Persuasive Communication-Elaboration Likelihood Model
I am always keen on what I eat because I believe that what I eat determines my day-to-day performance and impacts my long-term health. Therefore, I occasionally took two bottles of beer after a meal, relaxing and having fun with friends. However, six months ago, during a party, my colleague, who’s a medical professional, told me that it was much healthier to take wine instead of beer. He stressed that I should consider making this change as soon as possible if I was as keen on my health as I seemed to be. After that night, I decided to change what I took for recreation. However, I did not decide immediately since I wanted to be convinced by facts. The first fact that I considered was that my friend was a medical professional, so he had better knowledge of health. The second measure I took to ensure I made a decision supported by facts was taking time to do a quick research. I took thirty minutes the following morning and searched online on why wine was healthier than beer. What struck me was that beer had much higher calories, which was unhealthy.
Therefore, I chose to take wine for recreation and after meals instead of beer. The primary source of influence was my colleague, who has better knowledge concerning healthy living habits. The nature of power, in this case, is a minority influence. Minority influence happens when a small group or an individual influences a larger group. This influence falls in this category because many people, including those on campus, take beer, and many prefer beer over wine. Therefore, I represented the majority who take beer, and my friend described the few who take wine.
Applying the ELM Model
The elaboration likelihood model (ELM) holds that when one comes across some information, one processes the data with different levels of thinking. Some process the data with a low degree of elaboration, while others from a high magnification (Guo et al., 2020). The ELM model also holds that several psychological transformation processes operate at different levels to influence development. On the lower level, one gets information and gives little thought for them to change. On a higher level, one gets information and gives it a more profound idea, thus evolving due to cognitive response processes and classical conditioning (Guo et al., 2020). This is also considered the central route process. ELM also suggests that change made through the central route process often persists compared to change made through a lower degree of elaboration.
When the above model has been applied to the situation above, it is evident that the change made was influenced by a higher degree of elaboration. The reasons for making this conclusion are that even after getting the communication, I considered the health impacts of beer and wine. After completing this consideration and relying on the fact that the source of information was credible, I changed after a higher level of thought. Moreover, Guo et al. (2020) are correct when stating that change made through this method tends to persist because I do not intend to revert from the change I have made based on empirical facts.
Ethics of the Influence
The code of ethics that my friend and I observed in the case described above is codes 2.06 (a) and (c) in the APA’s (American Psychological Association) Code of ethics 2010 (American Psychological Association, 2010). The reason for concluding that this code was applied is because he gave me a piece of advice that falls within the boundaries of his expertise. I believe that my friend used his advice after gathering enough knowledge from his practice and also after doing his research and getting empirical evidence to show that wine is healthier than beer. Even though this was a change that involved a casual life event, I can argue that my friend also adhered to the code of ethics 4.01 of the APA by making my change confidential (American Psychological Association, 2010). In other words, he did not go around telling my other friend why I had changed my drinking routine or brag over his ability to convince me to take wine instead of taking beer. Also, my friend did not want to use unethical processes like reserving some information or manipulating others to convince me. There is no doubt that his main intention was to help me live a healthier life since I was very keen on my health, especially what I eat.
Insights Gained From Analyzing This Experience Using the ELM Model
Having described this case and evaluated my experience in the change process using the ELM model, I believe that I made change devoid of manipulation and with proper examination. One would argue that I was convinced by my friend just because he is in the medical industry. This conclusion may be partly true, even though the more significant part of my change was informed by the critical thought I gave to the information I was given. Instead of taking the lead and rushing to make a change, I considered the source. Most critical is that I relied on credible information from other sources and empirical findings. I can thus advise others to make changes under the influence of a higher degree of elaboration. Also, taking in new information is not harmful; instead, it is healthy because if the difference is taken in after critical thinking and evaluation, then it can positively impact individuals.
American Psychological Association (APA). (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct: Including 2010 amendments. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx [Access date 2nd May 2022]
Guo, X., Chen, S., Zhang, X., Ju, X., & Wang, X. (2020). Exploring Patients’ Intentions for Continuous Usage of mHealth Services: Elaboration-Likelihood Perspective Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 8(4), e17258. https://doi.org/10.2196/17258
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When you listen to persuasive communication, what contributes to your decision to change your mind, to buy a product, or participate in an activity? How do factors related to who is speaking, the content and context of the communication, and your motivation inform your attitude and behavior?
Think back to Week 2, when you examined ego involvement and its influence on decision making. This week, you are exploring “routes to persuasion.” Consider in what ways your degree of involvement informs how you process information. Keep in mind that “routes to persuasion” are constructs, not physical pathways in the brain. The routes we take differ depending on the situation. Sometimes, we take more time to deliberate on information, which is the central route. However, we don’t always have time—or want to take time—to consider all information that comes our way. We make a quick decision by processing through the peripheral route because it takes less effort and lower ego involvement. Which route do you think you use most often?
For this Assignment, you will explore routes to persuasion by applying the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), presented in the text reading this week, to an experience in your life.
Review the Week 3 Learning Resources. Review this sample paper as you develop your paper.
Think of a time when you were influenced by someone else to make a substantial change in your life (e.g., enroll in your program at Walden; change jobs; move to another city; or address a habit, such as to stop smoking).
Recall the details of the situation, including the person who influenced you.
Analyze the situation and how you moved through it in terms of the components of the ELM featured in the graphic (Figure 8.4) on page 214 of the text, paying particular attention to the route(s) to persuasion that you used (e.g., when the routes overlapped for you, if they did, or whether you used the same route throughout the situation).
Consider what informed how you engaged with the person(s) who influenced you and other aspects of the situation.
Also, consider the ethics of the method(s) of influence, using the code of ethics you consider most appropriate to the situation.
By Day 7
Submit a 3- to 5-page paper that addresses the following:
Describe the situation, the change you were influenced to make, who influenced you, and the nature of the influence.
Apply the ELM model, and explain the experience for you in terms of the ELM components.
Explain the ethics of the influence you experienced and how your relationship with the person(s) who influenced you was impacted.
Explain insights you gained from analyzing this experience using the ELM model that you would apply the next time you want to make a change in your life or are encouraged to make a change by others.
Note: Support the responses within your Assignment with evidence from the assigned Learning Resources, including in-text citations. Provide a reference list for resources you used for this Assignment.
Perloff, R. M. (2021). The dynamics of persuasion: Communication and attitudes in the 21st century (7th ed.). Routledge.
Chapter 6, “Attitudes: Functions and Consequences”
Chapter 8, “Processing Persuasive Communications”
These chapters of your text cover the key themes for the week. Complete the reading in Chapter 6 to prepare for your Week 3 Discussion post and in Chapter 8 to prepare for your Assignment. Keep in mind that the Week 3 Test for Understanding is based on the information in your text.
The Concept of Culture (n.d.). Retrieved from https://us.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-assets/48150_book_item_48150.pdf
Review the codes of ethics from the Week 1 Learning Resources. You will use one or more codes of ethics that are most relevant to the content of your Discussion post and to your Assignment this week.
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