ERIC Number: ED196065
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Stages in the Analysis of Persuasive Messages: The Role of Causal Attributions and Message Comprehension.
Wood, Wendy; Eagly, Alice H.
According to an attribution analysis, changing one's opinion toward the position advocated in a persuasive message is an outcome of one's inferences concerning why the communicator has taken the position. A study was undertaken to clarify the cognitive steps by which recipients went from information about communicator characteristics or situational pressures on the communicator to changing (or not changing) their opinions. Premessage expectancies were examined by means of "expectancy subjects," who were not exposed to a message but received information about an attribute of the communicator. To demonstrate that this information created an expectancy about the communicator's position, these subjects then estimated the position the communicator would take in the message. This assumed that subsequent to receiving the communicator's position on the issue, recipients made use of the causally relevent information they had available prior to the message. The degree to which this premessage expectancy was confirmed by the position the communciator took in the message was then assumed to affect the outcome at each step of the recipients' postmessage processing. The general impression conveyed by the findings of this study is a lack of sensitivity of premessage and postmessage processing to variations in the communication situation. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Montreal, Canada, September 1-5, 1980).