Inicially recruited by the US war department to find ways of convincing the American public to increase its levels of support in the closing stages of world war 2.
Discovered that effective persuasion could be achieved by focusing on
· who says what to whom (who)
· the persuasive message (what)
· the audience (to whom?)
experts -> more credible Bochner & Inkso 1966
· asked students to indicate how much sleep is healthy
· most said approx 8 hours
· then asked one expert and one non-expert to give their opinion
· most students were swayed to be closer to the experts opinion, even when the experts op seemed extreme.
The use of celebrity endorcements can be particularly affective when used as part of the 'pherical route' to persuasion. 'halo effect' . Research support- morton and campbell 2008
· examined the effect of information source on peers' attitudes towrads an unfamiliar child with autism.
· children (mean age 10) recieved info from different sources (parent/teacher/doctor)
· children reported favourable attitudes when the info was provided by extra-familial sources.
'As children age, they better understand the persuasive intent of adverts and are less influenced by them' - Martin 1997
low fear and high fear messages do not appear as effective as moderate fear messages. Mcguire 1968 sugested that low levels of fear do little to motivate and audience whereas high levels (scare tactics) can also rebound because they create so much anxiety in the audience that it interferes with its ability to process the info in the message.
Research support- Lewis et al 2008
effectiveness of fear arousing messages in a drink driving campeign. pps viewed two adverts, and completed two questionnaires. A) assesed pre-exposure to attitudes and behaviour, then immediate post-exposure attitudes and intensions B) two - four weeks later assessing attitudes and behaviour. They found that although fear arousing messages were more effective immediately, long term attitude change was more likely with positive campeigns eg. humour.
Mcguire 1968 suggested that low intelligence audiences are less likely to process the content of a message and so are less likely to process the message in more depth, therefore are less likely to be influenced by it.
High intelligence audiences are more confident int their own views and therefore harder to persuade. Intelligent audiences are likely to process the message in more depth, therefore would reject simple one sided arguments (which are more effective for less intelligent audiences) preferring to hear both sides before making a decision.
Research support- audiences with high involvement in a topic typically react differently to audiences with low involvement when exposed to a persuasie message. Igartua et al 2003 tested the idea that an efficient way to deal with the low involvement of an audience is to insert the messages within an entertainment context. They used fictional short stories to illustrate HIV/AIDS prevention. The findings showed that the better the quality of the fictional story, the more the cognitive processing was induced and a more favourable attitude was stimulated. Shows audience factors don't act independently of message factors.