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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20423

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Bless H, Mackie DM, Schwarz N.
Mood effects on attitude judgments: independent effects of mood before and after message elaboration.
J Pers Soc Psychol 1992; 63:(4):585-95
http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/63/4/585/


Abstract:

This study investigated the independent effects of induced mood on the encoding of persuasive messages and on the assessment of attitude judgments. In Experiment 1, positive or negative mood was induced either before the encoding of a counterattitudinal message or before the assessment of attitude judgments. When mood was induced before message presentation, Ss in a bad mood were more persuaded by strong than by weak arguments, whereas Ss in a good mood were equally persuaded by strong and by weak arguments. When Ss encoded the message in a neutral mood, however, the advantage of strong over weak arguments was more pronounced when Ss were in a good rather than in a bad mood at the time of attitude assessment. In Experiment 2, Ss exposed to a counterattitudinal message composed of either strong or weak arguments formed either a global evaluation or a detailed representation of the message. Positive, negative, or neutral mood was then induced. Ss in a good mood were most likely and Ss in a negative mood least likely to base their reported attitudes on global evaluations.

Keywords:
Adult Affect* Attitude* Female Humans Language Life Change Events Male Persuasive Communication* Research Design Set (Psychology) Suggestion

 

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Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963