Examining the complex roles of motivation and text medium in the persuasion process

P. Karen Murphy, Theresa A. Holleran, Joyce F. Long, Jill A. Zeruth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Models of persuasion (e.g., Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) and conceptual change (Dole & Sinatra, 1998) acknowledge that reader elaboration of and engagement with a given text increases the potential for belief change and that the process of elaboration or engagement is fueled by reader motivation. However, little is known about the predictive powers of various motivational constructs on belief change after reading compelling texts in both traditional paper and computer-based formats. As such, the present study examined how belief change is differentially influenced by three motivational constructs (i.e., need for cognition, topic interest, and topic interestingness), as well as the mediating role played by mode of delivery. Utilizing stratified, random sampling, college students responded to two persuasive articles presented through two distinct media-paper and computer. The results revealed that mode of delivery did not significantly influence belief change. In addition, of the three motivational constructs only need for cognition emerged as a statistically significant predictor of belief change, regardless of the mode of delivery. Implications for research and practice are forwarded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-438
Number of pages21
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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