The central persuasion route is an active and mindful process in the determination of the value of a persuasive argument. In the cognitive processing in The route to persuasion can be attributed to the many variables that affect the likelihood of thinking about the value of messages. One's motivation to think about issue-relevant information and the ability to do the cognitive processing has been affected by these variables. Notably, some variables affecting one's motivation are part of the person and the situation while other variables affect the direction of thinking with some affecting the general amount of thinking the person does.
Although many advertisements use more than one technique in attempts to persuade the audience, the most commonly used technique is that of authority (Gresko, Kennedy & Lesniak, 2003). People are more likely to respect the opinions of someone who is understood to have a lot of knowledge concerning a product. In addition, people usually feel better knowing an authority person has recommended what they are about to buy. Advertisers persuade consumers to buy their products by using advertisements which capture a customer's attention in various ways. These various ways whose main goal is to appeal to a consumer's emotions may arouse the feelings of fear, love, pleasure, or vanity. Health advertisements frequently use fear to get the audiences' attention, beer and cigarette advertisements appeal to peoples' desires for fun or pleasure and plastic surgery advertisements appeal to peoples' vanity or egotism by exposing their fear of aging.
Cognitive Psychology and Advertising:
As mentioned earlier, cognitive psychology as well as other psychological principles forms the basis of advertising principles. The branch of psychology that studies mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember and learn is referred to as cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology as part of the larger field of cognitive science is related to other disciplines including philosophy, neuroscience and linguistics.
The main focus of this branch of psychology is on how people obtain, process and store information. Various practical applications for cognitive research like ways to improve memory, ways of increasing decision-making accuracy and how to structure educational curricula for enhancing learning are in existence. Unlike behaviorism (which was the dominant school of psychology before 1950s), cognitive psychology is concerned with internal mental states and uses scientific research methods to study mental processes (Cherry, n.d.).
Cognitive psychology is often studied by people in various fields because this branch of psychology touches on many other disciplines. For example, cognitive psychology is studied by teachers, educators, scientists, designers, artists, engineers, architects and students who are interested in behavioral neuroscience and linguistics amongst others. The major topics in cognitive psychology which are also important in advertising include:
Those who study perception in cognitive psychology seek to understand how people make one-sided interpretations of proximal information from the environment. Perceptual systems are composed of separate senses, processing modules and sub-modules. These systems represent diverse aspects of the stimulus information (Lu & Dosher, 2007).
The ability to arrange the perception and classification of experiences by the building of functionally applicable categories is referred to as concept formation. The response to a specific motivation is solely determined by the categorical classification and association of knowledge with that particular category and not by specific instance.
One of the most developed aspects of cognitive psychology is the study of the capacity and fragility of human memory. This study focuses on how memories are acquired, stored and retrieved. Memories for facts, for procedures or skills, for working and short-term memory capacity are the functional divisions of memory domains.
Cherry, K. (n.d.). What is Cognitive Psychology? Retrieved March 29, 2010, from http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/f/cogpsych.htm
Gresko, J., Kennedy L. & Lesniak J. (2003, March 29). Social Psychological Factors Underlying
the Impact of Advertising. Retrieved from Miami University, Advanced Social Psychology Web Site: http://www.users.muohio.edu/shermarc/P324ads.shtml
Lu, Z. & Dosher, B.A. (2007). Cognitive Psychology. Retrieved March 29, 2010, from http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Cognitive_psychology
MomGrind. (2009, March 11). Psychology of Advertising. Retrieved March 29, 2010, from http://momgrind.com/2009/03/11/psychology-of-advertising/
Roy, S. (2008, August 8). The Psychology of Advertising. Retrieved March 29, 2010,