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The Bi-directional Relationship Between Source Characteristics and Message Content

Collins, Peter J.; Hahn, Ulrike; von Gerber, Ylva LU and Olsson, Erik J LU (2018) In Frontiers in Psychology 9.
Abstract
Much of what we believe we know, we know through the testimony of others (Coady, 1992). While there has been long-standing evidence that people are sensitive to the characteristics of the sources of testimony, for example in the context of persuasion, researchers have only recently begun to explore the wider implications of source reliability considerations for the nature of our beliefs. Likewise, much remains to be established concerning what factors influence source reliability. In this paper, we examine, both theoretically and empirically, the implications of using message content as a cue to source reliability. We present a set of experiments examining the relationship between source information and message content in people's... (More)
Much of what we believe we know, we know through the testimony of others (Coady, 1992). While there has been long-standing evidence that people are sensitive to the characteristics of the sources of testimony, for example in the context of persuasion, researchers have only recently begun to explore the wider implications of source reliability considerations for the nature of our beliefs. Likewise, much remains to be established concerning what factors influence source reliability. In this paper, we examine, both theoretically and empirically, the implications of using message content as a cue to source reliability. We present a set of experiments examining the relationship between source information and message content in people's responses to simple communications. The results show that people spontaneously revise their beliefs in the reliability of the source on the basis of the expectedness of a source's claim and, conversely, adjust message impact by perceived reliability; hence source reliability and message content have a bi-directional relationship. The implications are discussed for a variety of psychological, philosophical and political issues such as belief polarization and dual-route models of persuasion. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Frontiers in Psychology
volume
9
publisher
Frontiers
external identifiers
  • scopus:85041585607
ISSN
1664-1078
DOI
10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00018/full
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3e4e5fdd-1c1a-4dcc-b2d3-22234dd54e2f
date added to LUP
2018-01-09 08:34:04
date last changed
2018-02-21 12:45:03
@article{3e4e5fdd-1c1a-4dcc-b2d3-22234dd54e2f,
  abstract     = {Much of what we believe we know, we know through the testimony of others (Coady, 1992). While there has been long-standing evidence that people are sensitive to the characteristics of the sources of testimony, for example in the context of persuasion, researchers have only recently begun to explore the wider implications of source reliability considerations for the nature of our beliefs. Likewise, much remains to be established concerning what factors influence source reliability. In this paper, we examine, both theoretically and empirically, the implications of using message content as a cue to source reliability. We present a set of experiments examining the relationship between source information and message content in people's responses to simple communications. The results show that people spontaneously revise their beliefs in the reliability of the source on the basis of the expectedness of a source's claim and, conversely, adjust message impact by perceived reliability; hence source reliability and message content have a bi-directional relationship. The implications are discussed for a variety of psychological, philosophical and political issues such as belief polarization and dual-route models of persuasion.},
  articleno    = {18},
  author       = {Collins, Peter J. and Hahn, Ulrike and von Gerber, Ylva and Olsson, Erik J},
  issn         = {1664-1078},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Frontiers},
  series       = {Frontiers in Psychology},
  title        = {The Bi-directional Relationship Between Source Characteristics and Message Content},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00018/full},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2018},
}