Chapter 8: Persuasion
Functions of Attitudes
- Utilitarian function of attitudes: alert to approach rewarding objects and avoid punishing
- Ego defensive function of attitudes: helps maintain beliefs about yourself and the world
and protects from contradictory information. (landscapes and survival)
- The value-expressive function of attitudes: more social than the others. Attitudinal
function where atts help people express their most cherished values (usually in groups
where this can be supported and reinforced) reference groups: groups whose opinions
matter and affect us and our opinions and beliefs. People tend to overestimate the
similarity of their group’s thinking and theirs.
- The knowledge function of attitudes: atts help organize people’s understanding of the
world guiding how they attend to, store, and retrieve info. (debate before elections)
Our atts lead us to seek out and attend to information that bolsters our preexisting atts.
Persuasion and attitude change
- A two process approach to persuasion:
o Heuristic-systematic model: systematic and heuristic routes for persuasion
o Elaboration likehood model (ELM) : central route and peripheral route for
Central route: (or systematic) a persuasive route wherein people think
carefully and deliberately about the content of a message. More enduring
Peripheral route: (or heuristic) relatively simple, superficial cues related
to the message (attractiveness, credibility, length, etc.)
What determines if we will go through central or peripheral? Motivation:
to devote time and energy to a message. Ability: to process the message
in depth. When we have little of both we take the PR.
Factors that make the CR more likely: personal relevance, knowledge and
- Source characteristics: Characteristics of the person who delivers the message.
o Attractiveness: though they tend to attend more peripheral routes.
o Credibility: expertise and trustworthiness
o The sleeper effect: messages from unreliable sources exert little influence initially
but have the potential to shift people’s attitudes over time. You d