Cognitive Responses in Persuasion

By Richard E. Petty; Thomas M. Ostrom et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

7
Effects of Source Characteristics on Cognitive Responses and Persuasion

R. Glen Hass Brooklyn College, City University of New York


INTRODUCTION

A high proportion of the knowledge and attitudes that each of us possesses about our world was obtained from other people, and some persons who provide us with information have an easier time persuading us than others. The recognition that the persuasive impact of a communication can differ depending on the characteristics of its source stimulated some of the first carefully controlled experiments on the attitude change process (e.g., Hovland, Janis, & Kelley, 1953; Hovland, Lumsdaine, & Sheffield, 1949). The goal of those early experiments and much of the research on the persuasiveness of message sources during the next three decades was to identify specific characteristics of persuasive sources rather than to develop theoretical explanations for the phenomena.

Of course, it is important to know the characteristics that make a source more influential and the limits of those effects from situation to situation. This knowledge is important for many practical purposes. For example, who would you rather have act as your defense attorney before a jury in a small town -- a wellknown, prestigious New York lawyer or a country lawyer from the same small town? Who would be the better choice as the communicator in a television commercial for a new family car -- a well-known actor or actress, an engineer, or, the members of a "typical family"? Or in a commercial encouraging people to use car pools -- the actor or actress, a respected political figure, an environmental scientist, or an "average" commuter?

However, the knowledge of the persuasive effects of source characteristics and their limitations is also important for subsequent theory building. This chapter reviews some of the major findings of research designed to investigate the

-141-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Cognitive Responses in Persuasion
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 476

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?