pretation that treats variations in involvement as correlated variations in attentional capacity and level of processing allocated to a message. We have tried to justify this model in two ways -- first, by showing that it is consistent with several bodies of findings from cognitive psychological research of the past two decades and, second, by indicating how it fits with a broader cognitive psychological conception of levels of representation (LOR).
The LOR model offers, perhaps, an embarrassing wealth of possibilities for application to consumer behavior. Applications that need to consider effects mediated by up to four levels of analysis, memory, and performance control have the potential of being prohibitively complex. We can note, as one possibility for dealing with that complexity, that analyses with the LOR model become simpler as fewer levels are involved. This is, perhaps, a tempting justification for the intelligent manager to devise campaigns that attempt to confine consumer analysis, memory, and performance controls to low levels of involvement/representation. At the same time, it is apparent that rapid, dramatic effects of advertising campaigns on consumer behavior can be achieved only by attempting to appeal to, and modify, representations at high levels.
Preparation of this chapter was facilitated by NIMH grant MH-31762 ("Attention and preparation in rapid performance") to the first author, by NIMH grant MH32317 and NSF grant BNS 82-17006 (both titled "Research in persuasive communication") to the first author, and by a Dean's Research Professorship award by OSU's College of Administrative Science to the second author. The first half of this chapter summarizes a theoretical approach recently reported by Greenwald and Leavitt ( 1984).
Anderson, J. R. ( 1982). Acquisition of cognitive skill. Psychological Review, 89, 369-406.
Anderson, J. R., & Reder, L. M.( 1979). An elaborative processing explanation of depth of processing. In L. S. Cermak & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.), Levels of processing in human memory. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Baddeley, A. D. ( 1978). The trouble with "levels": A re-examination of Craik and Lockhart's framework for memory research. Psychological Review, 85, 139-152.
Bauer, R. A.( 1958). Limits of persuasion. Harvard Business Review, 36, 105-110.
Berlyne, D. E.( 1960). Conflict, arousal and curiosity. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Bransford, J. D., & Johnson, M. K. ( 1973). Considerations of some problems of comprehension. In W. G. Chase (Ed.), Visual information processing. New York: Academic Press.
Burnkrant, R. E., & Sawyer, A. G.( 1983). Effects of involvement and message content on information-processing intensity. In R. J. Harris (Ed.), Information processing research in advertising. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.