ERIC Number: ED225213
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Do Concretely and Abstractly Worded Arguments Require Different Models?
Dale Hample's cognitive model of argument is designed to reflect the operation of syllogistic thought processes. It has been suggested however, that the model applies more closely to abstractly worded arguments than to concrete thinking and that it also may work better with more interested respondents because it seems to describe the central rather than the peripheral routes to persuasion. A study was conducted to examine these hypotheses. Subjects were 233 undergraduates enrolled in communication classes, half of whom were taking required public speaking courses, and half who were communication majors. Students read three experimental booklets, a control containing no message, and two--one abstract and one concrete--containing a "newspaper story" on the economy. Results indicated that both experimental conditions were about equally effective in stimulating belief change. The model, while adequate for concrete messages and relatively uninteresting topics, performed much better for abstract messages, interesting topics, and interested persons. The between-subject correlations gave exceptionally clear evidence for the model's validity, particularly for groups. (Tables of results are included.) (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (68th, Louisville, KY, November 4-7, 1982).