Elaboration likelihood model
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The elaboration likelihood model (ELM) of persuasion is a dual process theory of how attitudes are formed and changed; it was developed by Richard E. Petty and John Cacioppo in the early 1980s (see also attitude change). The model proposes an "elaboration continuum," which determines the extent to which arguments are processed and evaluated (high elaboration) versus peripheral cues such as source expertise or attractiveness (low elaboration) shape persuasion.[clarification needed] The model is similar to the heuristic-systematic model of information processing developed around the same time by Shelly Chaiken.
Model routes 
The model defines two distinct types of processing routes: a central route, and a peripheral route.
Central route 
Central route processes require the audience to use a great deal more thought, and therefore are likely to predominate under conditions that promote high elaboration. Central route processes involve careful scrutiny of a persuasive communication (e.g., a speech, an advertisement, etc.) to determine the merits of the arguments. Under these conditions, a person's unique cognitive responses to the message determine the persuasive outcome. If a person evaluates a message centrally as being reliable, well-constructed, and convincing, it will often be received as favorable even if it contrasts with the receiver’s original stance on the message. So, if favorable thoughts are a result of the elaboration process, the message will most likely be accepted (i.e., an attitude congruent with the message's position will emerge), and if unfavorable thoughts are generated while considering the merits of presented arguments, the message will most likely be rejected. In order for the message to be centrally processed, a person must have the ability and motivation to do so. Motivation to centrally process a message is dependent on personal relevance.
Peripheral route 
Peripheral route processes, on the other hand, do not involve elaboration of the message through extensive cognitive processing of the merits of the actual argument presented. These processes often rely on environmental characteristics of the message, such as the perceived credibility of the source, the quality of the way in which the message is presented, the attractiveness of the source, or the catchy slogan that contains the message. It is also frequently used when the argument presented is weak and/or lacking evidence. The peripheral route is a mental shortcut process that accepts or rejects a message based on irrelevant cues rather than actively thinking about the issue  The peripheral route is a process in which outside influences affect the decision making process. This is also the process used when the audience is unable to process the message, due to complexity of the message or immaturity of the audience. The most common influences would be factors such as reward, which could include food, sex or money. These inducements create a quick change in mind and action. Celebrity status along with likability and expertise are other factors in the peripheral process that have become more popular. Humor within messages is a dominant influence in this process as well. Appearance also has the ability to gain the attention of individuals; it can create an interest in the topic, but will not create a strong change in individuals. The goal of the peripheral process is to create change, which can be weak and even temporary as opposed to the strong and lasting change in the central route.
Choice of route 
The two factors that most influence which route an individual will take in a persuasive situation are motivation (strong desire to process the message; e.g., Petty & Cacioppo, 1979) and ability (actually being capable of critical evaluation; e.g., Petty, Wells, & Brock, 1976). The route is taken is determined by the extent of elaboration. Both motivational and ability factors determine elaboration. Motivational factors include the personal relevance of the message topic, accountability, and a person's "need for cognition" (their innate desire to enjoy thinking). Ability factors include the availability of cognitive resources (e.g., the presence or absence of time pressures or distractions) or relevant knowledge needed to carefully scrutinize the arguments. Distractions such as noise can affect the ability for one to process a message. An example of noise would be a persuader trying to share his message in a room full of crying babies; this would make it extremely difficult for listeners to concentrate on the message being given. Noise that can't be physically controlled would include situations in which the listener couldn't concentrate on a provider's message because they had something else on their mind which was more important than the persuader's message, such as a death in the family or relationship problems. Another example of this is in children. Children will change their behavior because their parent told them to do so rather than by taking the information given and processing it. As children grows up, however, they will have higher cognitive complexity, and therefore be able to process the information of the situation centrally in order to draw a conclusion of their own. The subject's general education level, as well as their education and experience with the topic at hand, greatly affect their ability to be persuaded. Under conditions of moderate elaboration, a mixture of central and peripheral route processes will guide information processing. There are benefits and consequences for both processes. An individual who disagrees with the message being presented will likely have a boomerang effect if he or she centrally processes the message and bounce farther away from the speaker’s goal. If that same situation takes place, but the message is peripherally processed, a weak change will not have as large of a negative effect on that individual. 
Elaboration Types 
Attitude, motivation, and ability strongly increase the likelihood that a message will be ingrained in the minds' of listeners, although, as the social judgement theory suggests, they may not process the information in a fair, objective way. Attitudes are general evaluations that people hold that correspond with how they perceive themselves in relation to the world they live in. One way to influence attitude is to give peripheral cues. Peripheral cues can be things that lead to good or punishing or they can invoke provide guiding rules or inferences.[clarification needed] These are often effective because they cause the audience to draw the conclusion themselves, making them believe it is their own idea, leading them to buy in to it. Many of the evaluations are based on cognitive intelligence, behavior, and guidance. Given a basic understanding of an individual's attitudes, one can interpret which type of elaboration would better suit the situation. There are two types of elaboration a listener can possess: biased elaboration and objective elaboration. Elaboration can lead to both positive and negative results depending on the audience who is receiving the message. Individuals who have a preconception of a certain topic are much harder to persuade than individuals with an open mind about a topic, where only the facts hold truth.
Biased Elaboration 
In top-down thinking, predetermined conclusions color the supporting data.This is used on people who likely already have their minds made up about a situation before the message is ever conveyed to them (Cacioppo) Ex. Someone who has had a negative personal experience with motorcycles will probably have made up their minds and be biased in the way they process the message.
Objective Elaboration 
In bottom-up thinking, facts are scrutinized without bias, and the truth is sought wherever it might lead. These listeners let the facts speak for themselves and approach the message with an unbiased mind, which leads to a true unbiased result or opinion. (Cacioppo) Ex. A person who is listening to a motorcycle salesman and already has a mindset about them. This person would let the facts influence their attitude.
Model Testing 
To design a way to test the Elaboration Likelihood Model, it is crucial to determine whether an argument is universally seen as strong or weak. If an argument is inconsistent in opinions of strength, the results of persuasion will be inconsistent. A strong argument is defined by Petty and Cacioppo as “one containing arguments such that when subjects are instructed to think about the message, the thoughts they generate are fundamentally favorable”. In general, a weak argument that is universally viewed as weak will entice unfavorable results if the subject is instructed to and is in an appropriate environment to consider it logically (or when testing the central route of the Elaboration Likelihood Model). In turn, a strong argument under similar circumstances will return favorable results. The test arguments must also be rated for ease of understanding, complexity, and familiarity. To scientifically study either route of the Elaboration Likelihood Model, the arguments themselves must be designed to have consistent results.
Predictions and Distinctive Features 
In addition to these factors, the ELM also makes several unique proposals.
It is suggested that attitudes formed under high elaboration, the central route, are stronger than those formed under low elaboration, making this level of persuasion stable over time and less susceptible to decay or any type of counter-persuasion. Attitudes formed under low elaboration, the peripheral route, are more likely to cause a short term attitude change.
Variables in ELM routes can serve multiple roles in a persuasive setting depending on other contextual factors (examples below). Under high elaboration, a given variable (e.g., source expertise) can either serve as an argument ("If Einstein agrees with the theory of relativity, then this is a strong reason for me to as well") or as a biasing factor ("if an expert agrees with this position it is probably good, so let me see what else agrees with this conclusion" -- at the expense of information that may disagree with it).
Under conditions of low elaboration, a given variable can act as a peripheral cue. This could happen, for example, through the use of an "experts are always right" heuristic. Note that, while this is similar to the Einstein example presented above, this is a simple shortcut, which, unlike the Einstein example, does not require careful thought. Under conditions of moderate elaboration, a given variable can serve to direct the extent of information processing: "If an expert agrees with this position, I should really listen to what (s)he has to say".
Interestingly, when a variable affects elaboration, this can increase or decrease persuasion, depending on the strength of the arguments presented. If the arguments are strong, enhancing elaboration will enhance persuasion. If the arguments are weak, however, more thought will undermine persuasion.
More recent adaptations of the ELM (e.g.) have added an additional role that variables can serve. They can affect the extent to which a person has confidence in, and thus trusts, their own thoughts in response to a message (self-validation role). Keeping with our source expertise example, a person may feel that "if an expert presented this information, it is probably correct, and thus I can trust that my reactions to it are informative with respect to my attitude". Note that this role, because of its metacognitive nature, only occurs under conditions that promote high elaboration.
See also 
- Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). Communication and Persuasion: Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change. New York: Springer-Verlag.
- O'Keefe, Daniel J. "Theories of Persuasion." The SAGE Handbook Of Media Processes and Effects. By Robin L. Nabi and Mary Beth. Oliver. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2009. 277-78. Print.
- Griffin, E. (2012). A First Look at Communication Theory, 8th ed. McGraw-Hill: New York, 366-377.
- Berkowitz, Leonard. Advances In Experimental Social Psychology. Vol. 19. Orlando: Academic, 1986. 132-34. Print.
- Petty, R. E., Briñol, P., & Tormala, Z. L. (2002). Thought Confidence as a Determinant of Persuasion: The Self-validation Hypothesis. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 82, 722-741.
- Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). Psychology of Attitudes. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.
- Jae, H., & Delvicchio, D. (2004). Decision making by elaboration likelihood model- analysis journal and model. The journal of consumer affairs, 38(2), 342-354. Retrieved from http://staff.ui.ac.id/internal/0800300003/material/DMbyElaborationLikelihoodModel.pdf
- Metzler AE, Weiskotten D, Morgen KJ; National HIV Prevention Conference (1999 : Atlanta, Ga.).
- Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1981). Attitudes and Persuasion: Classic and Contemporary Approaches. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown.
- Petty, R. E., & Wegener, D. T. (1999). The Elaboration Likelihood Model: Current Status and Controversies. In S. Chaiken & Y. Trope (eds.), Dual Process Theories in Social Psychology (pp. 41–72). New York: Guilford Press.