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2p30 March 5.docx

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Gordon Hodson

2P30 March 5 (Contemporary) Cognitive Approaches to Persuasion - traditional approaches revealed much about when and how persuasion happens “Cognitive Response Analysis” - What do people think about when exposed to persuasion attempt? - How do these thoughts and mental processes -> persuasion? Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) 1. Central Route Processing a. When you use: when the message is important, interesting or personally relevant b. When is happens: cognitive elaborations (careful information processing) c. Results: persuaded by the strength/quality of the message 2. Peripheral Route Processing a. When you use: when the message is unimportant not personally relevant b. What happens: shallow information processing; using heuristics c. Result: use persuasion cues (e.g., prestige of the speaking; mood; how handsome he is) rather than cognitive elaboration; message quality less important Examples of Heuristics: - “Experts are to be trusted” - “Consensus implies correctness” - “We agree with people that we like” Central and Peripheral Routes to Persuasion - chart on Sakai Petty and Cacioppo (1984) - IV 1: exposed Ps to weak or strong arguments, advocating comprehensive exams - IV 2: given 3 or 9 arguments that were either weak or strong o Heuristic: “more arguments means better arguments” - IV 3: low vs. high (i.e. affect you); personal relevance - Low relevance: processed heuristically – processed number of arguments rather than quality of arguments - High relevance: processed quality of arguments Findings and Implication: - Weak argument, when added to strong ones, will weaken the case (reduce persuasion), especially when it’s personally relevant - Central route leads to lasting persuasion - Central route leads to more resistant to additional persuasion attempts - Central route leads to attitude behavioural link strengthened Conclusions: - Central processing requires ability and motivation - Therefore, central less likely to happen - I.e., are “cognitive misers” when more relevant, or when cognitively busy - Two routes can co-occur Cognitive Dissonance Festinger (1957) - Sometimes we change our own attitudes - Tensions created when experiencing dissonance (inconsistency) between: o A) beliefs/attitude o B) beliefs/attitudes vs. behaviours - Focal Element: I smoke cigarettes o Dissonant Element:  Smoothing is a healthy hazard o Consonant Element:  Smoking keeps my weight down How Dissonance Reduction Works: - Alternative to reduce dissonance and restore consonance: o 1. Change attitude (to be consonant with behaviour) o 2. Change behaviour (to be consonant with attitude) o 3. Maintain both the attitude and the behaviours but introduce an additional cognition (to restore consonance between them attitude and behaviour ** Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) - Ps completed a very boring, repetitive task - Upon leaving, asked to tell the next participant that the task very interesting (i.e. a lie) - Given either $1 or $20 for doing so - After, rate the favourability of the task Results: - $1 reward Ps showed higher contentment with the study than the $20 reward Ps - good reason for attitude-discrepant behaviour ($20) -> weak dissonance -> little attitude change - weak reason for attitude-discrepant behaviour ($1) -> strong dissonance -> much attitude change Post-Choice Dissonance - decisions can produce dissonance o when you choose something from your own free will, you’ll convince yourself it was the right/good choice - Brehm study: o Women rate 8 products; no manipulation, simply asking their opinion o Then shown 2 items, told they could keep whichever one they chose o They then rated product again - Result: o Increase positive evaluation of the chosen item, and a decreased evaluation of the item they didn’t choose Self-Perception Theory - Alternative (parsimonious) theory to dissonance theory - Bem (1972) o Observe own behaviour when making attributions o Infer own attitude from own behaviour o How is this different from dissonance theory?  No motivation (or tension) When Self-Perception “Works” - This happens when you consider things/attitudes to be unimportant Changing Behaviour: Influence and Conformity 1. Norms a. Asch line length studies b. Sherif auto-kinect effect studies - shared beliefs about what is the appropriate conduct for a group member - attitudinal and behaviour uniformities that def
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