The elaboration likelihood model
(ELM) of persuasion
Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). Communication and Persuasion: Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change
. New York: Springer-Verlag. is a model of how attitudes are formed and changed that was developed by R. E. Petty and J. T. Cacioppo in the early 1980s (see also attitude change
). Central to this model is the "elaboration continuum", which ranges from low elaboration (low thought) to high elaboration (high thought). The ELM distinguishes between two routes to persuasion: the "central route," where a subject considers an idea logically, and the "peripheral route," in which the audience uses preexisting ideas and superficial qualities to be persuaded.
Central route processes are those that require a great deal of thought, and therefore are likely to predominate under conditions that promote high elaboration. Central route processes involve careful scrutiny of a persuasive communication (e.g., a speech, an advertisement, etc.) to determine the merits of the arguments. Under these conditions, a person's unique cognitive responses to the message determine the persuasive outcome (i.e., the direction and magnitude of attitude change). So, if favorable thoughts are a result of the elaboration process, the message will most likely be accepted (i.e., an attitude congruent with the message's... Read More