Elaboration Likelihood Model -in-practice

I wrote a post earlier to introduce the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM).

This post discusses how Brian Flynn et al. (2011) applied this model in the public health field. The researchers studied how US grade 7-8 students processed anti-smoking messages using this model.

Studying how grade 7 – 8 students process anti-smoking messages

What they did: The researchers organized a group session for a random sample of 1771 Grade 7-8 US students to watch anti-smoking messages. After that, they gave a questionnaire to students and analyzed their responses.

Variables used
  • Message type:
    • arguments (facts) -rich: negative effects of smoking
    • arguments (facts)-light: social norms that favor non-smoking, refusal skills (no facts)
    • blended: a mix of the above two
  • Motivation level
    • high motivation group: non-smoking students who reported having smoking friends
  • Smoking status: an affirmative answer to the question: “have you smoked past 30 days?”
  • Central route indicators: has good facts, makes me think
  • Peripheral route indicators: looks cool, fun to watch
Key findings
  • Highly motivated students rated high fact-based messages.
  • The students with lower educational achievements showed difficulty in processing fact-based messages.

Author: Prasantha De Silva

A specialist in Community Medicine board-certified in Sri Lanka and a research analyst in Canada

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