Elaboration Likelihood Model Critique Essay

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The Elaboration Likelihood Model has been hailed by some as “unquestionably the most influential recent theoretical development in persuasion research” (O’Keefe, 2002). Even if this is the case, it is by no means a perfect theory. One of the most commonly cited criticisms of the elaboration likelihood model is the vacuous nature of the “argument strength” component. Although this criticism is useful for pointing out an area of the model that can be fine-tuned, any perceived shortcomings due to the argument strength concept can be mitigated through a creative application of other areas of the model. One of the largest criticisms of the elaboration likelihood model (hereafter ELM) pertains to the nature of “argument strength”.…show more content…
If the persuaded possesses high elaboration due to high topic relevance, a strong argument will manipulate that variable. If the persuaded has a high need for cognition, this can be exploited to form a strong argument, and so on. If it has been identified that the central route of persuasion on an audience is necessary due to high relevance to the persuasive message, this gives the persuader a framework to begin crafting a strong argument. Since relevance is what captures the audience’s attention, the persuader must exploit this. For example, if the persuader is attempting to sell a car to an individual the the use of the central route, and the potential buyer has been categorized as one that clearly understands the relevance of the purchase, the persuader should do his or her best to make their product seem the most relevant to the customer. The seller may do this by asking the customer to visualize how happy they will be in their new car. This can also be done by highlighting the features of the car that are most applicable to the customer’s concerns (safety, high gas mileage, etc). These methods will invite the receiver to become more involved with the target of persuasion. All of these ways utilize the customer’s judgment of high relevance to the situation to construct a strong argument. The need for cognition is
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