The purpose of this paper is to study consumer information processing within the context of attitude formation and change. Examination of the cognitive rules used by consumers in manipulating information presented in a persuasive communication seems quite relevant to understanding the impact of such communications. Persuasive communications can be viewed as presenting data to the consumer, who then manipulates and combines those data in the process of forming or changing an attitude. Like consumer behavior research, most communication research has not taken the information processing approach and has two major shortcomings. First, the dependent measures are too broad and too far removed from the specific elements constituting persuasive messages. This results in a little indication as to which data included in the message were actually used by the consumer in arriving at his new attitude. Second, there is little concern with the processes intervening between input and output. This paper reports a series of related studies that attempt to address these issues directly.
Bettman, James, Noel Capon, and Richard Lutz. "Information Processing in Attitude Formation and Change." Communication Research 2 (Fall 1975): 267-78.
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