Source Expertise, Source Attractiveness, and the Processing of Persuasive Information: A Functional Approach

Kenneth G. DeBono, Richard J. Harnish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations

Abstract

Male undergraduates high and low in self-monitoring listened to either an expert or attractive male source deliver a counterattitudinal message supported by either strong or weak arguments. As expected, high self-monitoring individuals agreed with the expert source regardless of the quality of the arguments presented but agreed with the attractive source only when he delivered strong arguments. By contrast, low self-monitoring individuals agreed with the attractive source regardless of the quality of the arguments presented but agreed with the expert source only when he delivered strong arguments. Cognitive response and recall data suggested that high-self monitoring individuals were systematically processing the attractive source's message and were heuristically processing the expert source's message, whereas low self-monitoring individuals were systematically processing the expert source's message and were heuristically processing the attractive source's message. We discuss the role of source variables in persuasion settings, the determinants of an information-processing strategy, and the functional underpinnings of attitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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