Comprehensibility of persuasive arguments as a determinant of opinion change

Alice H. Eagly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Conducted 3 experiments involving 2 different manipulations of the comprehensibility of persuasive arguments using 885 university undergraduates as Ss. Lowering comprehensibility lessened acceptance of the conclusion of a message. Since argument comprehensibility did not interact with discrepancy size, communicator credibility, or counterarguing, this finding proved extremely general. Explanation focused on 2 processes that accompanied the deterioration of comprehensibility: (a) the lesser amount of supportive information that was received and (b) the more negative affective reaction that was produced. Exp III assessed the 2 explanations and concluded that both contributed to the message comprehensibility effects. (36 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)758-773
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1974


  • comprehensibility of persuasive arguments, opinion change, college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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