Identity and Persuasion: An Elaboration Likelihood Approach
Monique A. Fleming Richard E. Petty The Ohio State University
Imagine a woman who encounters an advertisement for a new car that states it is endorsed by other women. How will the woman respond to the advertisement? Is she more likely to be persuaded to buy the car than she would be if the advertisement stated that the car is endorsed by men? How likely is her resulting attitude to last over time (e.g., long enough to get to a car dealer)? Finally, do the answers to these questions depend on the extent to which this woman likes being a member of the group "women" and feels that it is an important part of her self-concept? Although these are seemingly simple questions, their answers can be quite complex.
Recent studies have suggested that an individual's characteristics such as group memberships (e.g., belonging to the group "women") affect behavior to the extent that those characteristics are salient and have been adopted as identities (i.e., they form an important part of an individual's self-concept). For example, a survey of Hispanic consumers found that those who strongly identified with their ethnic group reported being more likely to buy brands advertised with Hispanic spokespersons than did those who weakly identified with their ethnic group ( Deshpande, Hoyer, & Donthu, 1986). In the political realm, Plutzer and Zipp ( 1996; Zipp & Plutzer, 1985) found that women were particularly likely to vote for women political candidates when they identified with "women's issues" and were registered as Independents