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Chapter 7

Persuasion chap 7 textbook notes.docx

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PSYC 2120
Ward Struthers

Persuasion: communications that are designed to influence peoples attitudes and behavior Two routes of persuasion 1. systematic/central route - type of processing of persuasive messages that occur when people have the ability and motivation to carefully evaluate the arguments in a persuasive message - EX: if you are thinking of buying a car, you decide to read the consumer report and then test drive several cars, and evaluate their different features - EX: after hearing a debate you decide to vote for a candidate because you found candidate view and arguments very convincing 2. peripheral/heuristic route - type of processing 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 - EX: after reading a political debate you made decide to vote for a candidate because you like the sound of the person’s voice or the person went to the same university as you did - EX: you see a television ad in which an attractive man or woman drives a sleek looking car very fast down winding roads in scenic area you might make your decision based on these superficial characters Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM): a model that argues describing two distinct routes that are used to process persuasive message. The two listed above. Factors that influence what type of processing used 1. Ability to focus - if you are distracted, limited ability to focus, its difficult to concentrate on central messages that require greater processing and you may therefore rely on peripheral cues - people tend to automatically accept information they receive and only later process that information and decide whether to reject it - EX: if people are interrupted immediately after hearing some information or under intense time pressure, they are more likely to accept this information incorrectly because they lack the motivation and opportunity to engage in more careful processing 2. Motivation to focus - even if you have ability to focus you might not have the motivation to focus on processing central messages if you are uninvolved or uninterested in the message - with no motivation you will rely on peripheral cues o Peripheral cues: associated with the context of a message rather than content. EX: length of message, speed at which message delivered - 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 - peripheral cues can include expertise of person delivering message i.e message source - those who were not involved less likely to use central processing and more likely to rely on peripheral processes. Primary factor that predicted attitude was expertise of speaker. They were more positive about exams when the message was delivered by a professor than by a highschool student, regardless of strength of argument - for those highly involved, the strength of argument was major predictor of attitudes - if an argument is difficult to understand this may lead people to rely on peripheral processing - when arguments are comprehensible central processing was possible and stronger arguments were therefore appreciated - when arguments difficult to understand attitudes were more favorable when the source had high status Which route is more effective? - messages of high personal relevance motivate us to pay attention and as long as we have the ability we process messages centrally - messages that are low of personal relevance or that we need to process while distracted are processed peripherally - attitude change based in central route processing is longer lasting and more resistant to future persuasion efforts. In long term this is more effective route to persuasion Factors that influence the effectiveness of persuasive message 1. Source: who delivers message - Attractiveness - People assume that attractive people have more positive qualities - Likeable people are especially persuasive in video and audio messages - Unlikeable people are more persuasive in writing - Similarity - Good friend is more similar to you and therefore more persuasive - We remember messages presented by in group member than those presented by outgroup members - We tend to know ingroup members more than outgroup and therefore are more likely to trust the and be persuaded by them - When people perceive that they have something in common with another person they assume they share other commonalities and therefore agree more with that person - Credibility - Sources who appear credible, meaning competent and trustworthy are more persuasive than those who lack credibility - Ex: why doctors are quoted in some advertisements - More convinced by sources that we believe are trustworthy and meaning those who don’t have an ulterior motive for convincing us o EX: if someone asks you to join a health club and you are aware that person will receive a months free membership if you join, you will question credibility of that person - people who argue unexpected positions, meaning those who seem to go against their own self interests are often persuasive because they are seen as highly credible - repeated exposure to a persuasive message can lead individuals to attribute the message to more credible sources - simple repetitions can lead information to be wrongly attributed to more credible source - even non credible sources become more persuasive over time, known as the sleeper effect. This occurs over time and people may remember the message but not the source/speaker. 2. content of message - length - long messages are effective if they are strong and processed centrally but less effective if they are weak and processed peripherally - long messages that include weak or irrelevant messages can have less impact on short strong and focused messages if people are using central processing - discrepancy - messages that differ excessively from peoples attitudes are less likely to be ignored - explains why attitudes become more extreme over time and people gather support for their own beliefs and ignore disconfirming evidence - people tend to see evidence that supports their views as quite strong and evidence that opposes their view as quite weak - people rate information that supports their views as more convincing than information that goes against those views 3. audience who receives the message - Demographic factors - late adolescent and early adult years are more influenced by persuasive messages - compared to adults, uni students have less stable attitudes and stronger tendency to comply with authority which means their attitudes and behavior are more easily influenced - people in early and late adulthood are more responsive to persuasive messages - middle aged adults are more confident of their knowledge and own correctness - Personality - Self-monitoring: which tends to result in people changing their attitudes and behavior to fit the situation on how people respond to image-based and information based magazine ads - People who are more image conscious are more likely to be influenced by ads that appeal to image than those that simply offer information - Perceived persuasiveness of a message was increased when there was a match between a person’s regulatory focus and the content of the message - Messages emphasizing positive outcomes were more persuasive for those who focused on positive outcomes - People who focused on avoiding negative outcomes were more influenced by messages presenting a negative outcome - Another personality factor that can influence responsiveness to persuasive communications is people’s need to think about things - Those who are high in need for evaluating are less likely to answer “no opinion” on surveys and more likely to express evaluative thoughts when looking at new things - Those who are high
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