3CB3 Study Notes 03/23/2014
THE YALE PROGRAM
Carl I Hovland was an influential psychologist who published much but it was difficult to replicate. There
was little evidence for the role of reinforcement in attitudes.
Instructor of the Yale Program , began as part of allies efforts to win WW2, began from Lasswell’s
“Who says what in what channel to whom with what effect.”
Took behaviourist approach, reinforcement oriented approach.
Communicator, message and audience
Communicator, Message, Audience
Source▯ Message (positive attitude)
The source may not actually have this opinion (are being paid to support this product/idea).
Belief that people say what they mean, mean what they say
Audience▯ Message (?)
The message typically contains persuasive arguments about why someone should believe the idea.
Positive reaction should be the result of being persuaded by the source.
Audience▯ Source (?)
Central route to persuasion: facts and content
Peripheral route to persuasion: attributes of the source
Include attractiveness, expertise, likeable
Channel▯ newspapers, magazines, radio, television, mobile devices, internet, facetoface, etc. Bases of Source Influence
Not relevant to attitude change:
Outcome control: ability to deliver rewards and punishments
Employer solicits campaign contributions from employees.
Instructors influence essay positions▯ higher marks assigned to papers that support the beliefs of the
Coercion: use of threat of force (false confessions)
Stockholm Syndrome: case where individuals have been kidnapped but come to adopt the beliefs of their
E.g Patty Hurst> kidnapped and then participated in a bank robbery with the people who kidnapped her.
Government or employer makes demands that must be met
Relevant to attitude change:
Expertise: individual recognized to have experience or knowledge in a particular area or field.
Physicians, scientists, lawyers, etc.
Information: useful information from a source
Referent power: admired individuals, those that we identify with.
Sports, Entertainment figures, Celebrities, parents, political figures, religious figures, friends, etc.
Credibility: mixture of expertise, referent power, status, etc.
At least two of these
“Sleeper Effect” Experiment
Presented individuals with a list of reasons for why it is possible to produce a nuclear bomb. Two different sources for the information
Oppenheimer: credible source
Pravda: communist spokesperson (disliked by N Americans).
Immediate: higher attitude change from Oppenheimer, little by Pravda.
Four weeks later: virtually identical attitude change
The effect of source credibility disappears after a period of time
People may have forgotten about the source, only influenced by the message itself.
Why the Sleeper Effect?
Forgetting of discounting cue information
Dissociation of cue info from message content (no longer match the information with the source).
Differential cue/content decay, with cue decay faster.
Discounting Cues Experiment
Is it dangerous to turn right on a red light?
Message, No Message or Discounting Cue (told that the information the individuals were given was
Immediate: discounting/no message about the same, low amount of attitude change; message high
Five weeks later: discounting cue was about as high as those who received the message only (higher
Message only influence diminishes, discounting cues influence decreases; meet in the middle.
No message had lower attitude change Dangers of a 4 Day work week
No Message (only asked opinion), Message only and Discounting cue after receiving the message OR
Receiving the discounting cue AFTER the message= sleeper effect> huge increase in attitude change
after 6 weeks.
Receiving the discounting cue BEFORE the message= attitude change> very little change in attitude
between immediate and six week later responses.
No attitude change because with a discounting cue before the message, people will not bother to process.
Other Source Variables
Attractiveness: “halo effect”▯ more positive attributes given towards more attractive people.
Attractive individuals make a mistake= more likeable
Unattractive individuals make mistake= less likeable, clumsy
Ingroup vs Outgroup sources: more attitude change from ingroup sources (regardless of other
Trustworthiness or intention: if we believe that the source is trying to change our attitudes, then
we will become more resilient.
Negative vs positive information: people have a better memory for negative stimulus words.
Negative information has more impact
Negative aspects of an ambivalent attitude can have stronger effects on behaviour.
Messages containing negative information are more persuasive than positive counterparts if info is difficult
to process, or recipients are accuracy motivated.
Effects of negative information decreases when people are motivated to process information in an even
handed manner. Effects of negative information increases when people are motivated to see themselves in a positive light.
Messages that emphasize what you will lose by doing/not doing X are more persuasive than what you will
Fear Appeals: only work if people are motivated to bring about action in the face of threat.
Low levels of motivation/ability, fear appeals lead to denial.
Effect depends on the basis of original attitude formation.
Initial attitude formed on the basis of negative affect= fear appeals effective.
Formed on basis of argument evaluation (cognitive basis)= cognitive appeals are more effective.
Finckenauer: Three consequences of undesirable behaviour need to be addressed in a successful fear
Swiftness of negative consequences> quick occurrence
Certainty> high probability of it occurring
Severity> severe negative consequences
Rogers: Adds one more piece of information that must appear in a successful fear appeal:
Info about the effectiveness of a coping response that will reduce or eliminate the problem (must be
available and successful).
Sutton & Eiser: confidence that coping response will be successful.
Argument Quality: strong arguments are more effective than weak
What makes an argument strong or of high quality:
Valence of the Outcomes it gives high probability to> involves high value attitudes.
Novel and valid arguments are more persuasive
Effects of argument quality vary depending on other variables: Quality has more effect when arguments are longer
Outcomerelevant rather than value or impression relevant.
Other Argument Variables
One vs Twosided messages:
Onesided better= audience relatively unintelligent, favour message position.
Twosided better= audience relatively intelligent, opposed to message position.
2sided (w refutation) better than 1sided (w/out refutation).
Implicit vs explicit conclusions:
Implicit better= audience relatively unintelligent, favour message position.
Inverted Ushaped function> persuasion increases with discrepancy, then decreases.
Anticipating communication: less attitude change when audience knows that the message is
coming; unless interaction with the communicator is expected.
Age: younger, older are more persuadable
Intelligence: generally, less persuasion with increasing intelligent
Positive correlation to comprehension, negative to yielding.
Yielding: accepting, adopting the conclusion of the message
Social Environment: more persuasion when in presence of promessage group.
“Group belief” Gender: overall, females are more readily persuaded.
Less so when in an area of personal knowledge
Males more persuadable on feminine topics, females more persuadable on masculine topics.
Greater cultural expectations to conform?
Women are more agreeable and expected to conform
Greater message reception skills?
Females have higher verbal skills
Perceive message clearer, pay more attention
Interaction with gender of persuader?
Women more persuaded by females than males
IntroversionExtraversion: messages that are congruent with personality type are more effective.
More persuaded by sources with the same personality type
Introverts: advertising towards self development
Extraverts: social advantages, respect and more likeable
Mood and Emotion:
Negative mood= greater persuasion from strong arguments
Positive mood= equal persuasion from strong and weak
Less motivation under positive mood? Motivation increases argument processing.
More memories recalled under positive mood? Lowers cognitive capacity, important for
Positive affect as a signal of safety? Less need for detailed information processing. Personality: Related to Major Motives
Knowledge: predictability, control, adaptation to avoid harm
Need for cognition> enjoy problem solving, thinking
Need for evaluation> make judgments
Need for closure> firm final answer to all issues
Causal uncertainty> need to know the reason
Self awareness> understanding who you are
Preference for consistency
Resistance to persuasion
Bolster and Counterargue
Defensive confidence> can defend own beliefs
Need for uniqueness
Individualismcollectivism> individualists more persuaded by normative pressures. Field dependence> introverts/extraverts; extent to which we pay attention to things outside ourselves.
Machiavellianism> need/like to manipulate others.
Personality and Persuasion: Need for Cognition
Tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful thought
18item Need for Cognition Scale
Search all information available info, especially logical and empirical
Elaborate persuasive messages more; focus on validity
Does NOT focus on peripheral cues
Greater primacy effect for sequential arguments
Stronger arguments first to be more persuasive
More effective persuaders
Able to choose the strongest arguments to persuade others
Stronger attitudes, more resistant to change
Thought about their beliefs a lot
Considered their arguments for their beliefs.
Personality and Persuasion: Need to Evaluate
Tendency to engage in evaluative thought
16item Need to Evaluate Scale
Forms opinions about everything
Have higher quantity and more accessible attitudes Attitudes tend to be more stable
Tend to online rather than memorybased attitudes
Form attitudes on the fly more often
Political attitudes and NE:
More evaluative beliefs about candidates
More likely to use issue stances
More likely to be politically active, intend to vote
More intense affective reactions to candidates
Personality and Persuasion: Need for Closure
Desire for definitive answers
Need for certainty, want answers to significant questions
42item Need for Closure Scale
Reduced information processing
Less interested in assessing information
Prefer to have the answer now
More primacy effects, less datadriven
More influenced by peripheral cues
First information presented more influential
More use of peripheral rather than central cues
When initial info low, increased persuadability. When initial opinion exists, reduced persuadability.
Personality and Persuasion: Self Awareness
Awareness of one’s thoughts and attitudes
Higher attitudebehaviour consistency
More resistant to persuasion
Hold on to attitudes more strongly
More difficult to change an already formed attitude
Less dissonancebased attitude change
Reflects a desire to be consistent in one’s attitudes and behaviours.
Personality and Persuasion: Authoritarianism
Acceptance of values advocated by authority.
Importance in central authorities and following leaders.
30item California FScale
Highly positive correlation with prejudice
More persuadable by authority figures
More persuadable by ingroup pressures
Believe in what their group believes
Personality and Persuasion: Resistance to Persuasion
Little attitude change when elaboration is low.
Motivation or opportunity to think about arguments is low, their resistance to persuasion is high. 16item Resistance to Persuasion Scale
More attitude change when elaboration is high
Perhaps because they believe that they are resistant to persuasion they will consider counterattitudinal
arguments and will open themselves more towards counter arguments.
Not threatened by these counterattitudinal ideas.
Personality and Persuasion: Bolstering/Counter arguing
Two strategies to support your current position (favour your position, or counter arguments against the other
12item BolsterCounterargue Scale
Bolster one’s own, or find flaws in other arguments.
High B or C scores are associated with less attitude change.
Personality and Persuasion: Defensive Confidence
Confidence that the individual is capable of defending their ideas.
12item Defensive Confidence Scale
High DC individuals have lower preference for proattitudinal info, greater reception of counterattitudinal
High DC individuals are more likely to change attitude in response to counterattitudinal info.
Protect themselves less against counterattitudinal info.
More receptive to arguments against their attitude.
Personality and Persuasion: SelfEsteem
McGuire ReceptionYielding Model
Two processes to attitude change:
Persuasive message is attended to (perceived, reception)
Getting information relevant to argument into our head Arguments and Conclusion Comprehended
Recipients Yields to Argument and is Convinced
Those higher in Self Esteem are more receptive, more willing to pay attention and process counter
Higher attitude change
Low self esteem individuals are more likely to yield to counterattitudinal information; give in to this info.
High SE= low attitude change
Increase in SE▯ increase in Reception/Comprehension
Increase in SE▯ decrease in yielding
Inverted Ushaped graph
Personality and Persuasion: Need for Uniqueness
Need to feel independent from others
32item Uniqueness Scale
Not afraid of being different
Open to give own opinions even when different from others.
Less attitude change in conformity paradigms.
More likely to speak their mind and call it as they see it.
Much literature from marketing perspective
Preference for unique product designs
Personality and Persuasion: IndividualismCollectivism Need to independent from others; cultural variable
Individualists are more persuaded by individualist benefits, less by group benefits.
Collectivists more persuaded by group benefits, group activities, etc. than by individual benefits.
Individualists are more persuaded by own past behaviour than by behaviour of their peers.
Personality and Persuasion: Field IndependenceDependence
Use of selfproduced vs situational cues
Decide based off of internal vs external cues
Rotted frame test: frame with rod inside the frame, participants asked to align the rod vertical within
the frame with remote.
Vertical in respect to gravity
Tilted chair vs not
High in field independence are more influenced by what their body is telling them about how to tilt the rod.
High field dependent: individuals will eat when the clock is a particular time (meal time) and not just
because they are hungry.
High field independent: individuals will eat when hungry.
High FD: more suggestible and persuadable
High FI: individuals change attitudes more in forced compliance situations (dissonance situations;
Females are generally more FD than males.
Personality and Persuasion: Self Monitoring
Seek social approval and inclusion
Change one’s attitudes and behaviours to please others. Do what other people want
Lower level of consistency in one’s own behaviour.
24item SelfMonitoring Scale
Less susceptible to dissonance manipulations
Not paying attention to what they think inside but what others want.
Lower attitudebehaviour consistency
Behaviour influenced by external context
More susceptible to false feedback about attitudes
Internal states are less accessible to them
People can convince them they have attitudes even if they are attitudes that aren’t theirs.
More influenced by ads with image rather than quality content
“People will think great things about you.”
Personality and Persuasion: Machiavellianism
Manipulate others for personal gain
20item Mach IV Test
Machs better at persuading others (to do what they want).
Machs less influenced by persuasive messages
Not as trusting of others
Machs change attitudes less under dissonance
Care less about internal inconsistency
High Mach stockbrokers earn twice as much as low Machs 3CB3 Study Notes 03/23/2014
ONE AND TWOFACTOR MODELS OF PERSUASION 3CB3 Study Notes 03/23/2014
193070s: Defining factors that influence persuasion
Many factors interact with each other
Mid to late 1970s: Move toward analytic research
Why do factors have the effects they do?
Models of persuasion:
Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)
HeuristicSystematic Model (HSM)
Two routes that lead to persuasion: central or peripheral
As one route is used more or less, move up or down the Elaboration Continuum.
The route used is determined by motivation and capability.
Attitude change depends on the thoughts formed from the argument presented to the individual.
Evaluation of message is positive= attitude change
Low elaboration= peripheral cues/source variables which lead directly to attitude change or persuasion.
High elaboration= source variables have different functions; may bias the amount of elaboration or colour
Elaboration Likelihood Model 3CB3 Study Notes 03/23/2014
Understand why certain audiences comprehend certain messages and are persuaded by certain sources.
Continuation of elaboration
Persuasive Message ▯ Message Elaboration
Different elaboration causes different effects
Elaboration is effected by:
Motivation to do the processing of the message content
Personal relevance: issues important to them
Accountability: being accountable for certain beliefs
Need for cognition: high= process more info
Attitude Congruence: need to have consistent attitudes
No distractions, pressure (cognitive flow)
Able to comprehend the message; arguments are clear and easy to process.
Relevant knowledge available.
Message Elaboration ▯ Thoughts about Message Content
Unfavourable thoughts▯ little persuasion (no attitude change)
Favourable thoughts▯ attitude change towards message
Central route: attitude change is based off the message content
Permanent and more accessible changes in attitude
Message Elaboration is low, then one will rely on peripheral cues
Peripheral route 3CB3 Study Notes 03/23/2014
Motivation is low, Ability is low
Rely on the source’s credibility, expertise
Mere exposure; conditioning
Use of the peripheral route to persuasion leads to:
Temporary attitude change OR no change
Context cues: peripheral route
Elaboration: central route
Depends on the use of elaboration▯ elaboration increase= the use of context cues decreases (central
Testing the ELM
Processing motivation or ability (manipulations in experiments).
Personal relevance of topic (motivation)
Extent of distraction (ability)
Strength of arguments 3CB3 Study Notes 03/23/2014
High Elaboration and Attitudes
More persuasion with strong arguments, more elaboration
Less persuasion with weak arguments, more elaboration
Strengthening of current position
Boomerang effect change in opposite direction
High elaboration attitudes:
More predictive of behaviour
More resistant (if established through central route)
Variables in the ELM
Elaboration Likelihood: motivation and ability
Roles of other variables:
Peripheral cue▯ ‘shortcut’ to attitude formation
Argument▯ attractiveness of the source is an argument for purchasing a particular product.
Biasing factor▯ can shift our level of elaboration up or down
Attractive source may cause us to process more or less.
Direction of processing done
Amount of processing done
Source Variables in ELM: Expertise
The Elaboration Continuum (from the least to most amount of elaboration): 3CB3 Study Notes 03/23/2014
Peripheral cues: “Expert agrees, it must be true.”
Extent of processing: “Expert agree, I should pay attention.”
Influences the amount of elaboration
Metacognition: “Expert agrees, message is probably correct, and I can trust my own reactions so the
message must be correct.”
Give greater credibility to the cognitions that are consistent with the expert, since they must therefore be
Biasing Factor: “Expert agrees, what else might agree?”
Biasing cognitions to be consistent with the arguments being presented by the source.
Argument: “Expert agrees, reason for me to agree as well.”
Source Variables in ELM: Attractiveness
Low levels of elaboration:
Peripheral cues▯ Evaluative conditioning
No processing, thinking
Feel positive about an attractive source
When attractiveness is not relevant to product
Extent of processing: “should pay attention to attractive source.”
Biasing factor: lead us to do more processing, colour our cognitions of the message (make them more
In the middle of the continuum
High levels of elaboration:
Only when attractiveness is relevant to the product
Argument: “If I use this product, I will look as good as she does.”
Process attractiveness as an argument for the use of a particular product or service. 3CB3 Study Notes 03/23/2014
Source Variables in ELM: Bias
When argument is for something that is related to self interest
Only shows up in the mid range of the elaboration continuum.
Biasing: more positive, fewer negative cognitive responses to unbiased source.
Negative cognitions towards a bias source
Message Variables in ELM: Quality
Low elaboration= quality of arguments are not important
Not evaluating the message
High elaboration= message quality has a greater effect on attitudes
Attitude change decreases if message quality is low, increases if message quality is high.
Message Quality Interactions
High involvement= quality more important (higher relevance)
Function Matching: argument addresses important concerns of the audience.
High match= quality more important
Less relevance= less elaboration= less importance of message quality.
Negative mood= quality more important (higher on the elaboration continuum).
Need for Cognition: 3CB3 Study Notes 03/23/2014
High need= quality more important
High on the elaboration continuum, need to process information and think about what the message is
Message Variables in ELM: Quantity
Low elaboration= influenced by the quantity of the argument
High elaboration= content is more important than quantity
Note slide 14
Higher attitude change with high quantity
Message Variables in ELM: PrimacyRecency
Message order may influence attitude change in a particular direction.
When giving pros and cons towards a particular attitude object.
If you want people to agree with something:
Higher elaboration= influenced more by the first arguments
Low elaboration= influenced more by last things they hear
Audience Variables in ELM: Affect
Low levels of elaboration= affect is a peripheral cue
Associate good mood with the arguments being presented
Information: 3CB3 Study Notes 03/23/2014
Moderate amount of elaboration
Mood serves as information, reason to believe that the cognitions I have are correct towards the attitude
Moderate amount of elaboration
Positive affect increases the amount of processing