The Effects of Affective Priming and Aging on Ratings, Thoughts, and Recall for Advertisements.

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Title: The Effects of Affective Priming and Aging on Ratings, Thoughts, and Recall for Advertisements.
Author: Rosenberg, Daniel Crown
Advisors: Thomas M. Hess, Committee Chair
Katherine W. Klein, Committee Member
Samuel S. Snyder, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate age differences in the influence of irrelevant affective information on consumer judgments. Celebrity endorsement of a product in a print advertisement played the role of the irrelevant affective information (i.e., the affective primes). Due to age-related declines in cognitive efficiency and the self-initiation of controlled cognitive processing, older adults were expected to engage in less elaboration and show more susceptibility to the irrelevant affective information when compared to younger adults. Thirty-six young and 35 older adults viewed two advertisements for each of three product types (total of six ads), rated their purchase intent, provided attitude ratings and thoughts, and free-recalled the ads' content. For each product type, one ad had a nonfamous endorser while the competing ad had a famous endorser of varying likability (high, neutral, or low). Older adults produced more relevant thoughts about the advertisements than did the younger adults. As expected, purchase intent was not affected by the manipulation. Advertisements with the negative prime received significantly lower ratings than did advertisements with the positive and neutral primes; however, there were no age differences in priming effects for the attitude ratings. Famous endorsement boosted advertisement recall, especially for younger adults. Both age groups recalled more relevant than irrelevant information, but this difference was greater for the younger adults. Older adults recalled proportionally more irrelevant information than did the younger adults. Although older adults seem more susceptible than do younger adults to task irrelevant information when retrieving facts from long-term memory, in certain contexts they may focus more than the younger adults do on relevant information in the short-term. Thus, conscious mental processing may be a stronger influence than more automatic mechanisms when motivation is high enough.
Date: 2003-03-27
Degree: MS
Discipline: Psychology

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