Cognitive Responses in Persuasion

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

11
Repetition, Cognitive Responses, and Persuasion

Alan Sawyer Ohio State University


INTRODUCTION

Recently, Newsweek magazine published the following story.

Last July, an Exeter, N.H., man named John Adams announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in the state's First Congressional District. Adams, 61, an unemployed taxi driver who claims he was once a Massachusetts state senator, ran a do-nothing campaign. He made no speeches, issued no press releases, spent no money. "I did absolutely no campaigning," he said. "With a name like mine I didn't figure I had to."

Apparently not. Last week, Adams won the primary, defeating his closest competitor, local newspaper columnist Edward Hewson, 30, by 4,000 votes. "We never saw Mr. Adams or read anything coming from him," said Hewson's campaign manager. "We have no way to evaluate why people voted for him."

New Hampshire GOP chairman Gerald Carmen seemed less baffled. "When people went to the polls, they saw four names they didn't recognize," he explained. "I guess they picked the one that sounded familiar" [Newsweek, September 27, 1976; p. 36; italics added].

A few years ago, the Associated Press carried the following report from Corvallis, Oregon:

A mysterious student has been attending a class at Oregon University for the past two months enveloped in a big black: bag. Only his bare feet show. Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:00 A.M. the Black Bag sits on a small table near the back of the classroom. The class is Speech 113 -- basic persuasion . . . Charles Goetzinger, professor of the class, knows the identity of the person inside. None of

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