Numbered lists, bulleted lists or paragraphs? The role of visual text structure of arguments in the persuasive context.

dc.contributor.advisorBaranova, J.
dc.contributor.advisorRafiee, A.
dc.contributor.authorPospiech, J.N.P.
dc.description.abstractArguments have to be presented as effectively as possible in order to convince the reader. Therefore, the present study investigated structural signals, i.e., numbered (1.,2.,3.,) and bulleted lists (-.,-.,-.,), as different techniques to visually structure arguments and their effect on recall and persuasiveness (i.e., attitude towards the ad, attitude towards the behavior and behavioral intention). Previous research has found positive effects of both techniques on recall and persuasiveness, but no studies have investigated the direct comparison of both structural signals yet. Hence, the aim of the study is to research whether numbered lists have a persuasive advantage compared to bulleted lists due to the explicit mentioning of the number of arguments. To investigate that further, an online experiment was conducted where 123 participants were exposed to arguments either visually structured as a numbered list, bulleted list or paragraph and were asked to recall and rate the content in terms of its persuasiveness. The arguments supported an environmentally friendly behavioral request and were presented in form of an advertisement poster. Results show that participants exposed to structural signals (numbered and bulleted list) recalled the advertisement better than participants exposed to arguments structured as a paragraph. This effect was not found for the persuasiveness of the message since subjects rated all advertisements as equally high persuasive. Furthermore, no persuasive advantage of numbered list compared to bulleted list was found. On the one hand, this shows individuals operating in the persuasive context that both structural signals are easy, cheap and effective ways to improve the recall of arguments. On the other hand, the results imply that factors other than the visual structure of arguments , such as the promoted behavior or argument quality itself, could be more determinant for the persuasiveness of the presented message and should be investigated in future research.en_US
dc.embargo.typePermanent embargoen_US
dc.thesis.facultyFaculteit der Letterenen_US
dc.thesis.specialisationInternational Business Communicationen_US
dc.thesis.studyprogrammeBachelor Communicatie- en Informatiewetenschappenen_US
dc.titleNumbered lists, bulleted lists or paragraphs? The role of visual text structure of arguments in the persuasive context.en_US
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