A very interesting and useful article

Today I read one article called Central and peripheral routes to advertising effectiveness- written by Cacioppo and Petty, Schumann

It is assumed in this article that people have different attitudes toward advertising whether if they have a high or a low involvement state of mind.  These two different states of mind mean that consumer should be approached by advertisers in two different way. Indeed, there are two different routes to take: the central rout and the peripheral route.

Definition of central and peripheral routes

Central route =>  refers to the situation where the consumer evaluate, recall, and show a critical judgement toward the advertisement (the product). They don’t need to be influenced by a personnality/ an endorser, a lambda citizen is sufficient.

Peripheral route => when a consumer simply associate the advertisement (the product) with positives or negatives cues. They need to be persuaded by the presence of a personnality who come as an endorser of the product to draw their attention; Peripheral main goal is to raise the brand awareness.


When they are highly involved in a product purchase, consumers are likely to feel much more concerned by the advertisement.

For instance, before buying a new laptop the consumer will be more sensible to laptop advertisments. The consumer will search information, persuasive arguments and will adopt a critical thinking. This is called the central route. When consumer is using the central route, advertisement should focus on convincing message, presenting normal citizen/ or an expert rather than using a personality.

When consumers show a low involvement state of mind, to buy daily products such as cereals or vegetables for instance, they don’t need to develop a critical thinking. Thus, advertisement doesn’t need to focus on precise and strong argument. The presence of a celebrity is sufficient to draw the consumer attention

Let’s understand the Theory of reasoned action (Ajzen and Fishbein)

Yesterday we talked about the theory of reasoned action by Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen (1975, 1980) in a Communication Theory session.

The result is that I feel totally lost between all these new notions, which are: normative beliefs, subjective norms, behavioural beliefs, control beliefs, perceived behavioural control etc.

SO, that’s why I decide today to define each of these term to make a sens of it !

Let’s go



Behavioral Beliefs

‘A behavioral belief is the subjective probability that the behavior will produce a given outcome. Although a person may hold many behavioral beliefs with respect to any behavior, only a relatively small number are readily accessible at a given moment. It is assumed that these accessible beliefs — in combination with the subjective values of the expected outcomes — determine the prevailing attitude toward the behavior. Specifically, the evaluation of each outcome contributes to the attitude in direct proportion to the person’s subjective probability that the behavior produces the outcome in question’ (Azjen)

to clarify: those accessible beliefs + subjective values ==> determine this attitude that explain this behaviour

Well, it’s not that clear

Attitude toward the behaviour

‘Attitude toward a behavior is the degree to which performance of the behavior is positively or negatively valued. Attitude toward a behavior is determined by the total set of accessible behavioral beliefs linking the behavior to various outcomes and other attributes.’ (Ajzen)

Normative Beliefs

‘Normative beliefs are individuals’ beliefs about the extent to which other people who are important to them think they should or should not perform particular behaviors.’

(source: http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/BRP/constructs/normative_beliefs/normative_beliefs.pdf)

To clarify: if I go to a wedding and choose not to sleep in the same hotel than my family, they might find this weird and unpolite, so they may want me to choose the same hotel = normative beliefs

‘It is assumed that these normative beliefs — in combination with the person’s motivation to comply with the different referents — determine the prevailing subjective norm.’ (Ajzen)

Normative beliefs +  motivation to comply ==> determine the subjective norms

Subjective norms

Subjective norm is the perceived social pressure to engage or not to engage in a behavior. It is assumed that subjective norm is determined by the total set of accessible normative beliefs concerning the expectations of important referents. Specifically, the strength of each normative belief  is weighted by motivation to comply with the referent in question

(Source: http://people.umass.edu/aizen/sn.html)

To clarify: during a business travel this person will choose the same luxurious hotel than his/her colleagues rather than the cheapest one because otherwise he/she would feel ashamed/ excluded by them = subjective norms

Control Beliefs

Control beliefs have to do with the perceived presence of factors that may facilitate or impede performance of a behavior. It is assumed that these control beliefs — in combination with the perceived power of each control factor — determine the prevailing perceived behavioral control. Specifically, the perceived power of each control factor to impede or facilitate performance of the behavior contributes to perceived behavioral control in direct proportion to the person’s subjective probability that the control factor is present.

To clarify: this hotel is too expensive for my budget, but i’m on Holidays I can enjoy it anyways = cpntrol beliefs

Perceived behavioral control

‘Perceived behavioral control refers to people’s perceptions of their ability to perform a given behavior. It is assumed that perceived behavioral control is determined by the total set of accessible control beliefs, i.e., beliefs about the presence of factors that may facilitate or impede performance of the behavior. ‘ (Ajzen)

To clarify:  when a smoking person says “I don’t think I am addicted because I can really just not smoke and not crave for it,” = perceived behavioral control


Intention is an indication of a person’s readiness to perform a given behavior, and it is considered to be the immediate antecedent of behavior


Behavior is the manifest, observable response in a given situation with respect to a given target.