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Sarah Kelly, Len Coote, T. Bettina Cornwell and Anna McAlister

This research provides insight into the complex relationship between consumer response to persuasion attempts and skepticism, suggesting that erstwhile targets may be swayed by campaigns pitched as a form of entertainment. The authors examine consumer responses to an important sponsorship-leveraging tool: sponsorship-linked advertising (SLA). A theoretical model of consumer response to SLA is proposed, drawing on important resistance mechanisms to persuasion, including ad skepticism, attributed advertiser motives, and the nature of thoughts. Results confirm existing research on consumer skepticism suggesting its transitory nature and hence potential for advertisers to strategically temper it through specific cues in ad execution. Differential processing between SLA and traditional advertising is supported, such that SLA elicits more favorable cognitive response.

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Israel Halperin

with narrative format and thus are more likely to be influenced by and receptive to case studies. In addition to a communication and persuasion strategy, case studies can be used to foster and create working relationships between scientists and coaches. Understandably so, coaches are protective of

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Timothy C. Howle, James A. Dimmock, Nikos Ntoumanis, Nikos L.D. Chatzisarantis, Cassandra Sparks and Ben Jackson

advertising on self-efficacy and decisional balance . American Journal of Health Behavior, 29 , 117 – 126 . PubMed doi:10.5993/AJHB.29.2.3 10.5993/AJHB.29.2.3 Cacioppo , J.T. , & Petty , R.E. ( 1979 ). Effects of message repetition and position on cognitive response, recall, and persuasion . Journal

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James Dimmock, David Simich, Timothy Budden, Leslie Podlog, Mark Beauchamp and Ben Jackson

effect (e.g., anger). These reactance processes, in turn, have been strongly linked with contrast effects in persuasion research. For example, the experience of psychological reactance has led to increased preferences for the eliminated options (e.g.,  Wicklund, 1970 ) and has often led to behavior

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Ines Pfeffer

Targeted communication about health behaviors seems to be more effective than mass communication in which undifferentiated audiences receive identical messages. Regulatory focus is psychological variable that can be used to build two target groups: promotion-focused or prevention-focused people. It is hypothesized that targeting messages to an individual’s regulatory focus creates regulatory fit and is more successful to promote a physically active lifestyle than nonfit messages. Two different print messages promoting a physically active lifestyle derived from regulatory focus theory (promotion message vs. prevention message) were randomly assigned to N = 98 participants after measuring their regulatory focus. It was examined whether regulatory fit between the regulatory focus and the assigned print message would lead to more positive evaluations in the dependent variables inclination toward the message (preference for the message), intention to perform the behavior, prospective and retrospective feelings associated with the behavior (positive and negative), and perceived value of the behavior directly after reading the message. Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed that regulatory fit led to stronger intentions in the prevention-message condition and more prospective positive and retrospective positive feelings associated with the behavior in the promotion-message condition in contrast to the nonfit conditions. Prospective positive feelings associated with the behavior mediated the effect of regulatory fit on intention. The results partly provided support for the regulatory fit concept. Matching print messages to the regulatory focus of individuals seems to be a useful approach to enhance physical activity motivation. Future studies should include an objective measure of physical activity behavior.

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Kin-Kit Li, Sheung-Tak Cheng and Helene H. Fung

This study compared message-framing effects on physical activity (PA) across age and gender groups. Participants included 111 younger and 100 older adults (68% were women), randomly assigned to read gain-framed or loss-framed PA messages in promotion pamphlets, and who wore accelerometers for the following 14 days. Using regression analyses controlling for demographic and health factors, we found significant age-by-gender-by-framing interactions predicting self-report (B = −4.39, p = .01) and accelerometer-assessed PA (B = −2.44, p = .02) during the follow-up period. Gain-framed messages were more effective than loss-framed messages in promoting PA behaviors only among older men. We speculated that the age-related positivity effect, as well as the age and gender differences in issue involvement, explained the group differences in framing. In addition, more time availability and higher self-efficacy among older men might have contributed to the results.

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James A. Dimmock, Marylène Gagné, Lauren Proud, Timothy C. Howle, Amanda L. Rebar and Ben Jackson

Sustained attention has been devoted to studying the factors that support (or thwart) individuals’ enjoyment of, interest in, and value judgments regarding their exercise activities. We employed a resistance-inducing (i.e., inoculation theory) messaging technique with the aim of protecting these desirable perceptions in the face of environmental conditions designed to undermine one’s positive exercise experiences. Autonomously motivated exercisers (N = 146, M age = 20.57, SD = 4.02) performed a 25-min, group-based, instructor-led exercise circuit, in which the activities were deliberately monotonous, and during which the confederate instructor acted in a disinterested, unsupportive, and critical manner. Shortly before the session, participants received either a control message containing general information about the exercise class or an inoculation message containing a forewarning about potential challenges to participants’ enjoyment/interest/value perceptions during the class, as well as information about how participants might maintain positive perceptions in the face of these challenges. Despite there being no between-conditions differences in presession mood or general exercise motives, inoculated (relative to control) participants reported greater interest/enjoyment in the exercise session and higher perceptions of need support from the instructor. Perceptions of need support mediated the relationship between message condition and interest/enjoyment.

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Javier Horcajo and Andrew Luttrell

This experiment analyzed whether attitudes toward the legalization of several doping behaviors would resist change and predict behavioral intentions when they were initially formed through thoughtful (i.e., high elaboration) versus nonthoughtful (i.e., low elaboration) processes. Participants were randomly assigned first to a persuasive message either against or in favor of the legalization, which they read with relatively high or low degrees of deliberative thinking. Attitudes and intentions regarding legalization were assessed following that message. Next, each participant received a second message that was opposed to the first one, serving as an attack against the attitude that participants had just formed. Finally, attitudes were again assessed. As hypothesized, participants showed greater attitude-consistent intentions when they formed their initial attitudes through thoughtful (vs. nonthoughtful) consideration of the first message. Moreover, the second message resulted in greater resistance to attitude change when participants formed their initial attitudes through thoughtful (vs. nonthoughtful) processes.

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Josh Compton

Inoculation theory is a classic theory of resistance to influence, modeling a way to confer resistance to challenges based on biological inoculation processes. This commentary explores inoculation’s efficacy in the applied context of sport communication, with special consideration of how inoculation may guide sportmarketing strategies to preemptively bolster existing support for a team in the face of challenges (e.g., a losing season).

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Gio Valiante and David B. Morris

The purpose of this study was to explore the self-efficacy beliefs of male professional golfers (N = 12). Three themes emerged from the qualitative analysis of interview responses. First, enactive mastery experiences were the most powerful source of self-efficacy. Second, golfers maintained high self-efficacy over time by recalling prior success, strategically framing experiences, and enlisting supportive verbal persuasions from themselves and from others. Finally, self-efficacy influenced professional golfers’ thought patterns, outcome expectations, and emotional states. Findings support and refine the theoretical tenets of Bandura’s social cognitive theory.