The elaboration likelihood model: Review, critique and research agenda

Philip J. Kitchen*, Gayle Kerr, Don E. Schultz, Rod McColl, Heather Pals

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to review, critique and develop a research agenda for the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM). The model was introduced by Petty and Cacioppo over three decades ago and has been modified, revised and extended. Given modern communication contexts, it is appropriate to question the model’s validity and relevance. Design/methodology/approach - The authors develop a conceptual approach, based on a fully comprehensive and extensive review and critique of ELM and its development since its inception. Findings - This paper focuses on major issues concerning the ELM. These include model assumptions and its descriptive nature; continuum questions, multi-channel processing and mediating variables before turning to the need to replicate the ELM and to offer recommendations for its future development. Research limitations/implications - This paper offers a series of questions in terms of research implications. These include whether ELM could or should be replicated, its extension, a greater conceptualization of argument quality, an explanation of movement along the continuum and between central and peripheral routes to persuasion, or to use new methodologies and technologies to help better understanding consume thinking and behaviour? All these relate to the current need to explore the relevance of ELM in a more modern context. Practical implications - It is time to question the validity and relevance of the ELM. The diversity of on- and off-line media options and the variants of consumer choice raise significant issues. Originality/value - While the ELM model continues to be widely cited and taught as one of the major cornerstones of persuasion, questions are raised concerning its relevance and validity in 21st century communication contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2033-2050
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Volume48
Issue number11-12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Advertising theory
  • Communications context
  • Elaboration likelihood
  • Multi-channel processing
  • Persuasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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    Kitchen, P. J., Kerr, G., Schultz, D. E., McColl, R., & Pals, H. (2014). The elaboration likelihood model: Review, critique and research agenda. European Journal of Marketing, 48(11-12), 2033-2050. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-12-2011-0776