Two Routes to Persuasion

Note: These questions are part of a larger data base of questions on module 15. The questions 
are selected to represent the type of question you should expect on unit exam two. You can, in fact, 
expect to see many of these very same questions on that exam. Exam questions, however, may deal 
with topics not covered in the self tests or in lectures but are discussed in your textbook. You are 
responsible for the content of your text book plus the content of lectures, interactive activities, 
& material on the web site.

---- Use these sample questions to test yourself & to practice for the test. ----

1. People who are motivated & able to think through an issue are best persuaded by

 the elaboration likelihood model.
 peripheral route processing.
 central route processing
 heuristic route processing.

2. Which route of persuasion occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a 
speaker’s attractiveness? 


3. Which of the following is a characteristic of central route persuasion?
 It uses systematic arguments. 
 lt employs rule-of-thumb heuristics. 
 It relies heavily on the communicator’s attractiveness. 
 Its effectiveness depends on a two-step flow of communication. 

4. Which of the following list the primary components of credibility? 

 expertise & similarity. 
 expertise & trustworthiness. 
 confidence & attractiveness. 
 confidence & trustworthiness. 

5. Over time the impact of a message from a noncredible source may _______ , a phenomenon 
known as the _______. 

 increase; status effect. 
 increase; sleeper effect. 
 decrease; status effect. 
 decrease; sleeper effect. 

6. Physical appeal & similarity are two important factors that determine a communicator’s 


7. Fear-arousing messages are more effective if they 

 also tell people how to avoid the danger. 
 raise a moderate but not high level of fear. 
 are presented by similar rather than dissimilar communicators. 
 follow the peripheral rather than the central route of persuasion. 

8. In the study of age differences in attitudes, there is very little evidence for 

 life cycle effects. 
 maturation effects. 
 generational effects. 
 conservatism effects. 

9. Which of the following techniques has been used to stimulate people’s thinking in response 
to a persuasive message? 

- making people in the audience feel responsible for passing along the persuasive message 
- using rhetorical questions such as, “Are you better off for having voted for so-and-so four 
  years ago?” 
- having different speakers present separate arguments rather than the same speaker present all 
  of the arguments 
-  all of these have been used to stimulate people’s thinking in response to a persuasive message 

10. Attitude change that has occurred as a result of thoughtful, central route persuasion is most likely 

•  to persist. 
 •  go back to baseline. 
  •  arouse positive emotions. 
   •  arouse negative emotions. 
11. According to the "sleeper effect" you might read an article, then•  dismiss it as "lies" 

 •  remember more of it the next day 
  •  say that you had dreamed the information 
   •  buy a product mentioned 4 or 5 times in the article 
    •  forget where you read it, while remembering the information 
12. Are high dosages of fear effective persuasion? 

•  No, only small dosages of fear have any effect. 
 •  Yes, scared people are always easier to persuade. 
  •  No, fear always causes people to panic & to tune out the message. 
   •  Yes, but only if the message contains strong arguments & advice on avoiding risks.
13. When people critically evaluate a message, they take the ________ route to persuasion. When they do 
not consider the message but focus on other cues, they are taking the ________ route to persuasion. 

•  peripheral; central 
 •  central; peripheral 
  •  impersonal; personal 
   •  personal; impersonal
14. As Bob listens to a speech advocating limits on campaign spending, he thinks about the arguments carefully. 
His approach reflects 

•  elaboration. 
 •  cognitive dissonance. 
  •  psychological resistance. 
   •  taking the peripheral route. 
15. A computer company wants people to buy its new software. For the central route to persuasion, what length & 
degree of discrepancy should the ads use?

•  The longer & more discrepant 
 •  Short but meaningful, with a great deal of discrepancy 
  •  Long, but without repetition & with moderate discrepancy 
   •  As short as possible & with as little discrepancy as possible
16. We are most inclined to perceive as likable those communicators who are 

•  educated & verbally fluent. 
 •  wealthy & socially established. 
  •  powerful & politically connected. 
   •  similar to us & physically attractive.
17. When faced with a counterattitudinal message, people in a positive mood are likely to 

•  increase their need for thinking. 
 •  use the central route to persuasion. 
  •  experience negative attitude change. 
   •  use the peripheral route to persuasion. 
18. The peripheral route to persuasion is more likely to be chosen than the central route when the 

•  source speaks expressively. 
 •  audience is distracted. 
  •  audience is interested & involved. 
   •  message is really important. 
19. Of the following, whether the communicator or the message has more impact on an audience depends 
most strongly on the audience's 

•  personality. 
 •  involvement. 
  •  social class. 
   •  educational level. 
20. 14-year-old Linda wants to persuade her parents to allow her to go on a camping trip with a group of older 
friends. Which of the following tactics would help her weak argument? 

•  Catch them in a good mood 
 •  State her message as succinctly as possible 
  •  Threaten to run away from home if she is not allowed to go 
   •  Be straightforward about all the reasons for them to say yes

21. The central route for persuasion presents information with

•  emotions. 
 •  image & style. 
  •  personal appeal. 
   •  strong arguments, analyses, logic, & facts.

22. You are presenting a scientific paper to a group of your professors, you would take 

•  the central approach because the audience is most interested in the facts. 
 •  the peripheral approach since your audience is likely to be much older than you are. 
  •  the central approach because the audience is most interested in your presentation skills. 
   •  the peripheral approach since the audience is most concerned with how interesting you can make the presentation.

23. If an audience is known to be initially opposed to a message, which type of communication will be most effective in 
changing the audience's attitudes?

•  one-sided 
 •  two-sided message 
  •  fear-inducing 
   •  a message from a non-credible source

24. The Yale Communication (1950s) model on persuasion focued on all of the following characteristics except 

•  source (communicator). 
 •  outcome. 
  •  audience. 
   •  message.

25. Central routes of persuasion generally work on the ____, whereas peripheral routes of persuasion work primarily 
on the ____.

•  disposition; situation 
 •  person schema; role schema 
  •  cognitive component; affective component 
   •  fundamental attribution error; self-serving bias

                             Social Psychology
                               Robert C. Gates