This investigation attempted to provide further understanding of the inoculation model of resistance to influence. It examined the efficacy of inoculation treatments designed to promote central versus peripheral message processing in instilling resistance to influence, taking into account message processing disposition. The study also tested the potential of social judgment theory to explain the cognitive process which occurs in inoculation. A total of 790 participants took part in the investigation. The study employed three issues that represented low, moderate, and high involvement, and featured multiple inoculation and attack messages. The results indicate that inoculation treatments, using central and peripheral approaches, confer resistance to influence and, thus, imply that threat is more prominent than refutational preemption in the process of resistance. Further, the pattern of results suggest that greater receiver need for cognition enhances resistance, but only with highly involving issues. Finally, the results of the investigation rule out assimilation and contrast as a potential explanation of the cognitive process triggered via threat, but suggest that receiver ego-involvement facilitates threat.
- Message elaboration