Written Piece Two titled “Today’s News” was released on Facebook and WordPress on July 16, 2019. This written post utilizes multiple visual queues, in conjunction with text, attempting to persuade younger audiences and mature developed adults. The following essay discusses the post as it relates to course material from COMSTRAT 561 at Washington State University. This essay discusses the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) and persuasion as a process. “Under high elaboration likelihood, the attractive source might actually serve as a persuasive argument for the merit of the message.” (Dillard & Pfau, 2002, p.161)
ELM Theory and Critical Thinking
According to Booth-Butterfield and Welbourne, ELM consists of two main segments; central processes, and peripheral processes. Thus, “a person who processes a persuasive message via the central route is likely to evaluate and think critically about the arguments contained in the message.” (p. 156) In an attempt to appeal to both fully cognitive adults, as well, as children, this posts utilizes a playful layout and vivid colors to attract those using peripheral processes. (Dillard & Pfau, 2002)
Central route processing produces attitude change based on careful evaluation of the arguments contained within a message, whereas persuasion via the peripheral route is associated with less thoughtful processing, such as a reliance on cues or heuristics that are unrelated to the actual merits of the message.” For example the image of school pencils and the early grade school template layout should invite those utilizing peripheral queues to ignore the fear appeal (e,g, “Over 900 chemicals belonging to this category have already been recognized, and they are the biggest pollutants of our indoor air.”) and share the document based on visual attractiveness. (Dillard & Pfau, 2002)
Persuasion as a Process
This advocacy group uses messaging order to persuade consumers over-time. For example, this post is one of many at Facebook.com/hazardoushomeproducts/ that share the potentially fatal outcomes of ignoring the advocacy message. One-time persuasion would assume that this post has enough influence to force behavioral change. An adult with the cognitive ability to question persuasion tactics may not change behavior directly from one written post. Over-time by re-introducing credible sources such as the Environmental Protection Agency and American Lung Association, consumers will begin to understand the effects of purchasing and maintaining hazardous home products.
As stated in the written piece, according to the American Lung Association, “Many cleaning supplies or household products can irritate the eyes or throat, or cause headaches and other health problems, including cancer.” This message, for a cognitively developed adult, should influence their decisions to remove hazardous products from their home, or at the very least begin to start contemplating safer & less toxic alternatives.
Booth-Butterfield, S. & Welbourne, J. (2002). The elaboration likelihood model: Its Impact on persuasion theory and research (pp. 155-173). In J. P. Dillard & M. Pfau (eds.), The Persuasion Handbook: Developments in Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. [eReserve]
Cleaning Supplies and Household Chemicals. (n.d.) American Lung Association. Retrieved from https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/indoor/indoor-air-pollutants/cleaning- supplies-household-chem.html
Volatile Organic Compounds’ Impact on Indoor Air Quality. (n.d) EPA United States Environmental Agency. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoor-air-quality