Linda F. Alwitt DePaul University
John Deighton University of Chicago
John Grimm Multi Quest Inc., Metairie, LA.
The general hypothesis in this research is that to predict how a voter will process and respond to a persuasive message it is necessary to account for the moderating effect of an attitudinal bond or relationship between a voter and a candidate. We argue that the bond between a person and an attitude object may be multidimensional, rooted in one or more of several independent psychological processes. Recent work on attitude strength ( Abelson, 1988; Raden, 1985) has conceived of the construct as multidimensional. If that is so, then it is possible that each component of a person-object attitudinal bond may moderate differentially the processing of messages that relate to an underlying attitude.
We use the dimensions of subjective verifiability, objective verifiability and performance to form a typology of bonds, each of which, we argue, plays a different mediating role in the processing of political advertising messages. These three dimensions can be thought of as parallel to affect, cognition, and behavior in the tripartite theory of attitude ( McGuire, 1985).
We examine three bases on which an attitudinal bond between a person and an object might be strongly held: a basis in objective verifiability, a