2004
Volume 41, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236

Abstract

Abstract

Research has shown that concrete language is more understandable, interesting and stored better in memory than abstract language (i.e. Sadoski, Goetz, & Rodriguez, 2000). Results are however inconclusive when it comes to the persuasive power of concrete language, which could be due to different operationalisations of the concept across studies. The current study aims to disentangle the concepts of concreteness and of details by manipulating the materials systematically. In an experiment, participants ( = 207) read a judicial case. On the basis of three pro arguments and three counter-arguments they were asked to judge a woman’s fitness as a parent. When the pro arguments were formulated concretely, counter-arguments were formulated abstractly and vice versa. Concreteness comprised three versions: concrete, concrete with details and concrete with affective details. In order to test whether concrete arguments were more decisive (cf. ), participants were also asked to recall the arguments. Results show a marginally significant effect of plain concreteness. However, when concrete arguments were accompanied by non-affective details, these arguments were significantly more convincing. In addition, concrete arguments were recalled better than abstract arguments. Findings are discussed with regard to the different operationalisations of concreteness across studies.

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2019-04-01
2021-10-27
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): abstractness; concreteness; details; experiment; persuasion
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