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Chapter 7

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PSYC 2310

Chapter 7- Persuasion Jan. 27 2014 - Persuasion- communication that is designed to influence a person’s attitudes and behaviour How do we process persuasive messages? - Elaboration likelihood model(ELM)- a model describing two distinct routes (central and peripheral) that are used to process persuasive messages • Central/ systematic route processing- a type of processing of persuasive messages that occurs when people have the ability and motivation to carefully evaluate the arguments in a persuasive message • Peripheral/ heuristic route processing- a type of processing of persuasive messages that occurs when people lack the ability and motivation to carefully evaluate a persuasive message, and therefore are influenced only by superficial cues - Two distinct factors that influence which route of persuasion you use: 1. Your ability to focus • It is difficult to concentrate on central messages that require greater processing, and you may therefore rely on peripheral cues • Even subtle factors that increase people’s ability to concentrate can lead to higher rates of central or systematic processing 2. Your motivation to focus • With no motivation you are likely to rely on peripheral cues o Cues that are associated with the context of a message rather than the content o These include length of the message, the source of the message, the speed at which the message is delivered o Can also include the presumed expertise of the person delivering the message • When people are not motivated to examine a message in an objective manner, or when they are distracted and have fewer cognitive resources to devote to considering the message, they are more likely to be persuaded by peripheral cues • Acombination of factors influence the persuasiveness of a message - Messages that are of high personal relevance motivate us to pay attention, and as long as we have the ability (no distractions), we process such messages centrally - Messages that are of low personal relevance or that we need to process while distracted are processed peripherally - The same cue can be processed in different ways, both peripherally and centrally - Although persuasion can and does occur through both central and peripheral routes, attitude change that is based in central route processing is longer lasting and more resistant to future persuasion efforts, suggesting that this is the more effective route to persuasion in the long term What factors influence persuasion? - The source of persuasion refers to the person or persons who deliver the message - The source’s attractiveness, similarity, and credibility can each influence how persuasive the message appears to people • Attractiveness o Attractive and likeable sources are more persuasive than unattractive and less likeable ones o People assume that attractive people have positive qualities (honesty etc.) o Likeable people are especially persuasive in video/ audio taped messages, compared to written ones o Unlikeable people are more persuasive in writing, suggesting that the likeability of the person delivering the message is an especially important predictor of how people respond to TV advertising • Similarity o Advertisements on TV try to feature people who are similar to the target audience o We remember messages presented by in-group members more than the outgroup members and are therefore more likely to trust them and be persuaded by them o We’re more persuaded by people who we identify with o We can even be influenced by identification with fictional characters o Messages delivered by similar sources can be persuasive even if the message feels somewhat coercive o When people perceive that they have something in common with another person, they assume they share other commonalities, and agree more with that person • Credibility o Sources who appear credible (competent and trustworthy), are more persuasive than those who lack credibility o We’re also more convinced by sources that we believe are trustworthy, meaning those who don’t have an ulterior motive for convincing us o People who argue unexpected positions are often especially persuasive because they’re seen as highly credible o Messages that favour a view that goes against participants’ expectations are seen as more factually based than those that subscribe to the expected side, and therefore lead to greater attitude change o The credibility of a speaker is particularly influential when people have recently been exposed to another persuasive message o Repeated exposure to a persuasive message can also lead individuals to attribute the message to a more credible source o Sleeper Effect- the phenomenon by which a messa
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