The effects of conditional indicative language on the comprehension and acceptance of advertising claims

Erik Heller*, Charles S. Areni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conditional indicatives are words or short phrases that facilitate comprehension and signal relationships among the clauses and sentences comprising an argument. Causal indicatives (e.g. because, since and thanks to) imply a positive relationship between two clauses such that the acceptance of one makes the other more likely to be true, whereas contrary indicatives (e.g. yet, even though and but) suggest a negative relationship between two clauses such that accepting one makes the other less plausible. A laboratory experiment compared the effects of contrary indicatives, causal indicatives and neutral connectives (e.g. and, also and in addition) on the comprehension and acceptance of advertising claims. The results indicated that, compared to neutral connectives, conditional indicatives had little or no impact when they were consistent with message recipients' expectations. However, causal indicatives had a negative effect on comprehension and acceptance when they ran counter to prior beliefs about product attributes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-240
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marketing Communications
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004

Keywords

  • Argument
  • Beliefs
  • Language
  • Persuasion
  • Subjective probability

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