Examining the role of motivational salience, issue involvement, and pre-existing attitudes on selective attention and attitude strength to advertisements
Fischer, Laura Gorham
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Scientific communications and agricultural communications literature has indicated scientists are struggling to make information salient to consumers of their information. These studies have led to many studies to determine the types of message frames and appeals that may resonate with a public audience. One such frame, the value-oriented frame, has received attention as an avenue for communicators to design and create messages for increased attention and information processing. Drawing upon this past research, value-oriented messages and scientific reasoning messages were evaluated to understand their impact on selective attention and information processing. This study examined the role of motivational salience, in the form of value-oriented messages, on the participant’s pre-existing characteristic (issue involvement, pre-existing attitudes) toward genetic modification and antibiotic use in livestock and its effects on visual attention allocation, attitude toward the ad, and ad trust. Eye-tracking data were collected to understand the role of motivational saliency on total fixation duration. The results of the study indicated low issue involvement products, such as food products and scientific information, need to be made relevant to the target audience in order to influence fixation duration. Similarly, the same effects of increasing saliency impacted attitude toward the ad and minimal effects on ad trust. These findings have contributions to selective attention and the Elaboration Likelihood Model, and the influence of increasing involvement through value-oriented, motivationally salient, frames.