Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion

This model, proposed by Petty and Cacioppo (1981, 1995), suggests that persuasive messages may either a) activate superficial/shallow associations or b)activate deep cognitive reflection. Werner (2003) proposed an elaboration model which focuses on these primary aspects:

1. insert the desired behavioural change into social groups
2. make use of physical environments and behavioural scripts they are familiar with to convey messages
3. messages must bring across a strong sense of attitude
4. understand that change is dynamic, messages may be effective in a certain place and time, but may be effective in others
5. Promote long-term instead of short-term change and involve institutional support

Each setting has a different audience, hence it must be recognised messages should be customised to suit the values, attitudes, and scripts of different people. Like the previous two models, identification, analysis and evaluation is done for the approach to be effective.

There are two routes of attitude change:

1. Central Route
Individuals who are processing the messages by putting in thought into the arguments, ideas and content that is presented are being persuaded by the central route. However, individuals need to have both motivation and ability to process this information in order for the message to get across. If they do possess these two things, this may bring about a more long-term attitude change.

2. Peripheral Route
Persuasion by the peripheral route, on the other hand, occurs when individuals do not have motivation and/or ability to thoroughly think about the content of ideas presented. Instead, they become persuaded based on peripheral cues such as the quantity of arguments presented or whether the presenter is an expert.


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