Communication Paper on Elaboration Likelihood Theory

Elaboration Likelihood Theory.

This theory seeks to explain the possible paths followed in the process of attitude change by people when a message of change is relayed to them. The theory contains specific terms that are of importance, the terms include;

  • Attitude- a predetermined way of thinking or feeling about an idea, a situation or about somebody, this opinion affects the manner in which people relate.
  • Elaboration likelihood- this is willingness of a person to receive a message and make relevant judgment with an aim of having an attitude change or rejecting the change.
  • Elaboration activity- this is an interactive conversation through which a person passes the intended message to his audience using whichever media that is available.
  • Central route– this is a theoretical path that recognizes that for a message to be accepted the recipient must understand and accept the facts in the message.
  • Peripheral route- this is a field of thought that recognizes that for a message to be accepted the recipient must have prior experience and interaction with the situation.

The theory of elaboration likelihood has the following assumptions;

  • The theory assumes that people have an inner thought to follow and do things that are morally accepted.
  • The theory also assumes that since people have an open mind of accepting or rejecting ideas then a message is able to change people’s thinking.

The theory is considered strong for the fact that audience are broadly classified into two groups, this makes it possible to easily determine the route to follow when passing a message to different groups of people. However, one weakness which is evident in the theory is that it does not explain the possible approach to persuade groups of individuals who do not fit either of the two groups and the possible reasons why they do not fit in the two groups.

The advertisement industry takes advantage of this theory by comparing their products to personalities well known to the consumers. Extensive research is required in order to determine how long the attitude change caused by a persuading message will last before people go back to their initial trends. Additionally, more research is relevant so as to determine an appropriate approach to cater for the needs of people who do not fit in either of the two categories.