Quick question or intensive inquiry: The role of message elaboration in the effectiveness of self-persuasive anti-alcohol posters
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SourcePLoS One, 14, 1, (2019), article e0211030
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SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Communication and Media; Social Development
Self-persuasion (i.e., generating your own arguments) is often more persuasive than direct persuasion (i.e., being provided with arguments), even when the technique is applied in media messages by framing the message as a question. It is unclear, however, if these messages are more persuasive when viewed for a long period to allow more elaboration about the message, or for a short period to reduce elaboration. In the current experiment, this is addressed by examining whether anti-alcohol posters framed as a statement (direct persuasion) or an open-ended question (self-persuasion) are more effective to reduce alcohol consumption under conditions of short- or long message exposure, compared to a control condition (no poster). Additionally, the potentially moderating roles of self-perceived alcohol identity and self-esteem on both types of persuasion are examined. Participants (N = 149) were exposed to a self-persuasion or direct persuasion anti-alcohol poster, either briefly before or continuously during a bogus beer taste task. The amount of alcohol consumed was the covert dependent variable. Contrary to expectations, both posters failed to affect alcohol consumption, regardless of exposure length. No moderation effects for self-perceived alcohol identity and self-esteem of the participants were found. Possible explanations are discussed.
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