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Abstract

Persuasive information can be tailored to individual characteristics using computer technology. Computer technology offers three ways to persuade people: adaptation, personalization, and feedback. Adaptation refers to the match between the type or the formulation of the persuasive arguments or recommendations and an individual's psychological state. Personalization refers to the incorporation of one or more recognizable individual characteristics (e.g., one's first name) in a persuasive text. Feedback refers to providing the individual with information about him or her that relates to important individual goals. These visible elements in a persuasive message are the tailoring-ingredients of computer-tailored persuasion. The present article focuses on explaining how these tailoring-ingredients influence persuasion, using existing social psychological insights in human functioning and persuasion. The persuasive effects of the tailoring-ingredients can be explained partly by different psychological processes.