Back to explore more theories

Elaboration Likelihood Model

What should I know about the elaboration likelihood model?

The elaboration likelihood model attempts to explain how people will react to persuasive messages. It proposes that information will be processed via either a “central” or a “peripheral” path.1

When people process a message via the central route, they think about (or elaborate on) that message a lot; when people process a message via the peripheral route, they don’t think (or elaborate on) the message very much.1 Instead they depend on peripheral cues (eg, how a message makes them feel or the attractiveness of the person relaying the message) to decide how to act based on what they’ve heard or seen.1

According to the model, if a person is motivated and able to think deeply about a behavior, a message that is geared toward central-route processing will be most persuasive.2 If, however, a person is either not motivated or not able to think deeply about a behavior, a message geared toward the peripheral-processing route will be most persuasive.2

How does the elaboration likelihood model show up in our work?

We use the elaboration likelihood model when we are designing persuasive messages. The elaboration likelihood model helps us make decisions about the type of content we should produce for our target audiences. Sometimes we need to design more than one persuasive message to appeal to both peripheral processors and central processors.

How can I learn more about the elaboration likelihood model?

Click here or watch the video below to learn more.

Works Cited and Works Consulted

  1. Elaboration likelihood model. Oregon State website. http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/theory/elm.html. Accessed July 1, 2016.
  2. Petty R, Barden J, Wheeler C. The elaboration likelihood of model of persuasion: health promotions that yield sustained behavior change. In: DiClemente RJ, Crosby RA, Kegler M, eds. Emerging Theories in Health Promotion Practice and Research. 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2009:71-99. http://www.psy.ohio-state.edu/petty/PDF%20Files/2002-HEALTH-PROMO-Petty,Barden,Wheelerf.pdf. Accessed July 1, 2016.
  3. 4.6 central and peripheral route [video]. Amsterdam, Nederlands: University of Amsterdam; October 3, 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XNAPiZMgPQ. Accessed July 1, 2016.
  4. Elaboration likelihood model. University of Twente website. https://www.utwente.nl/cw/theorieenoverzicht/Theory Clusters/Health Communication/Elaboration_Likelihood_Model/. Accessed July 1, 2016.