Communication modality as a determinant of persuasion: The role of communicator salience

Shelly Chaiken*, Alice H. Eagly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

314 Scopus citations


Reports 2 studies, using a total of 304 university students, in which a likable or unlikable communicator delivered a persuasive message via writing, audiotape, or videotape. In both studies the likable communicator was more persuasive in video- and audiotape than in writing, but the unlikable communicator was more persuasive in writing. Thus, communicator likability was a significant determinant of persuasion only in the broadcast modalities. Other findings suggest that Ss process more communicator cues when exposed to video- and audiotape messages than when exposed to written ones and that communicator-based (rather than message-based) cognitions predicted opinion change primarily in video and audiotape conditions rather than in written ones. It is concluded that video- and audiotapes enhance communicator-related information, so that communicator characteristics exert a disproportionate effect on persuasion when messages are broadcast. Findings are also discussed in relation to "vividness" phenomena. (40 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-256
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1983


  • persuasiveness of message via writing vs audiotape vs videotape delivered by likable vs unlikable communicator, college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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