Media and Persuasion PSYA4


A01- Explaining persuasiveness of media

Hovland-Yale Model

  • Source Factors:
    • Experrts more effective because more credible.
    • Popular and attractive sources more persuasive (e.g Bono or Cheryl Cole)
  • Message Factors:
    • Messages more effective if we think they are not intended to persuade.
    • Messages can be more effective if it creased moderate level of fear and linked to mastery approach.
  • Audience Factors:
    • Low-intelligence audiences less likely to process content of message so less easily influenced.
    • Both sides of an argument more effective with intelligent audiences.
    • Younger people susceptible to persuasive power of advertising.

Elaboration-Liklihood Model (ELM)

(see spider diagram)

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A02- Evaluation

Hovland-Yale Model

  • O'Mahoney and Meenaghan found that celebrity endorsement arent as convinsing or beleivable as first thought and Hume found celebrity endorsements where not persuasive.
  • Fear appeals persuasive if audience informed how to avoid danger. (ICE Campaign)
  • Women more susceptible to persuasive communications (Eagly and Carli) but was due to topic used in research. (Karabenick)
  • Methodological problems with Hovland-Yale approach limited research sample and artificial conditions.


  • Lin et al study contributes to a better understanding of the effects of online reviews for different audiences. (If mobile phone had a lot of high quality reveiws, not based purely on emotion, more likely to purchase it)
  • Peripheral route influence may only be temporary- 'Magic' Johnson and attitude to AIDS victims.
  • Fiske and Taylor human beings are cognitive misers so may be motivated to take peripheral route with adverts.
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A03- IDAs

  • Methodogical Problems- The Hovland-Yale approach used a group of students and army personnal for his original research and even Hovland suggests this selection cant be generalised for whole public.
  • Cultural Bias- doesnt show differences in media influences in a democratic country to a communist country and how the ideology may influence.
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A01- Persuasiveness of Television Ads


  • Hard sell (factual) and soft sell (subtle) advertising techniques.
  • High self-moitors prefer soft sell, low self-monitors prefer hard sell.
  • Celebrity endorsements provided someone who can be trusted but not as cerdible as 'experts'.
  • Martin- meta-analysis found strong positive correlation between age and understanding of persuasive intent.
  • Pester power of children- demonstrated in Pine and Nash where they found that the more adverts shown the more likely to child will want it.
  • In Cinema the audience are enclosed and more likely to watch the adverts than if at home they will walk out.

Health Related Behaviour Change

  • Erfgen- research on a celebritiy endorsement ignores different models of endorsement.
  • Brushman- TV ads more persuasive if congruence between programme content and the content of the ad.
  • less likely to remember adverts when in a sexula or violent TV programme than if in a neutral programme.
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A02- Evaluation


  • Hume concluded that celebritish endorsement did not significantly increase persuasive communication of adverts.
  • Difficulty to determine impact of exposure to commercial TV because of parental mediation and peer influence.
  • Cinema advertising may be more effective than TV because audience leave room later than if in the comfort of own home.

Health-Related Behaviour Change

  • Sex and Violence impairs persuasiveness of ads. (Bushman)
  • Hard sell ads more beleiveable but less likely to create positive attitudes and more irritating.
  • Problems of measurement- in advertising research, what is measured is attitude rather than behaviour.
  • Bushman- less likely to remember and be persuaded by ads embedded in violent or sexual programmes.
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A03- IDAs

  • Cultural Differences- Pine and Nash studied childrens gift requests in the US and Sweden. In Sweden TV persuading aimed at under 12s is banned. They found fewer gift requests with the Swedish cimpared to US who has free-er rights.
  • Gender Bias- men are shown in authority and dominance and when shown in a non gender role e.g cooking they are shown as incompetant. These stereotypes reinforce the traditional role of women as caretakers.
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