An investigation of the effects of language style and communication modality on persuasion
Using the Heuristic-Systematic Model as a theoretical basis, this study replicates, extends, and integrates previous research on communication modality (i.e., print vs. audio vs. audiovisual) and power of language style (POS). Specifically, it focuses on the extent to which communication modality moderates the effects of powerful versus powerless language styles on (1) evaluations of the speaker and (2) attitudes toward the speaker's recommendation. It supports the hypothesis that modality moderates the effects of POS on the latter but not the former. Additionally, the results indicate that systematic information processing is used to form attitudes toward a recommendation when arguments are presented in writing, whereas audio and audiovisual modes appear to encourage the use of speaker-related heuristics to form opinions about the speaker's recommendations.