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A Causal Model of the Persuasive Effects of Types and Forms of Evidence Introduction
Unformatted Document Text:  22 effects come about and perhaps even why they do. In this case it seems that evidence produces its effects on attitudes in a moderated path that combines with perceptions of source competence as a separate element. Then, these forces combine to influence source character or trustworthy ratings. This secondary element produces influences on attitudes and also combines with other elements (clarity of the message and source competence) to influence ratings of message believability which is a force that also produces changes in attitudes. This model suggests that in addition to direct effects, evidence use affects attitude change by affecting trustworthiness of the source and the message’s credibility. Limitations to be placed on this study are substantial. In addition to the obvious restrictions of sample population, only one message per topic, and difficulties dealing with nonresponse rates, there are two other matters that deserve attention. First, the consistent finding of subjects-by-treatments interaction on the secondary variables suggests that at least one significant factor that was not included in this study created nonrandom influences on this study’s results. Thus, the search should begin for a list of likely culprits that might have mediated the effects. The search led to the examination of the demographic variables in this study, but they did not seem to be substantial influences on primary study variables, even though there were some intercorrelations, including some among themselves. In the meantime, the results of this study should be taken with a grain of salt. Second, subjects rating the overall clarity and believability of the message as only slightly above “neutral.” Thus, it seems that inquiry to improve the materials in this study is clearly invited. The lack of strongly credible message materials may be a reason that some of the effect sizes were disappointing on primary variables. Though in many studies such limitations are little more than afterthoughts, the author urges that these limitations be taken very seriously.

Authors: Reinard, John.
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effects come about and perhaps even why they do. In this case it seems that evidence produces its
effects on attitudes in a moderated path that combines with perceptions of source competence as a
separate element. Then, these forces combine to influence source character or trustworthy ratings.
This secondary element produces influences on attitudes and also combines with other elements
(clarity of the message and source competence) to influence ratings of message believability which
is a force that also produces changes in attitudes. This model suggests that in addition to direct
effects, evidence use affects attitude change by affecting trustworthiness of the source and the
message’s credibility.
Limitations to be placed on this study are substantial. In addition to the obvious restrictions
of sample population, only one message per topic, and difficulties dealing with nonresponse rates,
there are two other matters that deserve attention. First, the consistent finding of
subjects-by-treatments interaction on the secondary variables suggests that at least one significant
factor that was not included in this study created nonrandom influences on this study’s results.
Thus, the search should begin for a list of likely culprits that might have mediated the effects. The
search led to the examination of the demographic variables in this study, but they did not seem to be
substantial influences on primary study variables, even though there were some intercorrelations,
including some among themselves. In the meantime, the results of this study should be taken with a
grain of salt. Second, subjects rating the overall clarity and believability of the message as only
slightly above “neutral.” Thus, it seems that inquiry to improve the materials in this study is clearly
invited. The lack of strongly credible message materials may be a reason that some of the effect
sizes were disappointing on primary variables. Though in many studies such limitations are little
more than afterthoughts, the author urges that these limitations be taken very seriously.


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