Moderators of the Impact of Self-Reference on Persuasion
This article examines two related issues: how variation in the level of self-reference in which people engage affects their persuasion and what factors may moderate self-reference effects. Respondents viewed ads that varied on two dimensions intended to influence the use of self-reference, namely, the wording of the ad copy and the perspective from which the ad photo was shot. Results indicated that an initial (moderate) increase in self-referencing enhanced persuasion, while a further (extreme) increase undermined persuasion. These effects emerged, however, only when subjects were highly motivated to attend to the ad. When ad recipients' motivation was low, self-referencing had no effect. Copyright 1996 by the University of Chicago.
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