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Most Underappreciated50 Prominent Social Psychologists Describe Their Most Unloved Work$
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Robert Arkin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199778188

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199778188.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 May 2021

The “Messenger Effect” in Persuasion

The “Messenger Effect” in Persuasion

(p.264) The “Messenger Effect” in Persuasion
Most Underappreciated

Saul M. Kassin

Oxford University Press

Saul M. Kassin reflects on his most underappreciated work: a paper entitled “Deposition testimony and the surrogate witness: Evidence for a messenger effect in persuasion.” Published in 1983 in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the study explored the “messenger effect” in persuasion by testing whether a jury's impression of an absentee witness can be altered through a change in the reader's demeanor. The results of a mock jury experiment conducted by Kassin showed that the messenger effect resembles the fundamental attribution error by which social perceivers take behavior at face value without sufficient appreciation of contextual factors.

Keywords:   Saul M. Kassin, deposition testimony, surrogate witness, messenger effect, persuasion, absentee witness, jury, attribution error, social perceivers, behavior

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