Off Target? Changing Cognitive-Based Attitudes

Journal of Consumer Psychology, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 59-68, 2002

Posted: 6 Aug 2011

See all articles by Aimee Drolet

Aimee Drolet

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Marketing Area

Jennifer Aaker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

Researchers argue that the effectiveness of cognitive versus affective persuasive appeals depends in part on whether the appeal is congruent or incongruent with a primarily cognitive or affective attitude base. However, considerable research suggests these persuasion effects may hold only for predominantly effective attitudes and not cognitive attitudes. Indeed, results of Experiment 1 show that the relative effectiveness of congruent relative to incongruent persuasion appeals holds for brands with predominantly affective associations, but not those with predominately cognitive associations. Experiment 2 explores one reason for this anomalous finding: Cognitive attitudes may be relatively impervious to persuasive appeals because the probability of targeting the specific attribute on which the cognitive attitude is based is smaller. The results are supportive, showing that significant persuasion effects are found when the specific beliefs on which cognitive attitudes are based are taken into account. However, these effects only occur under conditions of low cognitive load and not high cognitive lad where resources for the cognitive processing of the appeals are limited. We discuss the implications of the research for the role of attitude structure is understanding persuasion effects and the interplay of affective and cognitive elements in persuasion processes.

Keywords: cognitive attitude, affective persuasive, specific attribute

JEL Classification: M30, M31

Suggested Citation

Drolet, Aimee and Aaker, Jennifer Lynn, Off Target? Changing Cognitive-Based Attitudes (2002). Journal of Consumer Psychology, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 59-68, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1905662

Aimee Drolet

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Marketing Area ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza, Gold Hall 406
UCLA Anderson School
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States
310-206-4278 (Phone)
310-206-7422 (Fax)

Jennifer Lynn Aaker (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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