A laboratory experiment examined the extent to which the reported opinions of others influence persuasion in individuals low vs. high in need for cognition (NFC). Reported opinions influenced the attitudes of high-and low-NFC respondents in the direction of the majority position. However, for high-NFC respondents, the effect was entirely mediated by the evaluation of topic-relevant arguments (i.e., biased elaboration). On the other hand, the influence of reported opinions on the attitudes of low-NFC respondents was not mediated by the argument ratings. Instead, their evaluations of the topic-relevant arguments were actually mediated by their attitudes toward the proposal (i.e., rationalization). These results are discussed in terms of the multiple-roles postulate of the elaboration-likelihood model (ELM) and the "consensus implies correctness" inference of the heuristic-systematic model (HSM).
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Psychology and Marketing|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|