Michel Tuan Pham

Ideals and Oughts and the Reliance on Affect Versus Substance in Persuasion

Coauthor(s): Tamar Avnet.


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Motivation research distinguishes two types of goals: (a) ideals, which relate to people's hopes, wishes, and aspirations, and (b) oughts, which relate to people's duties, obligations, and responsibilities. We propose that, in persuasion, the accessibility of ideals increases consumers' reliance on their subjective affective responses to the ad relative to the substance of the message, whereas the accessibility of oughts increases consumers' reliance on the substance of the message relative to their subjective affective responses. This phenomenon is accompanied by a relative change in the perceived diagnosticity of the two types of information under accessible ideals versus oughts - a change that can be related to the distinct modes of self-regulation that ideals and oughts trigger. The phenomenon appears to be unrelated to the kind of change in depth-of-processing posited by the Elaboration Likelihood Model and the Heuristic-Systematic Model.

Source: Journal of Consumer Research
Exact Citation:
Pham, Michel Tuan, and Tamar Avnet. "Ideals and Oughts and the Reliance on Affect Versus Substance in Persuasion." Journal of Consumer Research 30, no. 4 (March 2004): 503-18.
Volume: 30
Number: 4
Pages: 503-18
Date: 3 2004