Attitudes and Persuasion: Classic and Contemporary Approaches

By Richard E. Petty; John T. Cacioppo | Go to book overview

In practical terms, the model suggests that when a person seeks to change another person's attitudes, the elaboration likelihood of the persuasion situation should be assessed (i.e., how likely is it that the other person will be motivated and able to think about the message?). If elaboration likelihood is high, and if there are compelling arguments to present, the central route may be the best strategy to pursue. This is the most ideal strategy, because a relatively permanent change in attitudes will be produced. On the other hand, if the only arguments available are weak, or if elaboration likelihood is low, then the peripheral route will be a more promising strategy.


Retrospective

In this chapter we have suggested that all of the approaches to attitude change discussed in chapters 2-8 of this text can be represented as two distinct routes to persuasion. An elaboration-likelihood model was presented that mapped the two routes, with the central route emphasizing a thoughtful consideration of issue-relevant argumentation and the peripheral route emphasizing the importance of issue-irrelevant cues. The accumulated literature on persuasion suggests that changes induced via the central route tend to endure, but changes induced via the peripheral tend to decay unless the new attitude is subsequently bolstered by issue-relevant thought.


Notes
1
Kelman ( 1961) was one of the first modern social psychologists to propose-- and provide evidence for--the view that there were different "kinds" of attitude change (recall from chap. 1 that Aristotle also believed that there were different kinds of persuasion). In Kelman's framework, the kind of persuasion was tied to the source of the message. Internalization resulted from accepting information from expert sources. This kind of attitude change was thought to be relatively enduring because it resulted from integrating new information into one's cognitive system. Identification was an attitude change produced when a person felt some bond with an attractive or likable source, and this attitude change persisted only so long as the attractive source was still salient. Finally, compliance was an attitude change produced by a powerful source. This change persisted only so long as the source retained control over the message recipient in the form of adminstering rewards and punishments. Also, it was necessary for the powerful source to be able to monitor the recipient's attitudes. Internalization would fall under the central route to persuasion if the person changed because of the information provided by the source. If the person changed simply because an expert said so, the change would be peripheral. Identification and compliance would fall under the peripheral route.
2
The distinction that we have made between the central and peripheral routes to attitude change has much in common with the distinctions between "deep" vs. "shallow" processing ( Craik & Lockhart, 1972), "controlled" vs. "automatic" processing ( Schneider & Shiffrin, 1977); "systematic" vs. "heuristic" processing (Chaiken,

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Attitudes and Persuasion: Classic and Contemporary Approaches
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • 1: Introduction to Attitudes and Persuasion 3
  • Notes 37
  • Conditioning and Modeling Approaches 2 39
  • Notes 57
  • The Message-Learning Approach 3 59
  • Notes 93
  • Judgmental Approaches 4 95
  • Notes 123
  • 5: Motivational Approaches 125
  • Notes 160
  • 6: Attributional Approaches 163
  • Notes 181
  • Combinatory Approaches 7 183
  • Notes 211
  • 8: Self-Persuasion Approaches 213
  • Notes 252
  • Epilog: A General Framework for Understanding Attitude Change Processes 9 255
  • Notes 268
  • References 271
  • Author Index 301
  • Subject Index 309
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