Changing False Beliefs from Repeated Advertising: The Role of Claim-Refutation Alignment


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Published version in the Journal of Consumer Psychology v. 17 iss. 2 is available to subscribers.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1057-7408(07)70018-9


This research addresses refutation of false beliefs formed on the basis of repeated exposure to advertisements. Experiment 1 explores the impact of alignability between the claim and the refutation on belief in the refutation. Experiment 2 then examines whether this effect will carry through to belief in the original claim after exposure to the refutation. Findings indicate that refutations that are weakly aligned with the original claim are believed more than refutations that are strongly aligned with the original claim. However, strongly aligned refutations are more effective in reducing belief in the original claim. The process underlying this effect is shown to be recall of the original claim. Refutation alignability increases recall of the original claim on exposure to the refutation and enables updating, despite the fact that it causes defensive processing of the refutation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Advertising and Promotion Management | Mass Communication

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