Human Communication Theory

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Comm Theory Review Questions
Elaboration Likelihood Model
Owner: Richard Petty & John Cacioppo

1. Identify and explain the two mental routes to attitude change. Are these routes mutually exclusive? What separates the twin poles on the cognitive continuum?

Central Route: Message elaboration; the path of cognitive processing that involves scrutiny of message content.

Peripheral Route: No message elaboration; a mental shortcut process that accepts or rejects a message based on irrelevant cues as opposed to actively thinking about the issue.

Mutually Exclusive: Not sure I understand what she wants on this one? There is a neutral case on page 207 which could be what she is looking for.

What separates: Verbal communication. On the peripheral you start out on non-verbals but with the central you need some sort of verbal communication.

2. Although motivated to hold “correct positions”, listeners aren’t always logical. Why? Under what conditions will a person be more influenced by message arguments than credibility cues?

Emotion – Listeners aren’t logical if someone can convey a large amount of emotion. The text talks about Magic Johnson and his commercial with AIDS. He has a real emotion tied to it and it was that which allowed for his speaker credibility to be built.

3. What types of cues do hearers use to guide quick-decisions? How do changes made in this way stand up to “triple-crown” of interpersonal influence?

Biased elaboration: Top-down thinking in which predetermined conclusions color the supporting data. Objective elaboration: Bottom up thinking in which facts are scrutinized without bias; seeking truth whenever it might lead. Strong Arguments: Claims that generate favorable thoughts when examined. Speaker Credibility: Audience perception of the message source’s expertise, character, and dynamism, typically a peripheral cue. Triple-Crown: With these types of influences you will either have an change in attitude strong/weak or no change at all.

4. Explain ELM. What practical advice does it offer persuaders seeking to sway listeners to endorse their proposals? The extent to which a person carefully thinks about issue-relevant arguments contained in a persuasive communication. It allows for a speaker to that knows his audience what route to take on the ELM Model EX: An account giving advice on how to Michael Phelps on how to swim. This accountant better build some creditability.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Owner: Leon Festinger

1. Explain cognitive dissonance and some of the ways people deal with the mental turmoil resulting from engaging in discrepant behavior.

Cognitive dissonance: The distressing mental state caused by inconsistency between a person’s two beliefs or a belief and an action. An example of this is with smokers like we talked about in class. What the risks are and then the persons beliefs are of smoking.

2. How do people use selective exposure, post decision dissonance, and minimal justification to ensure that their attitudes and behavior are in harmony? What practical advice do the three hypothesis offer to communicators who want to change listener attitudes?

Selective Exposure: The tendency people have to avoid information that would create cognitive dissonance because it’s incompatible with their current beliefs. Post decision Dissonance: Strong doubts experienced after making an important, close-call decision that is difficult to reverse. Minimal Justification: A claim that the best way to stimulate an attitude change in others is to offer just enough incentive to elicit counter attitudinal behaviors.

You need to understand the three models and when it is appropriate to use them. Someone that is going to be saying something in a speech would need to think about what they are saying so they don’t run into the post decision dissonance. I would call this the O SHIT did I just say that theory

3. Describe the revisions...
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