Computer-mediated communication and persuasion: Peripheral vs. central route to opinion shift

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18 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective of this research was to investigate the differences between face-to-face communication and computer-mediated communication regarding opinion change in small group decision-making. We hypothesized that people in a discussion through computer-mediated communication accede to cognitive processes that could facilitate resisting the effects of a persuasive message. Participants were 108 degree students with a mean age of 21.5 (range 19–26): 51 males (mean age = 21.5) and 57 females (mean age = 21.4). Subjects had to discuss in a small group (three to five people) an issue given by the experimenter related to a fictitious reorganization of the university refectory. Subjects were randomly assigned to two experimental conditions: face-to-face small group discussion and computer-mediated (chat) small group discussion. At the half-way point in the discussion the experimenter introduced a new piece of information supplied by an influential source. The piece of information was in contrast to the prevailing opinion in the group. Results show that there were fewer opinion changes in the chat condition (subsequent to the introduction of the persuasive message) than in the face-to-face condition. According to Petty and Cacioppo’s Elaboration Likelihood Model (1986), we argue that discussion via computer could possibly activate the central route more easily than discussion face to face.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)798-815
Numero di pagine18
RivistaComputers in Human Behavior
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2008

Keywords

  • computer mediated communication
  • face to face communication
  • persuasive communication

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