Persuasion and relational versus Personal bases of self-esteem: does the message need to be one- or two-sided?

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The link between audience characteristics and persuasion has been examined in extant research but there has not been a focus on message variables. In the present study message sidedness effects are explored in relation to the link between self-esteem and persuasibility. Results indicated that self-esteem does not have a simple, direct effect on persuasibility. Rather, relational and personal bases of self-esteem provide better explanations for the complex relationship between self-esteem and persuasibility. Relational bases of self-esteem, but not general self-esteem, showed a main effect on attitude change. In addition, the two types of bases of self esteem showed an interaction with message sidedness in their effect on persuasibility. Message sidedness, bases of self-esteem, and gender interactions are also explored in explaining susceptibility to persuasion attempts.
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