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PERSUASION AND THE
ELABORATION LIKELIHOOD MODEL

INVOLVEMENT
a state if energy (arousal) that a person experiences in regard to a consumption-related activity

Involvement is often thought of as a

  • continuum of personal relevance
  • continuum of a willingness to expend effort

This continuum is anchored by

  • HIGH involvement
  • LOW involvement


HIGH INVOLVEMENT

  • high levels of energy are aroused within the consumer

  • this energy is directed toward some particular consumer activity

A person under conditions of high involvement is likely to be thinking more or feeling more strongly.


LOW INVOLVEMENT

  • lower levels of energy are aroused within the consumer

  • the consumer will invest less energy into their thoughts or feelings


ELABORATION LIKELIHOOD MODEL

    Central Route<============>Peripheral Route

     "thoughtful"<============> "mindless"

  • proposes that people are neither universally "thoughtful" in evaluating a persuasive message nor universally "mindless"

  • central and peripheral routes represent positions on a continuous dimension ranging from high to low elaboration likelihood


CENTRAL ROUTE

When the person has the motivation and ability to engage in issue-relevant thinking:

  • elaboration likelihood is said to be high

  • person is likely to scrutinize and elaborate upon the message, draw inferences

  • person will tend to engage in effortful thinking about the issue

Outcome:
this is expected to result in an attitude change that is more enduring, more temporally stable, more accessible in memory


PERIPHERAL ROUTE

As various factors in the situation reduce a person's motivation or ability to think about an issue:

  • the elaboration likelihood is said to be low

  • person will tend to avoid effortful thinking about the issue

  • person will conserve cognitive resources or expend them on some other irrelevant task

  • person will tend to engage in a superficial analysis of the issue, drawing a "reasonable" attitude based on non-issue-relevant cues

Outcome:
this is expected to result in an attitude change that is less enduring, less temporally stable, less accessible in memory


When a message is on an issue of HIGH involvement or prior knowledge:

  • the message content will become a more important determinant of persuasion

  • it will be more difficult to find any effects of source credibility

  • more thinking will occur in response to a source of high credibility than of low credibility

  • thinking will be guided primarily by the quality of the arguments presented in the communication

  • highly credible speakers will be more persuasive than speakers of low credibility primarily for appeals with strong arguments

  • the credibility effect should be attenuated or reversed for appeals with weak arguments or no arguments


When a message is on an issue of LOW involvement or prior knowledge:

  • more thinking will occur in response to a source of low credibility than of high credibility

  • this thinking will be guided primarily by the person's preexisting attitude on the issue

  • highly credible speakers will be more persuasive than speakers of low credibility primarily for counterattitudinal appeals

  • this credibility effect should be attenuated or reversed for pro attitudinal appeals

  • use a high credibility source to change attitude

  • use a low or high credibility source to reinforce existing attitude


One sided messages reinforce existing points of view.

Two sided messages (both points of view) are more effective than one-sided messages in terms of changing a strongly held attitude.

Which is better?


High involvement situation:

  • emphasize the message content

  • guide thinking by using high quality, strong arguments

  • stimulate thinking with a source of high credibility

note: use two sided message to stimulate thinking if supportive of your view


Low involvement situation:

  • stimulate thinking with a source of low credibility (i.e., don't stimulate with high credibility)

  • emphasize the recipient's preexisting attitude on the issue using a source of low credibility
and/or
  • use a source of high credibility to counter a preexisting attitude

note: peripheral cues might be more important

note: use one sided message to reinforce existing attitude