Cognitive and affective factors of tv advertising's influence on children

Ellen Wartella*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Since the early 1970s, interest in children's attention to and comprehension of advertising messages on television has been focused both by mass communication researchers and public policy makers. Work has specifically considered children's understanding of the persuasive intent of commercials and their ability to employ cognitive defenses to assess or resist commercial appeals. This paper reviews the evidence of children's understanding of the intent of advertising, the persuasive impact of television commercials, children's cognitive defenses to such persuasion and its influence on their requests to purchase products. This review reveals a perpetuated "cognitive bias" of understanding children's responses to advertising. A new model of persuasion is posited which incorporates the critical role of affect for understanding the influence of television commercials on children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalWestern Journal of Speech Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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