simple problems” and “enjoy a task that involves coming up with new solutions to
problems”. These individuals tend to prefer central to peripheral processing.
There are three fundamental communicator characteristics: authority, credibility and
Credibility is defined as the attitude toward a source of communication held at a given
time by a receiver. It is an audience member’s perception of the communicator’s
qualities. Expertise, trustworthiness, and goodwill are primary attributes of credibility.
There is a complicating factor, however: context.
A knowledge bias is the presumption that a communicator has a biased view of an issue.
The reporting bias is the perception that the communicator has opted not to report or
disclose certain facts or points of view.
A one-sided message presents one perspective on the issue. A two-sided
communication offers arguments on behalf of both the persuader’s position and the
Two-sided messages influence attitudes more than one-sided messages, provided one
very important condition is met: The message refutes the opposition arguments. When
the communication mentions but does not demolish, an opponent’s viewpoint, a two-
sided message is actually less compelling than a one-sided message.
Evidence: factual statements originating from a source other than the speaker, objects not
created by the speaker, and opinions of persons other than the speaker that are offered in
support of the speaker’s claims. Evidence consists of factual assertions, quantitative
information, eyewitness statements, testimonials, or opinions advanced by credible
Fear: an internal emotional reaction composed of psychological and physiological
dimensions that may be aroused when a serious and personally irrelevant threat is
Fear appeal: a persuasive communication that tries to scare people into changing their
attitudes by conjuring up negative consequences that will occur if they do not comply
with the message recommendations.