opposing their own best interest.12 A very credible source is more effective when message recipients are not in favor of the position advocated in the message.13 However, a very credible source is less important when the audience has a neutral position, and such a source may even be less effective than a moderately credible source when the receiver's initial attitude is favorable.14
Another reason a low-credibility source may be as effective as a high-credibility source is the sleeper effect, whereby the persuasiveness of a message increases with the passage of time. The immediate impact of a persuasive message may be inhibited because of its association with a low-credibility source. But with time, the association of the message with the source diminishes and the receiver's attention focuses more on favorable information in the message, resulting in more support arguing. However, many studies have failed to demonstrate the presence of a sleeper effect.15 Many advertisers hesitate to count on the sleeper effect, since exposure to a credible source is a more reliable strategy.16
Was this article helpful?