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Testing the Moderating Effect of Message Sidedness on Explicit ...

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Testing the Moderating Effect of Message Sidedness on Explicit ...

    Testing the Moderating Effect of Message Sidedness on

     Explicit Conclusion and Implicit Conclusion: A cross-cultural study

    Rie Ohashi

Explicit/Implicit Conclusion

    ; Definition

    Explicit conclusion message = A message containing a sentence stating clearly

    what the message is advocating.

    Implicit conclusion message = A message lacking a sentence which state what the

    message is advocating.

    ; Meta-analysis

    Explicit conclusion messages are more persuasive than implicit conclusion messages

    cf. meta-analysis = statistical integration of the results of different studies on

    the same topic, using the results of each study (rather than the responses

    of individual participant) as the unit of analysis

Message Sidedness

    ; Definition

    One-sided message = Only the message source‟s position on the advocated issue is

    presented in the message.

    Two-sided refutational message = The possibility of another position on the

    advocated issue is raised, and refuted.

    Two-sided nonrefutational message = The existence of another position on the

    advocated issue is acknowledged and noted to be undesirable, but no attempt is

    made to demonstrate why it is undesirable.

    ; Meta-analyses

    When the topic is not an advertisement, two-sided refutational messages are more

    persuasive than one-sided messages, which are more persuasive than two-sided

    nonrefutational message

Possible cultural bias in the previous research in the two area

    ; Only a few studies conducted outside the U.S.

    ; High value placed on explicitness and unambiguousness in the U.S.

Communication style differences between the U.S. and Japan

    ; U.S. American communication style = problem-oriented, direct, explicit

    (low-context communication style)

    ; Japanese communication style = harmony-oriented, indirect, implicit

    (high-context communication style)

    cf. high-context communication = little information is coded in the explicitly

    transmitted part of the message; i.e., most information is coded in the physical

    context or internalized in the person

Objectives of the study

    ; Examine explicit/implicit conclusion and message sidedness at the same time (interaction)

    ; Compare the persuasive message structures between the U.S. and Japan

Hypotheses

    ; In the U.S., explicit conclusion message will be more persuasive than implicit conclusion

    message in all message-sidedness conditions.

    ; In Japan, implicit conclusion message will be just as persuasive as explicit conclusion

    message in two-sided refutational and one-sided conditions. Explicit conclusion message

    will be more persuasive in two-sided nonrefutational condition.

Research Design

    ; 23 factorial, pre-post design

    [(explicit/implicit conclusion) (message sidedness)]

    ; Dependent variable - the “attitude measure score”

    difference of the „message perception indicator‟ score between the pre-test and

    post-test [ (post-test score) (pre-test score) ]

    ; Message topic increasing the number of classes required for graduation

    ; Separate analyses for the U.S. and Japan

Results

Table 1

    Attitude Measure Score in Each Condition

    Country Messages mean SD N t df p min max U.S. Two-sided refutational,

    explicit conclusion 3.50 4.95 24 3.46 23 0.002** -5 15

    implicit conclusion 2.67 6.87 30 2.13 29 0.042* -9 18

    Two-sided nonrefutational

    explicit conclusion 2.54 6.75 28 1.99 27 0.057 -11 15

    implicit conclusion 1.84 5.06 25 1.82 24 0.082 -5 15

    One-sided

    explicit conclusion 4.56 6.71 25 3.40 24 0.002** -11 18

    implicit conclusion 4.04 7.92 24 2.50 23 0.020* -10 20

    Japan Two-sided refutational

    explicit conclusion 3.57 5.23 23 3.27 22 0.004** -3 17

    implicit conclusion 1.54 7.50 24 1.01 23 0.324 -13 15

    Two-sided nonrefutational

    explicit conclusion 3.05 6.37 22 2.24 21 0.036* -8 14

    implicit conclusion 3.95 5.66 20 3.12 19 0.006** -6 15

    One-sided

    explicit conclusion 5.41 5.96 22 4.26 21 0.000** -5 16

    implicit conclusion 2.52 8.67 23 1.40 22 0.177 -19 15

    Note. * significant at p < 0.05 level ** significant at p < 0.01 level The t-tests are for the comparing each cell mean against 0.

Table 2

     ANOVA Result of Cell Means

    Country Effect Source Sum of df Mean F

    Squares Square U.S. Main effects Argument 113.987 2 56.994 1.356

    Conclusion 18.038 1 18.038 0.429

    Interaction argument by conclusion 0.635 2 0.317 0.008

    Model 132.198 5 26.440 0.629

    Residual 6304.109 150 42.027

    Total 6436.308 155 41.525

    Japan Main effects Argument 47.663 2 23.832 0.530

    Conclusion 59.551 1 59.551 1.324

    Interaction argument by conclusion 85.080 2 42.540 0.946

    Model 197.487 5 39.497 0.878

    Residual 5756.572 128 44.973

    Total 5954.060 133 44.767

None of the effects were statistically significant.

    ; In the U.S., no persuasive effects for two-sided nonrefutational messages ; In Japan, implicit conclusion message was persuasive only in two-sided nonrefutational

    condition

No significant differences between each cell means

    ; In the U.S., explicit conclusion messages tended to be more persuasive than implicit

    conclusion messages in all message-sidedness conditions. (i.e., No interaction between

    message-sidedness and explicit/implicit conclusion in the U.S.)

    ; In Japan, explicit conclusion messages tended to be more persuasive only in two-sided

    refutational condition and one-sided condition. In two-sided nonrefutational condition,

    implicit conclusion message was more persuasive than explicit conclusion message. (i.e.,

    Possibility of interaction between message-sidedness and explicit/implicit conclusion in

    Japan.)

    Overall Summary of Results

    U.S. Japan

    Two-sided Refutational prediction explicit conclusion most persuasive implicit conclusion just as persuasive as

    of all 6 conditions explicit conclusion result ; implicit conclusion less persuasive than explicit ; implicit conclusion not persuasive

    conclusion (prediction not supported)

     (consistent with previous research)

    ; explicit conclusion just as persuasive as one-

    sided explicit conclusion

    (prediction not supported)

    Two-sided Nonrefutational prediction implicit conclusion least persuasive explicit conclusion more persuasive than

    of all 6 conditions implicit conclusion result ; neither explicit conclusion or implicit ; implicit conclusion just as persuasive

    conclusion persuasive as explicit conclusion

    (consistent with previous research) (prediction not supported)

    One-sided prediction explicit conclusion more persuasive implicit conclusion just as persuasive as

    than implicit conclusion explicit conclusion result ; implicit conclusion not persuasive ; implicit conclusion not persuasive

    (consistent with previous research) (prediction not supported)

    ; explicit conclusion just as persuasive as two-

    sided refutational explicit conclusion

    (prediction not supported)

    APPENDIX

    Questionnaire for Two-sided Refutational message with Explicit Conclusion Condition

    Thank you very much for participating in this research.

    In order to avoid participating twice in this study, please write down your PID (this number will NOT be used

    to analyze your responses individually):

    My PID is ___________________________________

    The following message is issued by the Office of Employment Research on campus. Please read the

    message carefully, and answer the questions after the message.

    There has been much discussion about how difficult it is for graduates of this university to find jobs. Other universities have improved their graduates‟ potential for employment by increasing the minimum number of classes required to graduate.

    There are several compelling reasons why an increase in the number of classes required to graduate is desirable. A recent survey showed that employers look favorably on students from universities with more required classes for graduation. Employers are looking for employees with a broad educational background, because educational breadth has been found to be a strong predictor of successful training. Because most jobs requires very specific knowledge, employers worry that newly graduated students do not possess all the necessary skills to succeed. As a result, employers are looking for more “trainable” employees, because they train employees within their own firm to suit their respective needs. It is also generally the case that employees who are better trained will eventually do better on the job, and will receive better job performance ratings from their supervisors. Therefore, it is a definite advantage for the students to be able to present themselves as “trainable” employees. Employers believe that the best indicator of training success is a broad educational background.

    In addition, employers are looking for employees who can be “re-trained”, because of frequent

    restructuring and layoffs. Employees may be transferred to a different department from where they were originally trained. When this happens, it is necessary for employees to be “re-trained” quickly to perform well

    in their new section. Being “re-trainable” increases the likelihood of surviving through a restructuring period, which means there will be less chance of being laid-off. And, again, the breadth of education has been found to be the main predictor when it comes to the “re-trainability” of employees.

    Therefore, in order to be perceived as desirable employees, it is more advantageous for students to receive a broader education. Taking these factors into consideration, it is perhaps no surprise that students from universities with increased class requirements for graduation report that it is easy for them to find jobs.

    Forward-looking universities that want to give their graduates an advantage in the job market agree about the importance of requiring additional classes for graduation. In these universities, two or three more classes outside the major have been added to students‟ requirement for graduation. Students are able to fulfill this requirement by selecting from a variety of classes offered in different majors, such as accounting, communications, and computer science. Not only are these classes designed to broaden the students‟ educational background, they are also designed to be practically useful for students regardless of their major. In addition, they are offered at different times in different semesters, so that students do not have to suffer from conflicting class schedules.

     Several criticisms have been raised against the plan to increase the number of classes required for graduation. When this issue was discussed informally in this university, many students complained that adding more classes will convert MSU into a 5-year program instead of 4, because the current curriculum is already difficult enough to complete in 4 years. Other students expressed their dissatisfaction that the additional required classes will have little to do with their major and/or interest. Several others charged that this plan is simply an excuse for the university to make more money by raising the tuition.

     However, if we examine other universities that have increased the number of classes necessary for graduation, we can see that these points are not insurmountable obstacles. For instance, although some students need additional time to complete these requirements, most are able to graduate in 4 years, regardless of the additional required courses they have to take. What is more, all universities that have increased class requirements have had an overwhelmingly good response from the students about the additional required classes. Some say that these classes are fun because they provide a new perspective beyond their major. Others say these classes are less stressful because they are not directly related to their major and their potential future career. And almost all of them mention the practical usefulness of what they learned in these classes.

    The concern about cost is legitimate. In order to address this issue, some universities have cut their tuition cost per credit so that the total tuition cost (the amount of money you have paid to the university by the time you graduate) will stay about the same as the current cost. Other universities have provided easily obtainable scholarships for students who have difficulty covering the tuition cost.

     Students who graduated from these universities that increased the number of classes required for graduation report that employers have provided favorable feedback on the new requirement. Having considered these reasons, it is clear that in today‟s society a broader educational background is the key to

    survival. In order to be equivalent with graduates from comparable universities, MSU needs to increase the number of classes required for graduation to prepare its graduates to be competitive in the job market.

___________________

Note

    . . ; Taken out in one-sided messages.

     ; Taken out in two-sided nonrefutational messages.

     ; Taken out in implicit conclusion messages.

Please answer the following questions.

    Even though similar questions may seem to appear multiple times, please read each question carefully and answer all the questions.

    If 0 represented the most unfavorable feeling and 10 represented the most favorable feeling, how would you indicate your feeling toward increasing the minimum number of classes required for graduation as a number between 0 and 10? Please circle the most appropriate number.

unfavorable favorable

    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

    How many required classes do you think should be increased? Please circle the most appropriate number.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11+

    Please indicate your attitude toward increasing the minimum number of classes required for graduation by reading the following statements and placing an X on the line that most closely resembles your attitude.

    How do you feel about increasing the minimum number of classes required for graduation at

    Michigan State University?

    I am strongly ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ I am strongly

    supportive of the idea. opposed to the idea.

    I think it is ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ I think it is

    a horrible idea. an excellent idea.

    I am strongly ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ I am strongly

    in favor of the idea. against the idea.

I think it is probable that I think it is improbable that

    MSU will implement the ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ MSU will

    idea. implement the idea.

    I strongly disapprove ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ I strongly approve of the

    of the idea. idea.

    I think it is ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ I think it is

    a very good idea. a very bad idea.

    I strongly object ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ I strongly uphold

    to the idea. the idea.

I think it is unlikely that I think it is likely

    MSU will implement the ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ that MSU will

    idea. implement the idea.

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