Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

Involvement and Persuasion: Evidence for Different Types of Involvement (Outcome-Relevant Involvement versus Value-Relevant Involvement and Attitude)

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

Involvement and Persuasion: Evidence for Different Types of Involvement (Outcome-Relevant Involvement versus Value-Relevant Involvement and Attitude)

Article excerpt

Abstract

According to Johnson and Eagly (1989), outcome - relevant involvement (ORI) occurs when an attitude is activated that is concerned with important outcomes, whereas value - relevant involvement (VRI) occurs when an attitude is activated that is concerned with important values. To test this distinction between ORI and VRI, the present experiment manipulated the extent that subjects experienced VRI instead of ORI with respect to the implementation of comprehensive exams at their university. Next, subjects read either weak or strong arguments in favour of the implementation of comprehensive exams. In addition, subjects were placed in either a low involvement or high involvement condition by telling them either that the exams may be implemented at their university next year (high involvement) or that the exams may be implemented in five years (low involvement). Subjects then indicated their attitude toward the comprehensive exams. When analyses were limited to those subjects who should be most affected by the manipulations, namely those who considered outcomes or values to be important (88% of the sample), the three - way interaction between type of involvement, level of involvement, and argument strength was significant. This interaction supported the importance of distinguishing between ORI and VRI.

People are "involved" with an issue when they consider it to be personally important. An interesting question is whether people can experience different types of involvement with an issue, not just different amounts of involvement. Further, if there are different types of involvement, do they have different effects on receptiveness to counter - attitudinal information? These are important questions that have yet to be answered (Olson & Zanna, 1993). The present experiment examines these questions.

Elaboration Likelihood Model: Involvement Increases Unbiased Processing

An influential hypothesis about the effect of involvement on persuasion is presented in Petty and Cacioppo's (1986) elaboration likelihood model of persuasion (ELM). In the ELM, different types of involvement are not distinguished. Instead, involvement is simply defined as the "extent to which the attitudinal issue under consideration is of personal importance" (Petty and Cacioppo, 1979, p. 1915). According to Petty and Cacioppo, issue involvement can determine the cognitive route a message recipient uses to evaluate a counter - attitudinal message. If message recipients are highly involved in an issue, they will process the message via the central route. Conversely, if recipients are uninvolved in an issue, they will process the message via the peripheral route. To phrase this differently, if recipients are highly involved in an issue, they will pay more attention to the strength of the arguments within the message content; if recipients are uninvolved, they will give more attention to the cues outside of the message content (e.g., source expertise and message length).(f.1)

An experiment by Petty and Cacioppo (1979, Experiment 2) examined the role of involvement in the processing of message arguments. In this experiment, Petty and Cacioppo gave students strong or weak arguments in favour of the implementation of comprehensive exams at their university. These strong and weak arguments were presented in either high or low involvement conditions by informing subjects that the exams might be implemented at their university next year (high involvement) or in five years time (low involvement). The results indicated that subjects in the high involvement condition were more persuaded by strong arguments and less persuaded by weak arguments than were subjects in the low involvement condition (see upper portion of Figure 1). Consequently, Petty and Cacioppo (1979) argued that high involvement served to enhance "unbiased" processing of arguments. That is, high involvement motivated subjects to respond more positively to strong arguments and more negatively to weak arguments. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.