The Elaboration Likelihood Model

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An Analysis of the Elaboration Likelihood Model – Applications and Limitations Introduction In the contemporary society we live in today, we are constantly faced with instances where mass media messages attempt to persuade us on something. It would not be possible for us to pay the same amount of attention to every one of these messages thus, we select some messages to pay more attention to and deal with others in less detail. A model of persuasion that acknowledges these two different means of processing messages is Petty and Cacioppo’s (1986) elaboration likelihood model (ELM). (Severin & Tankard, 2014) The ELM states that there are two routes to attitude change – the central route and the peripheral route. The central route takes place…show more content…
(Te eni-Harari, Lampert & Lehman-Wilzig, 2007) The ELM was used as a guiding principle in the design of this study. Following the two processes proposed by the ELM, researchers developed 4 sets of advertisements with different characteristics based on strength of the argument (central route) and character attractiveness (peripheral cues) to see how these variables affected the way in which youths processed the advertisement. Through this study, it was found that youths did not use the central or peripheral route towards changing their…show more content…
These limitations are not intended as criticisms of the development of the ELM. Rather they indicate under-specifications of the model that leave important questions as yet unanswered. (Bitner & Obermiller, 1985) Firstly, the ELM is based on the classification of processing styles and not a classification of objective cues. However, what advertisers are able to control and change is objective cues. In its current framework, the model suggests that different motivational levels lead to different routes in processing information. What it does not state is the objective cues behind consumers’ motivational states and how they affect consumers’ motivational states. What this means is that the model does not predict the motivational state for different objective cues on the same consumer. For example, a consumer without motivation to process brand information would undergo the peripheral route based on the ELM but this same consumer may be highly motivated to process aesthetic information of the same product. The ELM does not show how different objective cues would lead to different motivational states. If it could predict what objective cues would be processed in what way under what conditions, advertisers would have a much easier time in determining what to include in their advertisement and

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