Persuasive Message Pretesting Using Non-Behavioral Outcomes: Differences in Attitudinal and Intention Effects as Diagnostic of Differences in Behavioral Effects

Daniel J. O’Keefe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Persuasive message designers would like to be able to pretest messages to see which will be more effective in influencing behavioral outcomes, but pretesting using behavioral measures is commonly not practical. Examination of within-study effect size comparisons from 317 studies of 22 message variations suggests that persuasive messages’ relative effectiveness is strikingly similar across attitudinal, intention, and behavioral outcomes—with messages’ relative persuasiveness with respect to intention outcomes especially indicative of relative persuasiveness with respect to behavioral outcomes. Intention measures thus provide a convenient and accurate means of persuasive message pretesting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-645
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume71
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

Keywords

  • Formative research
  • Message pretesting
  • Persuasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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