Table of Contents
Last updated February 19, 2001
SPRING 2001 THEORY WORKBOOK
Source Credibility Theory
Explanation of Theory:
The Source Credibility theory states that people are more likely to be persuaded when the source presents itself as credible. The theory is broken into three models that can be used to more aptly apply the theory. The names of those models are: the factor model, the functional model, and the constructivist model.
Theorist: Hovland, C., Janis, I., Kelley, H.
Hovland, C.I., Janis, I.L., & Kelley, H.H. (1953). Communication and Persuasion. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
My interpretation of the Source Credibility theory is that on the outside it seems to be self-evident, and barely worth studying. But, it is interesting to note that many studies have also revealed no relationship between attitude change and source credibility. Although it seems obvious to me that a more credible source would be much more likely to affect the attitudes of others, I also feel that this concept is worthy of study since it is regularly being proven and disproved. That is what helps to make the general concept of source credibility a very interesting phenomena.
Scholars Who have Used This Theory:
Berlo, D. Lemmert, J., & Davis, M. (1969). Dimensions for evaluating the acceptability of message sources. Public Opinion Quarterly, 33, 563-576.
McCroskey, J.C. (1968). Scales for the measurement of ethos. Speech Monographs, 33, 67-72.
Location in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:
Anderson, R., & Ross, V. (1998). Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. N/A
Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. N/A
Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. p. 35-36, 279-280, 380-382.
Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 22-23, 306-307.
Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. p. 73, 152-153, 157-161, 520-521.
Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. N/A
West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. N/A
Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. N/A