Persuasion in Response to Emotional and Rational Appeals

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 1997

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In many studies, data has been led to suggest that rational messages may encourage the generation of content based cognitive responses and lead to attitudes heavily influenced by these cognitions. Studies have also led to suggest that people in negative moods are affected by the quality of persuasive messages. Using manipulations techniques, bad mood may result in a different interpretation of anything from a verbal argument to a literal message. Even though most studies indicate that good mood manipulations may not have that much effect on one's perception of a scenario, further investigation may do away with that theory.

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Persuasion in Response to Emotional and Rational Appeals

Much research has been done to try and indicate that emotional appeals may influence attitude change. The other side of looking at the spectrum is that rational appeals may do likewise (e.g.,

Rosselli; Francine; Skelly, John J.; Mackie, Diane M, 1995). In one study conducted at the University of California at Santa Barbara, 184 students received partial course credit in return for their participation. Subjects in the experiment were assigned to the cells of a 2(positive or neutral mood) x 2(emotional or rational message type) x 2(strong or weak argument quality). Subjects were in groups of two to six.

After this step was established, eight messages in approximately equal length were developed. Each message contained six arguments that were either in favor or against using animals for research purposes. Rational and emotional were used in nature and strong and weak were used in quality. In the procedure of the experiment, subjects participated in an experimental session that included several tasks that were not directly related to the study. The first test included a survey of the subjects' attitudes toward...