e. While this is similar to the Einstein example above, this is a shortcut which unlike the Einstein example does not require thought.
Under moderate elaboration, a variable may direct the extent of information processing e. If subjects are under conditions of moderate elaboration, variables might enhance or reduce the persuasiveness in an objective manner, or bialy motivate or inhibit subjects to generate a certain thought.
The distraction will enhance the persuasion of a weak argument but reduce the persuasion of a strong argument. Recent scholars studied persuasion combining ELM  with another concept self-validation : to affect the extent to which a person trusts their thoughts in response to a message self-validation role.
If he doesn't deem himself as correct, he will mentally abandon his own thought. Because of its metacognitive nature, self-validation only occurs in high-elaboration conditions. The ELM posts that variables credulity, happiness, etc. Conversely, if they are shaking their heads, they will be less self-affirmed about their thoughts.
See more examples in Postures. For an individual intent on forming long-lasting beliefs on topics, the central route is advantageous by the fact that arguments are scrutinized intensely and that information is unlikely to be overlooked.
However, this route uses a considerable amount of energy, time, and mental effort. It is not worthwhile to exert considerable mental effort to achieve correctness in all situations and people do not always have the requisite knowledge, time, or opportunity to thoughtfully assess the merits of a proposal.
This is particularly advantageous in situations in which one must make a decision within a small time constraint. On the other hand, the peripheral route is prone to errors in judgment, at least in attributing reasons for behaviors. However, sleeper effect could influence the strength of persuasion. It is noteworthy that high elaboration does not necessarily lead to attitude change.
A famous study on reaction is conducted by Pennebaker and Sanders in The result of experiment suggests the amount of graffiti written on the threatening placards was significantly positively related to both authority and threat level.
Findings are interpreted as reflecting reactance arousal. In addition, inoculation theory must also be taken into account when it comes to persuasion. Researchers have applied the elaboration likelihood model to many fields, including advertising , marketing , consumer behavior and health care , just to name a few. The elaboration likelihood model can be applied to advertising and marketing. In , Petty, Cacioppo and Schumann conducted a study to examine source effects in advertising.
The authors purposefully made one group of subjects highly involved with the product, by telling them the product would be test marketed soon in the local area and by the end of the experiment they would be given a chance to get a disposable razor. Whereas, the authors made another group of subjects have low involvement with the product by telling them that the product would be test marketed in a distant city and by the end of the experiment they would have the chance to get a toothpaste.
In addition to varying involvement, the authors also varied source and message characteristics by showing a group of the subjects ads featuring popular athletes, whereas showing other subjects ads featuring average citizens; showing some subjects ads with strong arguments and others ads with weak arguments. This experiment shows that when the elaboration likelihood was low, featuring famous athletes in the advertisement would lead to more favorable product attitudes, regardless of the strength of the product attributes presented.
Whereas when elaboration likelihood was high, only the argument strength would manipulate affected attitudes. Lee's finding also helps to understand celebrity endorsement as not only a peripheral cue but also a motivation for central route. Later in , Bitner, Mary J. They proposed in the marketing context, the determinant of routes is more complex, involving variables of situation, person, and product categories.
It is widely acknowledged that effects of ads are not only limited to the information contained in the ad alone but are also a function of the different appeals used in the ads like use celebrities or non-celebrities as endorsers.
The finding showed while endorser type did not significantly affect consumer attitudes, behavioral intentions and information search behavior; level of disease state involvement, though, did.
Elaboration likelihood model
Daniel James O'Keefe. Persuasion : Theory and Research. N2 - Persuasion: Theory and Research, Third Edition is a comprehensive overview of social-scientific theory and research on persuasion. Written in a clear and accessible style that assumes no special technical background in research methods, the Third Edition has been thoroughly revised to reflect developments in persuasion studies. New discussions of subjects such as reactance and the use of narratives as vehicles for persuasion, revised treatments of the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior, and two new chapters on social judgment theory and stage models provide your students with the most current work on persuasion in a clear, straightforward manner.
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PDF | The article outlines a series of persuasion theories in social psychology. Persuasion may Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate.
Persuasion : theory and research
The elaboration likelihood model ELM of persuasion  is a dual process theory describing the change of attitudes. Petty and John Cacioppo in The ELM proposes two major routes to persuasion: the central route and the peripheral route. For instance, as the picture shows, a person is considering buying a car and he is persuaded by his friend to buy a certain model. Once he generates favorable thought along the central route, the ELM predicts he will accept the message and the result is enduring.
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