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Motivated to Process?. personal relevance personal importance personal responsibility. dissonance arousal need for cognition repetition. Ability to Process?. cognitive complexity critical thinking distraction free low arousal. appropriate schema message pace repetition

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Motivated to Process?

  • personal relevance
  • personal importance
  • personal responsibility
  • dissonance arousal
  • need for cognition
  • repetition

Ability to Process?

  • cognitive complexity
  • critical thinking
  • distraction free
  • low arousal
  • appropriate schema
  • message pace
  • repetition
  • issue familiarity

Nature of Active Cognitive Processing: (initial attitude, argument quality, etc.)







Neither or



Enduring positive attitude change (persuasion)

Enduring negative attitude change (boomerang)

Persuasive Communication

  • Attitude Shift:
  • short-lived
  • susceptible to influence
  • unpredictable
  • Peripheral Cues Present?
  • reciprocity (obligated, did a favor)
  • consistency (way it’s done, similar to before)
  • social proof (peer pressure, conformity)
  • liking (attractiveness, friendliness)
  • celebrity (identification, prestige)
  • authority (expertise, experience, credibility)
  • rapid speech, forceful presentation, charismatic style
  • scarcity (limited time offer)
  • tangible rewards
  • appealing visuals & music (emotional arousal)
  • fear appeal
  • weak counter-arguments

Retain or Regain Initial Attitude

Cognitive Structure Change: Are new cognitions adopted and stored in memory? Are different responses made salient than previously?

  • greater persistence
  • resistant to counterattacks & fading
  • predictive of behavior
  • > brand memory
  • > elaboration
  • >usage intention
  • > attitude accessibility
  • > attitude confidence
  • > attitude-behavior consistency

back to Attitudesback to 7670 Homepage

Write in the number that best fits your view: 

                              1                        2                      3                   4                         completely            mostly             mostly          completely                         false                      false                true              true

_____1.   I would prefer complex to simple problems.

_____2.   I like to have the responsibility of handling a situation that requires a lot of thinking.

_____3.   Thinking is not my idea of fun. *

_____4.   I would rather do something that requires little thought than something that is sure to                 challenge my thinking abilities. *

_____5.   I try to anticipate and avoid situations where there is likely chance I will have to think                 in depth about something. *

_____6.   I find satisfaction in deliberating hard and for long hours.

_____7.   I only think as hard as I have to. *

_____8.   I prefer to think about small, daily projects to long-term ones. *

_____9.   I like tasks that require little thought once I’ve learned them. *

_____10. The idea of relying on thought to make my way to the top appeals to me.

_____11. I really enjoy a task that involves coming up with new solutions to problems.

_____12. Learning new ways to think doesn’t excite me very much. *

_____13. I prefer my life to be filled with puzzles that I must solve.

_____14. The notion of thinking abstractly is appealing to me.

_____15. I would prefer a task that is intellectual, difficult, and important to one that is somewhat                 important but does not require much thought.

_____16. I feel relief rather than satisfaction after completing a task that required a lot of mental                 effort. *

_____17. It’s enough for me that something gets the job done; I don’t care how or why it works. *

_____18. I usually end up deliberating about issues even when they do not affect me personally.

Need for Cognition Scale


Sleeper Effect:

  • when secondary source becomes more credible than primary source over time
  • persuasion may increase over time with a weak source
  • forget the source but remember the message
  • not if source is learned prior to the message (will ignore or boas processing)

Example: Attack ads during political campaigns