A popular prediction in persuasion research is that decreased ability to process information increases reliance on peripheral cues and decreases reliance on central claims. This paper explains why this prediction does not necessarily hold when processing capacity is impaired by high arousal. Three experiments suggest that two types of processes underlie arousal effects on persuasion. Arousal induces selective processing of cues that are diagnostic at the expense of cues that are nondiagnostic - the selection effect. Arousal may also dilute the influence of cues that are capacity demanding - the representation effect. It is, therefore, important to disentangle the diagnosticity of persuasion cues from their processing demand.
Pham, Michel Tuan. "Cue Representation and Selection Effects of Arousal in Persuasion." Journal of Consumer Research 22, no. 4 (March 1996): 373-87.
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