Source factors

 

1. (a) What is credibility? What are the primary dimensions of credibility? (b) What is competence? Describe the questionnaire items commonly used to assess competence. (c) What is trustworthiness? Describe the questionnaire items commonly used to asses trustworthiness. (d) Describe the research used to identify the primary dimensions of credibility. What is factor analysis?

 

2. (a) Identify factors influencing credibility judgments. Which of these influence perceptions of competence, and which perceptions of trustworthiness? (b) Describe the effect of knowledge of the communicator's education, occupation, experience, and training on competence and on trustworthiness. (c) Describe the effect of nonfluencies in delivery on competence and on trustworthiness. (d) Describe the effect of citation of evidence sources on competence and on trustworthiness. (e) Describe the effect of the advocated position on competence and on trustworthiness. Explain the meaning of "unexpected position" in the context of this phenomenon. (f) Describe the effect of (small amounts of appropriate) humor on competence and on trustworthiness. (g) Describe the effect of an organized (vs. disorganized) message on competence and on trustworthiness. (h) What is a ceiling effect? A floor effect?

 

3. (a) Explain the idea that the magnitude of credibility's effect on persuasive outcomes might vary. Identify two factors that influence the magnitude of credibility's effect. (b) Describe how involvement (personal relevance) influences the magnitude of credibility's effect. Under what sort of involvement condition will the effect of credibility be relatively larger? (c) Describe how the timing of identification of the communicator influences the magnitude of credibility's effect. What timing of identification leads to relatively larger effects of credibility? (d) Explain the idea that the direction of credibility's effect on persuasive outcomes might vary. Identify a factor that influences the direction of credibility's effect. (e) Under what conditions will higher-credibility sources be more persuasive than lower-credibility sources? And under what conditions will the opposite effect occur? Describe a possible explanation for the latter effect.

 

4. (a) What is the general rule of thumb concerning the effect of variations in liking (of the communicator) on persuasive outcomes? Explain how that general principle can be misleading (e.g., identify a limiting condition). (b) Describe the relative strength of the effects of credibility and the effects of liking (on persuasive outcomes). (c) Describe how variations in involvement (personal relevance) influence the effects of liking. What involvement conditions lead to relatively larger effects of liking?

 

5. (a) Does perceived similarity (of receiver and source) influence persuasive outcomes directly or indirectly? Explain. Through what avenues does perceived similarity influence persuasive outcomes? (b) Can perceived similarities influence judgments of communicator credibility? Identify a necessary condition for a perceived similarity to influence credibility judgments. Will all relevant perceived similarities enhance credibility? Will all relevant perceived dissimilarities diminish credibility? Explain. (c) What is attitudinal similarity? How does perceived attitudinal similarity influence liking? Explain the connection between this phenomenon and balance. Can liking be influenced by perceived similarities that are not relevant to the message topic?

 

6. Explain how other communicator characteristics (that is, other than credibility, liking, and similarity) influence persuasive outcomes indirectly.

 

7. Describe how websites can be communication “sources” akin to the way individual persons can Explain how parallel questions can arise concerning the antecedents of and effects of variations in (website) liking and (website) credibility. Describe how advertisements can be communication “sources.” Explain how parallel questions can arise concerning the antecedents of and effects of variations in (ad) liking and (ad) credibility. Describe the complexities (concerning source characteristics) associated with the use of endorsers in advertisements.