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Heart versus mind: how affective and cognitive message frames change attitudes


Ryffel, Fabian A; Wirth, Werner (2016). Heart versus mind: how affective and cognitive message frames change attitudes. Social Psychology, 47(1):52-62.

Abstract

Several researchers have pursued the question of whether affective or cognitive persuasion appeals are more successful in changing attitudes. The vast majority of studies in this field have found that the persuasiveness of affective and cognitive appeals depends on the extent to which recipients’ existing attitudes are based on affect or cognition: Affective messages are more successful in changing affect-based attitudes; cognitive messages are more successful in changing cognition-based attitudes. However, research to date has not uncovered the processes leading to these effects. In the present article it is argued that there are two plausible explanations. First, matching messages to informational attitude bases might heighten message scrutiny. This would mean that a central process underlies the effects. Second, a peripheral process might account for the effects. Specifically, processing fluency might act as a peripheral cue. The results of an experimental study clearly suggest that that processing fluency underlies the effects.

Abstract

Several researchers have pursued the question of whether affective or cognitive persuasion appeals are more successful in changing attitudes. The vast majority of studies in this field have found that the persuasiveness of affective and cognitive appeals depends on the extent to which recipients’ existing attitudes are based on affect or cognition: Affective messages are more successful in changing affect-based attitudes; cognitive messages are more successful in changing cognition-based attitudes. However, research to date has not uncovered the processes leading to these effects. In the present article it is argued that there are two plausible explanations. First, matching messages to informational attitude bases might heighten message scrutiny. This would mean that a central process underlies the effects. Second, a peripheral process might account for the effects. Specifically, processing fluency might act as a peripheral cue. The results of an experimental study clearly suggest that that processing fluency underlies the effects.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:26 Jan 2017 10:31
Last Modified:26 Jan 2017 10:31
Publisher:Hogrefe Verlag
ISSN:1864-9335
Additional Information:DEUTSCH:«Diese Artikelfassung entspricht nicht vollständig dem in der Zeitschrift veröffentlichten Artikel. Dies ist nicht die Originalversion des Artikels und kann daher nicht zur Zitierung herangezogen werden». ENGLISCH: «This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in Social Psychology. It is not the version of record and is therefore not suitable for citation.»
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000257

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