Current Issues in Persuasion and Message Processing



Citation:

Joseph R. Priester and W. Fred van Raaij (1995) ,"Current Issues in Persuasion and Message Processing", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, eds. Flemming Hansen, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 43.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, 1995      Page 43

CURRENT ISSUES IN PERSUASION AND MESSAGE PROCESSING

Joseph R. Priester, Fordham University

W. Fred van Raaij, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The objective of the proposed special session is to present current research issues in persuasion. The orientation of the special session is on presenting the results of laboratory experiments conducted across a variety of research questions that have both theoretical and applied importance. The special session will allow for greater understanding of how important factors influence persuasion, and will provide greater specification of existing persuasion theories. The special session will also provide recommendations to practitioners concerning when and how these factors might be best utilized in order to develop persuasive information campaigns. As a consequence of these two foci, the proposed special session will likely be of interest to audiences interested in current theoretical advances concerning attitudes and persuasion, as well as audiences interested in applied persuasion questions. The specific issues to be addressed are an excellent representation of the topics most currently in discussion by both academics and practitioners. The first paper focuses on how racially and sexual orientation prejudice influences message elaboration. This paper will present the first experiments to show that individual differences in prejudice can influence the amount of message elaboration with which message recipients process information concerning stigmatized groups. The second paper focuses on how communicator popularity and product relevance are differentially effective, depending upon the message recipient. This paper presents a theoretical and empirical analysis of these communicator attributes, explaining how they lead to greater advertising effectiveness for the different audiences. The third paper focuses on source trustworthiness, which has been found to influence message scrutiny. This paper examines the issue of advertising effectiveness from a perspective of message elaboration and attitude strength. Together, these presentations will make both theoretical and applied contributions to our understanding of persuasion within a consumer behavior context.

 

PREJUDICE, MESSAGE PROCESSING, AND PERSUASION

Monique A. Fleming, Ohio State University

Paul H. White, Ohio State University

Richard E. Petty, Ohio State University

As a consequence of social marketing campaigns, individuals are often exposed to information on groups toward which they may feel prejudice (e.g., Affirmative Action, Gay civil rights, abortion legislation). To date, there has been little work examining how prejudice towards such groups influences the nature and extent of information processing of such messages. We report two studies which manipulated the race and sexual orientation, respectively, of the person for whom a persuasive message argued, the quality of the arguments presented, and whether the outcome advocated for that person was positive or negative. In study one, our White participants who were low in prejudice against African Americans paid more attention to the quality of the arguments presented in the message when it was about an African American male than did high prejudiced participants, regardless of the valence of the outcome that was advocated. Prejudice level did not affect participants' level of processing when the information was about a White male. In study two, heterosexual participants who were low in prejudice against homosexuals paid more attention to the quality of the arguments presented in the message than did highly homophobic participants when the message argued for a negative outcome for the homosexual, but not when it argued for a positive outcome. These studies together suggest that being low in prejudice against a stigmatized group can motivate majority-group individuals to process information pertaining to a stigmatized group member in certain situations (e.g., such as when a stigmatized group is threatened). Implications for social marketing campaigns and general persuasion issues are discussed.

 

THE INFLUENCE OF COMMUNICATOR TRUSTWORTHINESS OF MESSAGE PROCESSING AND ATTITUDE STRENGTH

Joseph R. Priester, Fordham University

Richard E. Petty, Ohio State University

Recent research has shown that sources perceived to be of low trustworthiness engender greater message scrutiny than sources perceived to be of high trustworthiness. That is, attitudes of individuals exposed to information associated with a communicator of low or questionable trustworthiness are based more upon the cognitive responses of the individuals to the information. In contrast, the attitudes of individuals exposed to information associated with a communicator of high trustworthiness are based more upon simple cue processes (e.g., liking of the communicator). This relationship between communicator trustworthiness and message scrutiny is particularly noteworthy, given both theoretical predictions and experimental results suggesting that the attitudes resulting from thoughtful consideration of message information (i.e., message scrutiny) are stronger (e.g., exhibit greater attitude accessibility, are relatively more persistent, show greater resistant to counterpersuasive attempts, and are more likely to guide future behavior) than attitudes resulting from less effortful, cue-based processes. The implications of this finding are particularly provocative when considered in terms of what attributes are most desirable for an advertisement endorser. Popular canon most typically recommends utilizing high, rather than low, trustworthy endorsers. A series of studies will be presented that examine the relationship between endorser trustworthiness and message scrutiny. The presentation will focus on several research questions designed to better understand the role of endorser trustworthiness and advertising effectiveness.

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Authors

Joseph R. Priester, Fordham University
W. Fred van Raaij, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2 | 1995



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