Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
construal level, dual process model, information processing, mediated-communication, persuasion, presence
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Dissatisfied with the existing theoretical account of the effects of presence on the mode of information processing (i.e., heuristic vs. systematic processing) and how this leads to persuasion in the context of mediated communication, the current study suggests an alternative framework that could provide an efficient and reasonable way of understanding the underlying psychological mechanism of the presence effects on persuasion. Drawing on presence theory, construal level theory, and the dual process model of persuasion, this study proposes a conceptual model that posits construal level as a key variable that mediates the effects of presence on the mode of information processing.
Specifically, on the basis of the conceptual overlap between psychological distance and presence, which are respectively represented as key constructs in construal level theory and presence theory, this study proposes that a sense of presence has the potential to replace the role of psychological distance in the construal level theory and consequently prime a certain level of construal (i.e., the extent to which people’s thinking is abstract or concrete). Additionally, the conceptual similarity between the construal level in the construal level theory and the dual process model is supposed to lead people to apply the primed level of construal in processing information. In this framework, construal level is posited as a key factor that could mediate the relationship between the degree to which people experience a sense of presence and the mode of information processing.
This study also attempts to provide a theoretical understanding of how this framework will serially influence the formation of trust and persuasion (i.e., behavioral intention). Guided by the empirical evidence from earlier studies, heuristic and systematic processing are predicted to respectively increase the degree to which people form affective trust towards brand and cognitive trust towards advertising product information. Consequently, persuasion is predicted to occur through both cognitive trust towards advertising product information and affective trust towards brand, as affect and cognition are intertwined.
In order to validate this conceptual model, a two (ad presentation mode: video vs. text) x two (ad type: location-based advertising vs. traditional advertising) between-subjects experiment (N = 180) was conducted in a recent advertising context―i.e., location-based advertising. Consistent with the predictions based on this framework, the results showed that construal level plays a significant role in mediating the effects of presence and social presence on the mode of information processing. In addition, the amount of heuristic and systematic processing, determined by the construal level primed by a sense of presence and social presence, was positively associated with the degree to which people form affective trust towards brand and cognitive trust towards advertising product information. Consequently, both affective trust towards brand and cognitive trust towards advertising product information, formed through heuristic and systematic processing, positively influenced participants’ behavioral (purchase) intention. Through partial least squares structural equation modeling, this framework was statistically validated. Further theoretical implications of this framework are discussed.
Shin, Mincheol, "Towards an explication of the presence effects on information processing and persuasion: A construal level framework" (2019). Dissertations - ALL. 1024.