Sciency Adverts are More Convincing

24 Oct

“Even trivial cues can create such an appearance of a scientific basis.”

Science Abstracts

Dilbert by Scott Adams Dilbert by Scott Adams

It’s not by accident that shampoo and face creams adverts sound so sciency.

Blinded with science: Trivial graphs and formulas increase ad persuasiveness and belief in product efficacy

Abstract

The appearance of being scientific can increase persuasiveness. Even trivial cues can create such an appearance of a scientific basis. In our studies, including simple elements, such as graphs (Studies 1–2) or a chemical formula (Study 3), increased belief in a medication’s efficacy. This appears to be due to the association of such elements with science, rather than increased comprehensibility, use of visuals, or recall. Belief in science moderates the persuasive effect of graphs, such that people who have a greater belief in science are more affected by the presence of graphs (Study 2). Overall, the studies contribute to past research by demonstrating that even trivial elements can increase public persuasion despite their not truly indicating scientific…

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