Effect of sponsor advocacy on message perception and attitude change
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This study consisted of an experimental investigation of the effect of certain aspects of the sponsorship of a message on how the audience perceives that message and the degree of attitude change produced. A film on the dangers of nuclear waste was shown to a sample of 67 students. A questionnaire containing one of six identified sponsors or a control (no sponsor) was administered following the film. The effects of perceived sponsor advocacy or opposition to nuclear energy was evaluated along credibility and emotional impact dimensions. The effect on overall attitude change was also evaluated. Major findings of the study were: (1) Subjects found the film to be less believable, consistent, and convincing when its sponsors were perceived to have a vested interest in opposing nuclear energy. (2) Some suggestion that the film's emotional impact or attention value was greater when a sponsor was identified than when no sponsor was mentioned. A discussion of the findings and implications for future research are presented.
KeywordsRadioactive Waste Nuclear Energy Wall Street Journal Vested Interest Emotional Impact
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