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Easy elaboration: The subjective experience of message processing and persuasion
Unformatted Document Text:  Subjective Experience 11 (subjectively difficult) points in support of the message. After completing the task, respondents rated its subjective difficulty. Subjective experience. Respondents rated the difficulty of listing supportive evidence on five 7-point, semantic differential items. Items included anchors such as “easy/tough,” “required no thinking/required a lot of thinking,” and “effortless/effortful.” Higher scores indicated stronger perceptions of task difficulty, SI = .96. Participants perceived that listing 3 points of information was easier (M = 2.19, SD = .96, n = 16) than listing 10 points of information (M = 3.93, SD = 1.46, n = 15), r = .59, p < .05. Although the easy task was rated below the scale’s midpoint, t(15) = -7.52, p < .05, the difficult task was rated within sampling error of the scale’s midpoint, t(14) = -.18, ns. Though we would prefer the difficult task to be rated above the scale’s midpoint, our results were consistent with previous research (Winkielman & Schwarz, 2001, Winkielman et al., 1998). In order to increase the difference between completing the two tasks, we increased the difficult task from providing 10 to 15 points of support. Main Experiment Method Participants. Sixty-seven undergraduate students enrolled in communication courses at a large Midwestern university participated in the main experiment. Design. The main experiment employed a message favorability (pro or con) by subjective experience (easy or difficult), fully crossed, independent groups design with random assignment. Procedure Participants were given instructions which explained that they would be reading a message about photo enforcement. Then, they read a brief description of photographic

Authors: Smith, Rachel., Goei, Ryan. and Lindsey, Lisa.
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Subjective Experience 11
(subjectively difficult) points in support of the message. After completing the task, respondents
rated its subjective difficulty.
Subjective
experience. Respondents rated the difficulty of listing supportive evidence on
five 7-point, semantic differential items. Items included anchors such as “easy/tough,” “required
no thinking/required a lot of thinking,” and “effortless/effortful.” Higher scores indicated
stronger perceptions of task difficulty, SI = .96. Participants perceived that listing 3 points of
information was easier (M = 2.19, SD = .96, n = 16) than listing 10 points of information (M =
3.93, SD = 1.46, n = 15), r = .59, p < .05. Although the easy task was rated below the scale’s
midpoint, t(15) = -7.52, p < .05, the difficult task was rated within sampling error of the scale’s
midpoint, t(14) = -.18, ns. Though we would prefer the difficult task to be rated above the
scale’s midpoint, our results were consistent with previous research (Winkielman & Schwarz,
2001, Winkielman et al., 1998). In order to increase the difference between completing the two
tasks, we increased the difficult task from providing 10 to 15 points of support.
Main Experiment
Method
Participants. Sixty-seven undergraduate students enrolled in communication courses at a
large Midwestern university participated in the main experiment.
Design. The main experiment employed a message favorability (pro or con) by
subjective experience (easy or difficult), fully crossed, independent groups design with random
assignment.
Procedure
Participants were given instructions which explained that they would be reading a
message about photo enforcement. Then, they read a brief description of photographic


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