Perceived effectiveness (PE) has been studied as an important antecedent of persuasion. But judgments of PE may vary its persuasive impact depending on whom people think about as message referents. This study explores PE judgment for both self and different others as well as their independent roles in the persuasion process. Theoretical rationales are drawn from the third-person effect and its contingent concepts regarding perceived media effects. A study was conducted among 355 participants who evaluated two child abuse prevention public service announcements (PSAs). They estimated that the average American parent judged the PSAs more favorably than their close peer or themselves. Structural equation models indicate that self's and close-peer's PE judgment led to persuasion for one PSA ("Wonders"), while the target's PE judgment affected persuasion for another PSA ("Awareness"). These results suggest a potential moderating role of message characteristics in self-other PE judgments and their consequences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology