Advertisement

Source effects in communication and persuasion research: A meta-analysis of effect size

  • Elizabeth J. Wilson
  • Daniel L. Sherrell
Article

Abstract

The effect of a message source on the persuasion of a target audience has been a topic of interest to scholars in psychology, consumer behavior, and communications for many years. Narrative reviews of this literature are available; the contribution of this study is that we present a quantitative review of studies of source effects on persuasion. One of our research goals is to determine how strong and consistent source manipulations tend to be. We find that, on average, source manipulations account for nine percent of explained variance among studies reporting significant findings. In particular, expertise tends to have the greatest effect on persuasion with an average of 16 percent of the explained variance being due to the expert versus non-expert manipulation. As well as gaining insight into the pattern of results across a body of literature, our findings may be used as benchmarks by researchers, as advocated by Sawyer and Ball (1981), to evaluate results of future persuasion studies employing a source manipulation.

Keywords

Consumer Research Average Ranking Physical Attractiveness Source Effect Source Credibility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Andreoli, Virginia and Stephen Worchel. 1978. “Effects of Media, Communicator, and Message Position on Attitude Change.”Public Opinion Quarterly 42 (Spring): 59–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beaman, Arthur L. 1991. “An Empirical Comparison of Meta-analytic and Traditional Reviews.”Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 17 (June): 252–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berlo, David K., James Lemert, and Robert J. Mertz. 1970. “Dimensions for Evaluating the Acceptability of Message Sources.”Public Opinion Quarterly 33 (Winter): 563–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bersheid, Ellen and Elaine Walster. 1974. “Physical Attractiveness.” InAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology. Vol. 7. Ed. Leonard Berkowitz. New York, NY: Academic Press, 157–217.Google Scholar
  5. Bettinghaus, E. P., G. Miller, and T. Steinfatt. 1970. “Source Evaluation, Syllogistic Content, and Judgments of Logical Validity by High- and Low-Dogmatic Persons.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 4 (October): 614–621.Google Scholar
  6. Bochner, S. and Chester Insko. 1966. “Communicator Discrepancy, Source Credibility and Opinion Change.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 4 (December): 614–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brinberg, David and James Jaccard. 1986. “Meta-Analysis: Techniques for the Quantitative Integration of Research Findings.” InPerspectives on Methodology in Consumer Research. Eds. David Brinberg and Richard J. Lutz. New York, NY: Springer, 155–180.Google Scholar
  8. Brock, Timothy. 1965. “Communicator-Recipient Similarity and Decision Change.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1 (June): 650–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown, Steven P. and Douglas M. Stayman. 1992. “Antecedents and Consequences of Attitude toward the Ad: A Meta-Analysis.”Journal of Consumer Research 19 (June): 34–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Busch, Paul and David T. Wilson. 1976. “An Experimental Analysis of a Salesman’s Expert and Referent Bases of Social Power in the Buyer-Seller Dyad.”Journal of Marketing Research 13 (February): 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Campbell, Donald. 1957. “Factors Relevant to the Validity of Experiments in Social Settings.”Psychological Bulletin 54 (July): 297–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chaiken, Shelly. 1979. “Communicator Physical Attractiveness and Persuasion.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37 (August): 1387–1397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. —————. 1980. “Heuristic Versus Systematic Information Processing and the Use of Source Versus Message Cues in Persuasion.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39 (November): 752–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cooper, Harris M. and Kevin M. Lemke. 1991. “On the Role of Meta-Analysis is Personality and Social Psychology.”Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 17 (June): 245–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. DeBono, Kenneth G. and Richard Harnish. 1988. “Source Expertise, Source Attractiveness, and the Processing of Persuasive Information: A Functional Approach.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 55 (October): 541–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dholakia, Ruby Roy and Brian Sternthal. 1977. “Highly Credible Sources: Persuasive Facilitators or Persuasive Liabilities?”Journal of Consumer Research 3 (March): 223–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fern, Edward F., Kent B. Monroe, and Ramon A. Avila. 1986. “Effectiveness of Multiple Request Strategies: A Synthesis of Research Results.”Journal of Marketing Research 23 (May): 144–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. French, J. R. P. and Bertram Raven. 1959. “The Bases of Social Power.” InStudies in Social Power. Ed.. D. Cartwright. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 150–167.Google Scholar
  19. Giffin, Kim. 1967. “The Contribution of Studies of Source Credibility to a Theory of Interpersonal Trust in the Communication Process.”Psychological Bulletin 68 (August): 104–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gotlieb, Jerry and Dan Sarel. 1992. “The Influence of Type of Advertisement, Price and Source Credibility on Perceived Quality.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 20 (Summer): 253–260.Google Scholar
  21. Harmon, Robert R. and Kenneth A. Coney. 1982. “The Persuasive Effects of Source Credibility In Buy and Lease Situations.”Journal of Marketing Research 19 (May): 255–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hays, William. 1973.Statistics for the Social Sciences. Second edition. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.Google Scholar
  23. —————. 1981.Statistics. Third edition. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.Google Scholar
  24. Heesacker, Martin. 1986. “Counseling Pretreatment and the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Attitude Change.”Journal of Counseling Psychology 33 (April): 107–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hovland, Carl I., Irving L. Janis, and Harold H. Kelley. 1953.Communication and Persuasion. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hunter, John E. and Frank L. Schmidt. 1990.Methods of Meta-Analysis. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  27. Iman, Ronald L. and W. J. Conover. 1983. “Multiple Comparison Procedures Based on the Rank Transformation.” Working Paper. Texas Tech University.Google Scholar
  28. Johnson, Blair T. 1991. “Insights about Attitudes: Meta-analytic Perspectives.”Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 17 (June): 289–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Johnson, Blair T. and Alice H. Eagly. 1989. “Effects of Involvement on Persuasion: A Meta-Analysis.”Psychological Bulletin 106 (September): 290–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Johnson, Homer and Richard Izzett. 1969. “Relationship Between Authoritarianism and Attitude Change as a Function of Source Credibility and Type of Communication.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 13 (December): 317–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Johnson, Homer and John Scileppi. 1969. “Effects of Ego-Involvement Conditions on Attitude Change to High and Low Credibility Communicators.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 13 (September): 31–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kahle, Lynn R. and Pamela M. Homer. 1985. “Physical Attractiveness of the Celebrity Endorser: A Social Adaptation Perspective.”Journal of Consumer Research 11 (March): 954–961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kelman, Herbert C. 1961. “Processes of Opinion Change.”Public Opinion Quarterly 25 (Spring): 57–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McCroskey, James. 1969. “A Summary of Experimental Research on the Effects of Evidence in Persuasive Communication.”Quarterly Journal of Speech 55 (April): 169–176.Google Scholar
  35. McGinnies, Elliott. 1973. “Initial Attitude, Source Credibility and Involvement as Factors in Persuasion.”Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 9 (July): 285–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McGinnies, Elliott and Charles Ward. 1974. “Persuasibility as a Function of Source Credibility and Locus of Control: Five Cross-Cultural Experiments.”Journal of Personality 42 (September): 360–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McGuire, William. 1985. “Attitudes and Attitude Change.” InHandbook of Social Psychology. Third edition. Eds. Gardner Lindzey and Elliot Aronson. New York, NY: Random House, 223–346.Google Scholar
  38. McNeill, Brian W. and Cal D. Stoltenberg. 1988. “A Test of the Elaboration Likelihood Model for Therapy.”Cognitive Therapy and Research 12 (February): 69–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Moore, Danny L., Douglas Hausknecht, and Kanchana Thamodaran. 1988. “Time Compression, Response Opportunity, and Persuasion.”Journal of Consumer Research 13 (June): 85–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ostrom, Thomas W. and Timothy C. Brock. 1968. “A Cognitive Model of Attitudinal Involvement.” InTheories of Cognitive Consistency: A Sourcebook. Eds. Robert Abelson, Elliott Aronson, William J. McGuire, Theodore M. Newcomb, Milton J. Rosenberg, and Percy H. Tannenbaum. Skokie, IL: Rand-McNally, 373–383.Google Scholar
  41. Peterson, Robert A., Gerald Albaum, and Richard F. Beltramini. 1985. “A Meta-Analysis of Effect Sizes in Consumer Behavior Experiments.”Journal of Consumer Research 12 (June): 97–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Petty, Richard E. and John T. Cacioppo. 1986.Communication and Persuasion: Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  43. Petty, Richard E., John T. Cacioppo, and R. Goldman. 1981. “Personal Involvement as a Determinant of Argument-Based Persuasion.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 41 (November): 847–855.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Petty, Richard E., John T. Cacioppo, and David Schumann. 1983. “Central and Peripheral Routes to Advertising Effectiveness: The Moderating Role of Involvement.”Journal of Consumer Research 10 (September): 135–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rao, Akshay and Kent B. Monroe. 1989. “The Effect of Price, Brand Name, and Store Name on Buyers’ Perceptions of Product Quality: An Integrative Review.”Journal of Marketing Research 26 (August): 351–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rhine, Ramon and Laurence J. Severance. 1970. “Ego-Involvement, Discrepancy, Source Credibility, and Attitude Change.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 16 (October): 175–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ritchie, Elaine and E. Jerry Phares. 1969. “Attitude Change as a Function of Internal-External Control and Communicator Status.”Journal of Personality 37 (September): 429–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rosenthal, Robert. 1991.Meta-Analytic Procedures for Social Research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  49. Sawyer, Alan G. and Dwayne Ball. 1981. “Statistical Power and Effect Size in Marketing Research.”Journal of Marketing Research 18 (August): 275–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sherif, Carolyn W., M. Sherif, and R. W. Nebergall. 1965.Attitude and Attitude Change. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.Google Scholar
  51. Siegal, Sidney. 1954.Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  52. Simons, Herbert W., Nancy N. Berkowitz, and R. John Moyer. 1970. “Similarity, Credibility, and Attitude Change: A Review and A Theory.”Psychological Bulletin 73 (January): 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sternthal, Brian, Lynn W. Phillips, and Ruby Dholakia. 1978. “The Persuasive Effect of Source Credibility: A Situational Analysis.”Public Opinion Quarterly 42 (Fall): 285–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stiff, James B. 1986. “Cognitive Processing of Persuasive Message Cues: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Effects of Supporting Information on Attitudes.”Communication Monographs 53 (March): 75–89.Google Scholar
  55. Tellis, Gerard J. and Birger Wernerfelt. 1987. “Competitive Price and Quality Under Asymetric Information.”Marketing Science 6 (Summer): 240–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Walster, Elaine, Elliot Aronson, and D. Abrahams. 1966. “On Increasing the Persuasiveness of a Low Prestige Communicator.”Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 2 (October): 325–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wood, Wendy and Carl A. Kallgren. 1988. “Communicator Attributes and Persuasion: Recipients’ Access to Attitude-Relevant Information in Memory.”Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 14 (March): 172–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Woodside, Arch G. and William Davenport. 1974. “The Effect of Salesman Similarity and Expertise on Consumer Purchasing Behavior.”Journal of Marketing Research 11 (May): 198–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Woodside, Arch G. and William Davenport. 1976. “Effects of Price and Salesman Expertise on Customer Purchasing Behavior.”Journal of Business 49 (January): 51–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wu, Chenghuan and David Shaffer. 1987. “Susceptibility to Persuasive Appeals as a Function of Source Credibility and Prior Experience with the Attitude Object.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52 (April): 677–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Yalch, Richard F. and Rebecca Elmore-Yalch. 1984. “The Effect of Numbers on the Route to Persuasion.”Journal of Consumer Research 11 (June): 522–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zaichkowsky, Judith L. 1985. “Measuring the Involvement Construct.”Journal of Consumer Research 12 (December): 341–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth J. Wilson
    • 1
  • Daniel L. Sherrell
    • 1
  1. 1.Louisiana State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations