Enriching the Inoculation Construct The Role of Critical Components in the Process of Resistance

Authors

  • MICHAEL PFAU KYLE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Michael Pfau (PhD, University of Arizona, 1987) is a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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  • JAMES TUSING,

    1. Linda J. Penaloza, Waipeng Lee, Violet Shu-huei Yang, and Yah-huei Hong are graduate students in journalism and mass communication; and Kyle James Tusing, Ascan F. Koerner, and Linda C. Godbold are graduate students in communication arts, all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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  • ASCAN F. KOERNER,

    1. Linda J. Penaloza, Waipeng Lee, Violet Shu-huei Yang, and Yah-huei Hong are graduate students in journalism and mass communication; and Kyle James Tusing, Ascan F. Koerner, and Linda C. Godbold are graduate students in communication arts, all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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  • WAIPENG LEE,

    1. Linda J. Penaloza, Waipeng Lee, Violet Shu-huei Yang, and Yah-huei Hong are graduate students in journalism and mass communication; and Kyle James Tusing, Ascan F. Koerner, and Linda C. Godbold are graduate students in communication arts, all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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  • LINDA C. GODBOLD,

    1. Linda J. Penaloza, Waipeng Lee, Violet Shu-huei Yang, and Yah-huei Hong are graduate students in journalism and mass communication; and Kyle James Tusing, Ascan F. Koerner, and Linda C. Godbold are graduate students in communication arts, all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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  • LINDA J. PENALOZA,

    1. Linda J. Penaloza, Waipeng Lee, Violet Shu-huei Yang, and Yah-huei Hong are graduate students in journalism and mass communication; and Kyle James Tusing, Ascan F. Koerner, and Linda C. Godbold are graduate students in communication arts, all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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  • VIOLET SHU-HUEI,

    1. Linda J. Penaloza, Waipeng Lee, Violet Shu-huei Yang, and Yah-huei Hong are graduate students in journalism and mass communication; and Kyle James Tusing, Ascan F. Koerner, and Linda C. Godbold are graduate students in communication arts, all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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  • YANG YAH-HUEI HONG

    1. Linda J. Penaloza, Waipeng Lee, Violet Shu-huei Yang, and Yah-huei Hong are graduate students in journalism and mass communication; and Kyle James Tusing, Ascan F. Koerner, and Linda C. Godbold are graduate students in communication arts, all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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  • The authors thank faculty in Journalism and Mass Communication and Communication Arts for their help in recruiting participants for this investigation and acknowledge the insights of Cindy Gallois and anonymous reviewers that bolstered this article.

Michael Pfau, 5016 Vilas Hall, School of Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706; telephone: (608)-262-0334 (work), (608)-827-8224 (home); fax: (608)-262-1361; e-mail: MWPfau@Facstaff.wisc.edu.

Abstract

This investigation tested the effectiveness of inoculation treatments on 790 participants. The study probed the relationship between threat and involvement, their role in inoculation, and the nature of cognitive processes triggered via inoculation. The pattern of results suggests that inoculation elicits threat, threat contributes to resistance, and resistance is most pronounced for more involved receivers and on behalf of more involving topics. Finally, the results shed additional light on the process of inoculation but revealed a process considerably more intricate than was initially predicted. Structural equation analyses indicated that inoculation and involvement exert parallel, but independent, effects throughout the process of resistance. Both contributed directly to resistance, and both indirectly furthered resistance, but along unique paths. Whereas inoculation elicited receiver threat, which indirectly enhanced resistance through its sizable and immediate impact on Phase 2 attitudes, involvement contributed to the process of counterarguing and, thus, exerted a delayed indirect impact on Phase 3 attitudes.

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