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Involvement with Media Content

Werner Wirth


Involvement is included in numerous theories and empirical studies of →  information processing , →  Persuasion , →  advertising , knowledge acquisition, and other →  media effects. It is mainly linked with or defined as more elaborative, self-determined, active, and in-depth acting with and processing of media content. In origin, involvement is rooted in three major research traditions. In the work of Sherif and Cantrill (1947) concerning social judgment theory , ego-involvement plays a central role. If a topic activates central values of the self-concept, a person becomes personally involved in the situation. Ego-involvement is the relatedness of an issue to a person's self-picture and self-identity ( Salmon 1986 ; →  Social Identity Theory ). According to social judgment theory, a belief change becomes less and less probable the more a person is ego-involved. Furthermore, these authors distinguished task-involvement from ego-involvement. Task-involvement results from the experimental manipulation performed by the researcher and is assumed to be rather volatile (→  Experimental Design ). In short, involvement can be described in this context as activated relevance for an issue ( Salmon 1986 ). In the framework of the dual process theories on persuasion , highly involved recipients are motivated to process the arguments of the message (central route or systematic processing), ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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