Jul 2019

Using metacognitive cues to amplify message content: A new direction in strategic communication

Shulman, H.C., & Bullock, O.M.

Annals of the International Communication Association

Abstract

Persuasion research investigates how decisions regarding message content affect audience response. We argue here that this approach to message design can be improved if metacognitive experiences are considered. This prescriptive review aims to introduce metacognition to communication. To this end, we review literatures in social psychology and communication and provide arguments for how the inclusion of metacognitive cues can augment message effects. We then present over 50 different strategies for how to include metacognitive cues within message design and provide examples for ways metacognition can be incorporated into existing theory. We argue that this approach presents a considerable opportunity to advance theory, extend message design, increase explanatory power, and broaden the scope of outcomes affected by the message.

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