Elaboration Likelihood Model

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Elaboration Likelihood Model  by Joan Vidal Dr. Leckenby Adv 382J Spring 1998  [pic]  I. Introduction    The Elaboration Likelihood Model is the most recent theory that tries to explain attitude change and persuasive communication. It was introduced by Richard E.Petty and John T.Cacioppo during the 1980s. The basic idea of Petty and Cacioppo's theory is that the efficacy of persuasion, in terms of endurance, depends on "the likelihood that an issue or argument will be elaborated upon (thought about)."( Petty & Caccioppo, 1981). When the arguments used in a message are of importance (in terms of involvement and motivation toward the issue) to the message recipient, the expected attitudinal change will be greater than if the message is of little or no relevance to the receiver. If the receiver of the message is interested in the issue and has the ability to process the persuasive message, that person will follow the central route to attitudinal change. On the other hand, if the receiver is not motivated by the arguments of the message and/or does not posses the capacity to process the message, then he or she will follow the peripheral route to attitude change. -What is an attitude?    An attitude can be defined as a "general and enduring positive or negative feeling about some person, object or issue" (Bem, 1970; Insko & Schopler, 1972; Oskamp, 1977).Statements like "I love X" or " Y is horrible" can definitely be considered attitudes. This is because they express a feeling toward something--one of them positive, the other negative, but both attitudes.    Attitudes have to be differentiated from beliefs. Beliefs are ideas, whether factual or only an opinion, that people have about some other people or issues. Another differentiation to be made is between attitudes and behaviors. Behaviors are not beliefs or attitudes, but actual

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