Date of Award

Summer 1993

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Griffin, Robert

Second Advisor

Slattery, Karen

Third Advisor

Pokrywczynski, James

Abstract

In an experimental situation, the format of broadcast advertisements is manipulated to allow for additional information processing time, which is expected to lead to increased recall and recognition of advertising claims. Motivation to process the message (defined as a form of involvement) may interact with additional time available for processing, which may then lead to increased levels of inferencing and/or schema development. This process is expected to assist in message transfer from short-term to long-term store in memory, resulting in higher levels of recall and recognition for information communicated in the advertisement. Ninety-five college students participated in the posttest-only control group experiment. The control group viewed a program including three ads edited together in a series. The test group viewed the same program and ads, with a three-second time gap added between each ad as the manipulation. Following viewing, subjects filled out a questionnaire designed to determine levels of attention, information processing, personal interest, and levels of recall and recognition from open- and closed-ended questions about the ad messages viewed. Main effects relationships emerged in analysis of the two variables combined, in which those exposed to the time gap, regardless of level of motivation to process, had lower recall of the information in the primarily visual ad, based on an open-ended deep inferencing variable. Low or unnecessary semantic processing may have led this group to use the added time for processing of the direct visual claims, which may explain the lack of deeper inferencing from the information in this ad. Statistically significant transverse interactions were also noted in this analysis. For the primarily verbal ad message, low motivation combined with the time gaps resulted in higher levels of recall, based on the same open-ended deep inferencing recall variable. High motivation subjects had higher recall levels on this variable when not exposed to the time gap. Implications for advertising research suggest that the time gap may interfere with semantic processing of verbal information in high motivation subjects. Low motivation subjects, however, may need the additional time for processing because they are not inherently motivated to process the information on their own.

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