THE EFFECTS OF KNOWLEDGE OF SOURCE BEFORE VS. AFTER EXPOSURE TO A COMMUNICATION.
HUNTER COLL OF THE CITY UNIV OF NEW YORK
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The major purpose was to determine the attitude change effectiveness of identifying the source of a communication before vs after exposure to the communication. 130 college students read the same persuasive communication under four experimental conditions higher or lower prestige source identified before or after exposure to the communication. They also expressed their willingness to convince a friend and to distribute literature in support of the communicators point of view. In respect to attitude on the issue, there were no interactions between placement of the source and the nature of the source. The initially unfavorable subjects were differentially affected by the sources when identified after the communication not before. This result suggests that an initially unfavorable attitude on an issue can be modified by regard for the source without the mediation of a cognitive process that operates during the exposure to the communication. Regardless of whether the sources were made known before or after exposure to the communication, the higher prestige source induced greater willingness among the initially unfavorable subjects to perform actions supporting the sources viewpoint than did the lower prestige source. Source did not effect those initially favorable. Author