Message properties, mediating states, and manipulation checks: Claims, evidence, and data analysis in experimental persuasive message effects research

Daniel J. O'Keefe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

271 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article addresses the conceptualization and definition of message variables in persuasion effects research. Two central claims are advanced. First, effect-based message variable definitions (in which a message variation is defined in terms of effects on psychological states, as when fear appeal variations are defined on the basis of differences in aroused fear) impede progress in understanding persuasion processes and effects and hence should be avoided in favor of definitions expressed in terms of intrinsic message features. Second, when message variations are defined in terms of intrinsic features, message manipulation checks, under that description, are unnecessary but similar measures may usefully be understood and analyzed as assessments of potential mediating states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-274
Number of pages24
JournalCommunication Theory
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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