Chapter Four: Credibility
Charisma is a lay term used to describe someone who possesses an indefinable charm or allure. (Hitler,
Since it is a fuzzy concept, persuasion researchers rely on related concepts called ethos or credibility
Ethos is similar to charisma, it can be defined and measured with greater precision.
Celebrity Selling Power: The Answer is in the Stars
Match-Up hypothesis: celebrity endorsers must be a good fit for the brand.
They need to fit due to meaning transfer perspective which is an endorsers public persona is projected
onto a brand. There is a reason Sean Connery is a endorser of Louis Vuitton.
Scandals affect the endorsements. Ie) Phelps and Kellogg‟s.
Most endorsement deals include a moral turpitude clause that allows the void of a contract for serious
What is credibility?
O‟Keefe defined credibility as judgements made by a perceiver concerning the believability of a
o Important feature is recognition that credibility is a receiver based construct- it exists in the eye
of the beholder.
o Anorder important feature: it is not one dimensional: it is a multidimensional construct.
o 3 feature: situational or contextual phenomenon; it changes from one audience/setting to
Credibility is dynamic.
The Factor Analytic Approach to Credibility
Just as chefs are interested in what ingredients go into award-winning recipes, persuasion researchers
have tried to determine the underlying dimensions of credibility.
In 60‟s and 70‟s researchers began to use a statistical technique known as factor analysis to uncover the
underlying dimensions or ingredients of credibility.
There is now evidence for three primary dimensions of credibility:
o Expertise (competence or qualification)
Cares about you
Has interests at heart
Concerned with you
There are also Secondary Dimensions:
Primary Dimensions of Credibility:
Expertise is the first, the persuader must know their stuff or appear to know. Trustworthiness is the
second, the persuader must appear knowledgeable, but also convey an impression of honesty and
integrity. Lastly, goodwill is synonymous with perceived caring. A person must seem to care about and
take a genuine interest in the receiver, but also displaying empathy.
Secondary Dimensions of Credibility:
Dynamism/Extroversion has to do with how energetic, animated or enthusiastic the person seems.
Composure is how calm, cool and collected the person seems in a situation. And Lastly, sociability is a
persons‟ friendliness or likableness, incredibly important to people professions. Credibility as a Peripheral Cue
The ELM (elaboration likelihood model) acknowledges that in most persuasive situations receivers
tend to favor one route over another. Which route they favor depends on their involvement in the issue
As a general rule, source credibility exerts more influence on receiver who aren‟t hi