The Moderating Effect of Knowledge and Resources on the Persuasive Impact of Analogies
Four experiments were conducted to examine the persuasive impact of new product appeals containing an analogy. An analogy highlights the similarity in the benefits offered by a familiar base product and an unfamiliar target product. This device is found to be persuasive when (a) message recipients have the ability to map attribute relations from some base category to understand the benefits of a target product, and (b) they allocate the substantial resources needed to complete this mapping. In the absence of either of these conditions, the persuasive impact of an analogy is more limited. A variety of devices, including expertise with the base product, training in how to process base information, and a positive mood, are shown to improve the comprehension of an analogy and to enhance its persuasiveness. Copyright 2001 by the University of Chicago.
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