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Chapter 7

Social Psychology (Cdn Ed) Sanderson & Safdar Chapter 7

8 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY220H1
Professor
Ashley Waggoner Denton

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Description
Chapter 7: Persuasion -examines factors that influence the persuasiveness of tv commercials, etc. Persuasion: communication that is designed to influence a person’s attitudes and behavior How Do We Process Persuasive Messages? -rate of delivery of speech could be more influential than the actual messages: • Study: Ss asked to listen to speech supposedly made by another student; Ss who heard weak arguments at normal rate of speech were least persuaded but Ss who heard weak arguments at fast rate just as persuaded as those who heard strong argument at either normal or fast rate • Faster delivery more amenable to peripheral than central processing; gives ppl less time to think about contents -voice characteristics affect attitude toward advertisement: when listening to recorded ATM card ad, students found voice more credible (either male or female) if it spoke with moderate intensity, no marked voice intonation and fast speech rate Routes to Persuasion -Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM): model describing two distinct routes (central and peripheral) that are used to process persuasive messages • Central/Systematic Route: type of processing that occurs when ppl have ability and motivation to carefully evaluate arguments in a persuasive msg • Peripheral/Heuristic Route: type of processing that occurs when ppl lack motivation and ability to carefully evaluate msg; influenced only by superficial cues -Peripheral Cues: cues that are associated with the context of msg rather than content; e.g. length of msg, source of msg, speed at which msg delivered etc. Factors That Influence Type Of Processing Used -two factors: ability to focus and motivation to focus, that determines which route of processing used Ability to Focus -ppl tend to automatically accept info that they receive and only later process that info and decide whether to reject it -Study: students who were not distracted (doing computer task) while listening to argument to increase school tuition were persuaded by strong msgs but not by weak ones; those who were distracted were somewhat persuaded by both -increasing concentration can lead to higher rates of central processing: • Study: Ss either consumed juice w/ caffeine or without; then read strong msg opposing voluntary euthanasia; these Ss were for voluntary euthanasia; the Ss most convinced were those who had consumed caffeine • Were presumable more aroused and alert, more persuaded by counter-attitudinal msg * * ask Motivation to Focus -even if you have ability to focus, might not have motivation to focus on processing central msg if you are uninvolved or disinterested (w/o motivation, likely to rely on peripheral cues) -Study: familiarity of phrases used in msg influence persuasion • Students asked to read two phrases and rate agreement; each pair had same meaning but one was familiar metaphoric phrase (e.g. don’t put all eggs in one basket) and other was literal (don’t risk everything on single venture); high involvement condition was telling them this was test of language skills; ppl whose involvement was low were more persuaded by familiar phrases than by literal phrases (relied on peripheral cues); high involvement condition were equally persuaded by both phrases (noticed that both msgs have same meanings); they weighed meaning of phrase in making decision -source also affected type of processing: • Study: students listened to arguments in favor of requiring students to pass exam to graduate from uni; listeners who were not highly involved (told tests start 10 years later) more persuaded by expert speaker (regardless of strength of argument) ; students highly involved (told tests start next year) more persuaded by strong arguments, regardless of speaker (expert vs. non expert source) -if argument hard to understand, might also lead to ppl to rely on peripheral processing: • Study: msg to people who disagreed with view expressed; when arguments easy to comprehend, attitudes more favorable when arguments were strong (central processing, stronger arguments appreciated); but when arguments hard to comprehend, attitudes more favorable when source had high status (peripheral factors given more weight) Which Route More Effective? -messages that are high personal relevance motivate us to pay attention; as long as we have ability (no distractions), we process centrally -messages low in personal relevance or need to process while distracted process peripherally -same cue can be processed both ways (white teeth in toothpaste ad, centrally processed because white teeth reflects effective toothpaste but peripherally because white teeth cue attractiveness) -attitude change that is based in central route processing is longer lasting more and resistant to change What Factors Influence Persuasion? -Study: those who drank coffee found both strong and weak reports showing link between caffeine use and fictional disease less convincing than those who didn’t drink coffee -factors that influence effectiveness of persuasive message: source of who delivers msg, content, and audience receiving msg Source: Who Delivers Message 1. Attractiveness: attractive and likeable sources more persuasive than unattractive and unlikeable • Study: attractive ppl more successful in getting signatures in petition than unattractive • Likeable ppl especially persuasive in videotaped and audiotaped msgs; unlikeable ppl more persuasive in writing 2. Similarity: who is more persuasive in getting you buy running shoe; Bolt or friend? Research says good friend, more similar to you and more persuasive • Why advertisements feature ppl who are similar to target audience • Study: students who read speech told was written by fellow UCSB student or by student attending diff Uni; students’ attitudes changed in direction of msg they read when speech delivered by fellow student, but not influenced at all when msg delivered by other uni student • We remember msgs presented by in-group members better than those by out-group • Tend to know in-group members more and more likely to trust them • Also: Identification: more persuaded by ppl who we identify with; can even be influenced by identification with fictional characters o Greater identification with male protagonist who smoked predicted stronger assocations between self and smoking (for both smokers and non smokers) and increased intention of smokers to smoke o Study: students who believed they shared first name and birth day with someone who wrote essay describing negative attitude of their uni agreed more than students who didn’t believe they had this similarity (power of commonalities) • Power of similar sources in leading to persuasion demonstrated by success of Cutco kitchen knives and Tupperware Brands Corporation 3. Credibility: sources who appear credible (competent and trustworthy) more persuasive than those who lack credibility • For children (7-10), best friends are particularly influential; peers in general, not just best friends are also influential • More convinced by sources we believe don’t have ulterior motive for convincing us • Ppl who argue unexpected positions (seem to go against their own self-interests) are often especially persuasive (seen as highly credible) o Study: speech accusing large company of polluting local river given by pro-business candidate more persuasive than given by pro-environmental candidate • Credibility particularly influential when ppl have recently been exposed to another persuasive msg (when ppl have just received persuasive msg from low credibility source, more persuaded by subsequent msg from moderately credible source then if they had first received msg from high credibility source (how we evaluate credibility of source is influenced by not just by their credentials but also by credentials of other sources we have seen) • Repeated exposure to persuasive message can lead ppl to attribute the msg to more credible source: study showed that Ss who were exposed to statement about food legend 5 times more likely to predict it came from Consumer Reports than by National Enquirer vs. those who had heard it 2 times • Sleeper Effect: the phenomenon by which msg that initially is not particularly persuasive becomes more persuasive over time bc ppl forget its source o Study: Ss heard msg by credible or non credible sources and reported attitude change immediately after; those who heard the credible source had greater attitude change, but four weeks after, no difference in attitude change between high and low credibility speaker conditions Content of the Message 1. Length: • Long messages more effective if they are strong and processed centrally; less effective if they’re weak and processed peripherally • Long messages that include weak/irrelevant msgs can have less impact than short, strong and focused messages, particularly if ppl are using central route processing 2. Discrepancy: discrepancy between message and the audience’s original attitude impact persuasiveness • Messages that differ excessively from ppl’s attitudes are likely to be ignored • E.g. heavy coffee drinkers are more critical of study supposedly showing link between caffeine consumption and disease • Virginity pledges have no effect on rates of STDs: although those who made virgitinity pledges started having sex at later age and had fewer sexual partners than those who didn’t make pledge, they were also less likely to use condom when they first had sex and less likely to see doctor bx they were worried about having STD • Ppl also tend to have attitudes that become more extreme over time (people gather support for their own beliefs and ignore disconfirming evidence) o Study: researchers asked students to read two studies, one showing death penalty deterred homocides and the other that showed do deterrence; even though everyone read the same two studies, participants became more extreme in their attitudes (those who were in favor of capital punishment became more in favor, vice versa); also, ppl rated evidence much weaker when it went against their initial views o Ppl who are high in prejudice against homosexuals rated fake scientific study that supported negative views about gay ppl as more convincing than study that refuted these views • Ppl rate info that supports their own view as more convincing than info that goes against these views Audience 1. Demographic Factors • Ppl in late adolescent and early adult years are most influenced by persuasive messages; why this group is coveted by tv execs • Uni students more likely than adults to have less stable attitudes and stronger tendency to comply with authority • Ppl in early and late adulthood (18-89 range) are more responsive to persuasive msgs than those in middle adulthood • Middle aged adults are more confident of their knowledge, of their own correctedness and of the importance of the attitude than younger or older adults • Researchs shows that older adults are more persuaded by msgs that focus on meaningful goals (Take time for the ones you love) whereas younger adults show no such preference 2. Personality • Study: examine the impact of self monitoring (result in ppl changing their attitudes and behavior to fit the situation) on how ppl respond to image based vs. information based ads o Ads for Irish Mint coffee; ad either said “make a chilly night a cozy evening” (image based) or “delicious blend of three flavors” (information based) o High self monitors willing to pay more for product in image ads then information ads; low self monitors were willing to pay more for product in image ads (ppl who are more image conscious are more likely to be influenced by ads that appeal to image vs. that simply offer information) • Perceived persuasiveness of msg increased when there is match between person’s regulatory focus and content of msg o Messages emphasizing positive outcomes (If you eat fruits, you will reduce risks of bad health) more persuasive for those who focused on positive outcomes; people who focused on avoiding negative outcomes more influenced by msgs presenting negative outcome (if you don’t eat enough fruits, it will risk bad health) • People’s need to think about things influence responsiveness to persuasive communication; those who are high in need for evaluating things are less likely to answer “no opinion” on surveys, more likely to express evaluative thoughts when looking at new things o Need for cognition evaluates ppls enjoyment of engaging in effortful processing of information o Those who are high in need for cognition tend to think about information in central route processing o High in need for cognition more persuaded by strong messages (appreciate strength of argument) o Ppl low in need for cognition are more persuaded by attractive sources of persuasive messages (peripheral processin
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