Processing persuasive arguments: recall and recognition as a function of agreement and manipulated activation asymmetry

Brain and Cognition
R A Drake


Previous research has demonstrated greater attention toward disagree arguments and a greater persuasibility during relative right than during relative left hemisphere activation. This experiment was performed to conceptually replicate and extend these findings to memory stages in the processing of persuasive arguments. The experiment used induction of lateral orientation of attention as the means to selectively activate regions of the brain in normal right-handed subjects. The results showed the expected significant interaction for correct recall as a function of agreement with the argument and hemisphere activated. There was greater recall of agree arguments during left hemisphere activation and greater recall of disagree arguments during right hemisphere activation, as predicted. The effect for recognition memory was in the same direction, but was statistically nonsignificant. These findings support previous research on cerebral asymmetries in the processing of persuasive arguments. This phenomenon is discussed as a possible outcome of asymmetries of affect.


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