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Chapter 10


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Western University
Psychology 3723F/G
James M Olson

Chapter 10 The External WorldTimeMost research looks at the effect of receiving one cognitive affective or behavioural intervention on attitudes over a limited period of timeHowever in the real world were presented with millions of messages that are presented more than onceRepeated MessagesSimplest example of a multimessage environmentStudy found that participants attitudes and issuerelevant thoughts were more consistent with the message when it was presented three time than when it was presented onceHowever when message was presented five times participants were significantly less persuadedInterpreted these results using the Elaboration Likelihood Model and suggested that repetition increased the ability to comprehend strong arguments up to a point after which the message becomes tediousThis tedium may have led recipients to counterargue the messageIt may be possible that people experience a feeling that their freedom of opinion is being threatened when messages repeatedly try to sway their viewsClear that increased comprehension is useful for explaining the increased agreement with fewer repetition stages because subsequent research found that 3 exposures to weak arguments decreased persuasion relative to one exposureDecrease happens if repeated exposure makes it easier for people to see flaws in messageSupporting and Contradictory MessagesPersuasive messages seen as good or bad depending on the quality of arguments and whether we agree with the point they are trying to makeResearch studied peoples abilities to resist attacks against wellknown truisms beliefs so widely accepted that people rarely question them and fail to develop arguments to support themPeople dramatically reduce their acceptance of truism after they are given arguments attacking themPeople can be exposed to prior messages that will provide one of two types of defenses against such attacksSupportive defensesprovide people with information supporting the belief that is about to be attackedCompared these to vitaminsstrengthen resistance by providing ammunition for fighting a threatRefutational defensesprovide people with arguments against the beliefs and rebuttals of the argumentsCompared these to medical inoculationexpose people to a small sample of arguments against the truism giving people chance to form counterargumentsRefutational approach is effective at increasing resistance to subsequent attacks although supportive defenses can be effective as wellDefenses work better when they help people form arguments that are directly relevant to the subsequent attacks than when they help form arguments that defend the truism but are not directly threatened by subsequent attacksMetacognitive model of attitude provides framework for helping to understand these effectsRecall model assumes that people form beliefs about validity of their own thoughtsPeople might not always see their resistance of a prior message such as an inoculation message as being completely legitimate or correctEg may doubt their own attitudes after receiving a persuasive message if they discover theyd been influenced by the minority status of the source of messageWhen people suspect they have resisted a message in an illegitimate way they can become less certain about their attitudeThis lower certainty makes them more susceptible to subsequent persuasive messageResistance against an initial persuasive message in a sequence can induce higher certaintyPeople might find theyd resisted arguments from a source that was credible or very strong
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