17. What is the role of persuasive communication in attitude change?Persuasion refers to efforts to change our attitudes through the use of various kinds of messages. Social psychologists have derived various insights into the cognitive processes that play a role in persuasion (e.g., Petty et al.,2003; Wegener & Carlston, 2005).
Factors affecting attitude change through persuasion are:
1. Source of the message (Person or institution):
a. Credibility – communicators seem to know what they are talking about, and appear to be unbiased
b. Attractiveness - physical attractiveness and similarity (Hovland & Weiss, 1951)
2. Content of the message:
a. Suggestion – uncritical acceptance of statement
b. Messages do not seem to be designed to change our attitudes are more successful (Walster & Festinger, 1962)
c. When fear appeal is moderate.
d. One-sided approach is more favorable with neutral or favorable audience, two sided approach is more favorable with hostile audience
e. Use of primacy and recency effect
3. Receiver of the message:
a. Influenceability: ex: Children and uneducated adults have high tendency to get influenced
b. Selective attention and interpretation: role played by factors such as cognitive dissonance
c. Immunization: The impact of two sided messages.
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