Antecedents to the Use of Persuasion Knowledge

Several research has looked into the moments during a particular persuasion event when consumers are more or less likely to use their understanding of persuasion. The degree to which persuasive knowledge is applied is influenced by cognitive ability, motive openness, and persuasion expertise. Consumers are generally more likely to utilize persuasive skills when they are highly motivated, can explain what marketers are trying to do, and have the chance to do so. This meshes well with other consumer behavior ideas. Research possibilities are available to uncover and investigate additional aspects promoting or inhibiting persuasive knowledge. There may be further unresearched antecedents of using persuasive knowledge.

Persuasion Knowledge

Understanding when individuals have a greater or lesser inclination to apply their persuasion expertise is necessary for a more thorough development of the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM). The PKM does not specify the circumstances that elicit or repress persuasion knowledge, although discussing some potential problems with persuasion information. Cognitive resources, the availability of incentives, and persuasion competence have all been recognized as three precursors of persuasion knowledge.

Cognitive Assets

According to Friestad and Wright, knowing persuasion "is a commodity that people must have quick access to during every engagement in which the need to recognize and manage, or to create and deliver, a persuasive attempt may arise. It is a resource consumers must have in almost all encounters with advertisers. So, it stands to reason that any encounter involving persuasion can benefit from the reasonably automatic use of persuasion expertise. The possibility that persuasive knowledge is not instantly accessed and may require more laborious, higher-order processing is a tenable alternative theory.

When processing resources are not limited, tactic-related cognitions, for instance, have more influence than claims-related cognitions because they require more work. They even suggested that using and activating persuasion knowledge calls for cognitive resources. They characterized the stimulation of persuasion knowledge as an examination of ulterior motives in a series of research on interpersonal persuasion between a salesman and a customer. They claimed that since inferences of motives necessitate higher order, attributional thinking, cognitive resources are necessary to employ persuasion expertise. The study showed that consumers are less likely to employ persuasion information in a marketplace transaction when processing resources are confined than when capabilities are unrestrained by using numerous perturbations of cognitive resources.

Accessibility of Motives

The availability of clear incentives is a significant predictor for applying persuasion knowledge, in addition to the crucial function of cognitive capacity. According to research, when malicious intentions are easily discovered, consumers are more likely to utilize knowledge of persuasion in a persuasion episode. Nevertheless, when hidden agendas are harder to discover, consumers are less likely to use knowledge of persuasion. Information regarding the firm's business status, priming of motives or strategies, blatant use of persuasion techniques, agent expertise, and consumer goals can all improve the accessibility of hidden intentions. It has been demonstrated that the availability of motives interacts with mental skills to influence how persuasion knowledge is used. Customers may be more likely to employ persuasive skills even with limited cognitive resources due to high accessibility. For instance, targets with high motive availability may be more able to spot overt persuasion strategies like ingratiation.

Persuasion Expertise

The person's persuasion skill is the third predictor of the usage of persuasion information established so far. Persuasion knowledge may be a persistent personality characteristics variable, even though it has frequently been considered a situational variable (i.e., engaged when internal abilities or accessibility of reasons are high). Differing degrees of persuasion competence may result from different experience levels; experience would be essential for acquiring persuasion knowledge. In support of this, studies show that older persons, who typically have more persuasive experience, employ their understanding of persuasion more sophisticatedly than younger people.

Disparities in persuasion knowledge quantity and content are likely influenced by experience. The idea that each person uses persuasion knowledge differently inspired the creation of a personality characteristics scale that assesses persuasion expertise as a component of consumer confidence. People have been divided into high and low PK groups using this scale, with noticeable behavioral differences. As a result, research suggests that persuasive knowledge may be episodically or permanently active. At this moment, further research is required to understand better how individuals and situations use persuasive information.

Installing inferences linked to persuasion in a given context may only sometimes follow from accumulating consumer persuasion knowledge. Consumers' varying capacities to use their persuasive knowledge may result from several things, such as −

Individual Characteristics

The generation and sector of customer business roles have been recognized as two criteria influencing the ability to perceive the persuasive nature of marketing stimuli. Consumers who are concentrating on obtaining positive results are more likely to recognize the persuasive essence of sensory input than consumers who are focused on minimizing negative results, according to Kirmani and Zhu, who studied the role of locus of control (regulatory focus characterizes the individual's tactic for achieving their goals).

Marketing Stimulation Characteristics

Some advertising rewards are much more likely to be construed as attempts at persuasion. For instance, consumers view commercials that reveal the advertised brand only at the very end to grab their attention by evoking suspense as more manipulative than conventional advertising that reveals the brand from the beginning.

Conditions of the Situation

Campbell and Kirmani have demonstrated that the degree to which a person behaves as a direct recipient or an observer of a persuasion episode affects the activation of their persuasion knowledge. The scenarios' cognitive demands are different. The recipient typically uses more cognitive resources than an observer to solve issues that develop throughout the episode. As a result, the recipient will have the less cognitive capacity to make inferences about persuasion than the observer, who is more likely to be aware of such efforts than a firsthand participant in the moment of contact.


A consumer's goals will likely affect how much persuasion knowledge is activated because consumers are goal-directed. Customers may have goals connected to persuasion, such as avoiding being persuaded or obtaining the most excellent offer, which could increase the possibility of using their understanding of persuasion. Goals' impact on persuasive knowledge has yet to be extensively studied. It would also be helpful to pinpoint variables that precede the application of persuasion knowledge in conjunction with either topical or agent knowledge.

Updated on: 03-Mar-2023


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