Fink Co-Authors Essay on Source Credibility

Professor Edward L. Fink, with UM Ph.D. graduate Sungeun Chung and Michigan State University sociologist Stan Kaplowitz, have authored a study entitled "The Comparative Statics and Dynamics of Beliefs: The Effect of Message Discrepancy and Source Credibility." The essay appears in the June 2008 issue of Communication Monographs.

Two models of belief change, Laroche's (1977) comparative statics model and the single-push with friction dynamic model (Kaplowitz, Fink, & Bauer, 1983), were combined and tested. Beliefs about two issues (criminal sentencing and tuition increase) were measured every 77 ms, N=95. Eleven time points from each participant's belief trajectory were analyzed. Message discrepancy and source credibility were manipulated. As predicted, belief change monotonically increased over time and the rate of belief change decreased for both issues. For the criminal-sentencing issue, the relationship between message discrepancy and belief change was found to be positive and monotonic for messages from a high-credibility source but nonmonotonic for messages from a low-credibility source. For the criminal-sentencing issue the predicted overtime increase of the effect of message discrepancy on belief change for a high-credibility source and an over-time increase of the effect of source credibility on belief change were found.

The same issue of Communication Monographs also features a special section guest edited by UM associate professor Dale Hample on the breadth and depth of knowledge in communication studies.

Communication MonographsCitation: Sungeun Chung, Edward L. Fink, & Stan A. Kaplowitz. "The Comparative Statics and Dynamics of Beliefs: The Effect of Message Discrepancy and Source Credibility," Communication Monographs 75 (2008): 158-189.

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