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The influence of trait anxiety on information processing: An elaboration likelihood study

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Date Issued:
2015
Abstract/Description:
This study explored the influence of trait anxiety on information processing in persuasive situations, and investigated cognitive load as a mediator of this relationship. The research presented was based off DeBono and McDermott's (1994) framework for exploring trait anxiety and persuasion. The theoretical lens used to explore information processing, the elaboration likelihood model (Petty (&) Cacioppo, 1986) posits that motivation and ability are necessary components to elaborate on a message. However, very little research has addressed ability variables like trait anxiety. I predicted that students high in trait anxiety would be persuaded by the attractiveness of the source (peripherally) whereas students low in trait anxiety would be persuaded by the strength of the arguments presented (centrally).Undergraduate students were asked to view a picture of a policy presenter and listen to a recording of the student's proposed policy statement. After listening to the recording participants wrote down their thoughts during the presentation and were tested on their ability to recall the arguments presented. They then completed a few scale items assessing their attitudes toward the policy as well as questions to maintain the cover story.Findings showed no difference in processing between low and high trait anxious individuals. However, there was a significant effect of anxiety on attitudes. Additionally, cognitive load was not found to be a mediator of the relationship between anxiety and attitudes.
Title: The influence of trait anxiety on information processing: An elaboration likelihood study.
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Name(s): Appelbaum, Michael, Author
Miller, Ann, Committee Chair
Weger, Harry, Committee CoChair
Rubenking, Bridget, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study explored the influence of trait anxiety on information processing in persuasive situations, and investigated cognitive load as a mediator of this relationship. The research presented was based off DeBono and McDermott's (1994) framework for exploring trait anxiety and persuasion. The theoretical lens used to explore information processing, the elaboration likelihood model (Petty (&) Cacioppo, 1986) posits that motivation and ability are necessary components to elaborate on a message. However, very little research has addressed ability variables like trait anxiety. I predicted that students high in trait anxiety would be persuaded by the attractiveness of the source (peripherally) whereas students low in trait anxiety would be persuaded by the strength of the arguments presented (centrally).Undergraduate students were asked to view a picture of a policy presenter and listen to a recording of the student's proposed policy statement. After listening to the recording participants wrote down their thoughts during the presentation and were tested on their ability to recall the arguments presented. They then completed a few scale items assessing their attitudes toward the policy as well as questions to maintain the cover story.Findings showed no difference in processing between low and high trait anxious individuals. However, there was a significant effect of anxiety on attitudes. Additionally, cognitive load was not found to be a mediator of the relationship between anxiety and attitudes.
Identifier: CFE0005572 (IID), ucf:50262 (fedora)
Note(s): 2015-05-01
M.A.
Sciences, Communication
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Anxiety -- Persuasive Communication -- Persuasion -- Information Processing -- Elaboration Likelihood Model -- Trait Anxiety -- Cognitive Load
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0005572
Restrictions on Access: public 2015-05-15
Host Institution: UCF

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