These studies test the effects of overt and covert credibility claims.

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Keywords: repetition, credibility

Source: ‘Helpful or harmful? How frequent repetition affects perceived statement credibility’, by Thomas Koch and Thomas Zerback, Journal of Communication (2013) vol. 63.6, pp.993-1010

Conclusions: In this experiment

1. Some repetition of a statement (e.g. up to three times) enhanced readers’ belief in the credibility of the statement, corroborating the widely proven ‘truth effect’ of some minimal repetition.

2. Further frequent repetition (e.g. beyond three times, within a few minutes), lowers readers’ belief in the credibility of the statement and increases reactance against the statement.

Key caveats: This experiment was conducted in laboratory conditions in Germany and most of the participants were undergraduates (average age 26). The results were self-reported attitudinal data, which may not directly correlate with actual behaviour in real life fundraising contexts.      

                     

URL/DOI: 10.1111/jcom.12063

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Keywords: credibility, persuasion

 

Source: ‘The persuasive effect of source credibility: Tests of cognitive response’, by Brian Sternthal, Ruby Dholakia and Clark Leavitt, Journal of Consumer Research (1978) vol. 4, pp.252-260

 

Conclusions: In this experiment

1.  A moderately credible source (i.e. speaker/author) was significantly more persuasive than a highly credible source when some source credibility cues/claims (e.g. identifying the source, and cues re. the source’s credibility) preceded the message. This result was even stronger then the message recipients were favourably predisposed to the issue/cause.

2. The high and moderate credibility sources did not differ significantly in their persuasive power when the credibility cues/claims appeared after the message

3. When message recipients were negatively predisposed to the issue/cause,
the highly credible source was more persuasive than the moderately credible source

 

Key caveats: This experiment was conducted in laboratory conditions, and not in the UK (the location was not clarified, but was either India or the USA). The results were self-reported attitudinal data, which may not directly correlate with actual behaviour in real life fundraising contexts.        

 

URL/DOI: www.jstor.org/stable/2488816

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Keywords: credibility, manipulation, persuasion

 

Source: 'Enhancing or disrupting guilt: the role of ad credibility and perceived manipulative intent', by June Cotte, Robin A. Coulter and Melissa Moore, Journal of Business Research (2005) vol. 58, pp. 361–368

 

Conclusions: In this experiment

1. Credible guilt Advertisements using guilt strategies which were felt to be credible (i.e. the organisation and the message were trusted) and which were not overtly manipulative induced guilt feelings and positive attitudes towards helping.

2. However, whether or not the source (e.g. charity) was credible, when consumers inferred manipulative intent, as in the case of high-intensity guilt appeals (e.g. lengthy and detailed / repeated descriptions of the suffering of a beneficiary), consumers  a) did not feel guilty, b) had negative attitudes (i.e. anger and disgust) toward both the message and the organisation sending the message, and c) had negative attitudes towards helping.

 

Key caveats: This experiment was conducted in laboratory conditions in Canada and all of the participants were undergraduates. The results were self-reported attitudinal data, which may not directly correlate with actual behaviour in real life fundraising contexts.                  

 

URL/DOI: 10.1016/S0148-2963(03)00102-4

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