The Hovland-Yale Model of Persuasion

AO1 and AO2 material for the hovland-yale model of persuasion

for AQA A PSYA4 - Section B (Media Psychology)

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"Discuss the Hovland-Yale Model of Persuasion"
This model of persuasion suggests that there are 3 main factors that play a
role in persuasive communication:
THE SOURCE ­ who is giving the message
THE MESSAGE ­ what the message is saying and how it says it
THE AUDIENCE ­ who is receiving the message
AO1 ­ The Source
The credibility of the source can be affected by a number of factors:
EXPERTISE ­ we are more likely to believe what someone is saying if
they are an expert, rather than a non-expert. Bochner & Insko (1966)
illustrated this and found that a credible expert source (such as a
Nobel Prize winner) was more effective in persuading participants,
even if they were sceptical at first.
POPULARITY ­ we are more likely to believe a popular person over a
non-popular person. This is why companies often employ celebrities to
endorse their products ­ we are more likely to identify with the
celebrity and imitate their behaviour.
ATTRACTIVENESS ­ we are more likely to be persuaded by an
attractive source than a non-attractive or ugly one. This is why many
health care and beauty companies use attractive celebrities in their
SIMILARITY ­ we are more likely to believe someone who is similar to
ourselves. This is because we identify with them as a role model and so
a more likely to imitate their behaviour.
AO1 ­ The Message
The persuasiveness of the message can be affected by a number of factors:
ONE SIDED/TWO SIDED ARGUMENTS ­ McGinnies et al (1966) found
that more intelligent/well educated audiences prefer two sided
arguments which allow them to make their own choice/decision,
compared to one sided arguments (they may become suspicious of
them). Less well educated audiences or particularly partisan (bias)
individuals seem to prefer a one sided argument over a two sided
argument, as they do not have to make a decision themselves.
PRIMACY & RECENCY EFFECT ­ Miller & Campbell (1999) found that
when there was a pause after hearing two messages (but no pause
inbetween), the primacy effect occurred - this is where the first
message is more likely to be persuasive. However, when there was a

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REPETITION ­ Arkes et al (2001) found that if a message is repeated
or rehearsed, it is more likely to have an impact. Simply repeating a
statement increases it's familiarity ­ making it appear to be more
truthful and reliable. Atkinson and Shiffrin's multi-store model of
memory supports this idea.…read more

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For example, Morton & Campbell (2008) investigated the effect of the
information source on peers' attitude towards an unfamiliar child with
autism. Children reported more favourable attitudes towards the child
when the information source was an `extra-familial' source such as a
One weakness of this model is that there is inconsistent support for it.
For example, Tyler & Schuller's `life-long openness' model is
contradicted by Visser & Krosnick's `life-changes in persuasibility'
model.…read more


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