The Elaboration Likelihood Model

Adriana Vasseur
2 min readFeb 6, 2022

The elaboration likelihood model is a model that determines how our attitudes are formed. This model states that there are two ways information is processed which leads to a change in attitude. These two routes are known as the central route and the peripheral route. The central route is how information is actively being processed and then how the individual rationally analyzes it. This route shows how the individual is highly motivated to make the right decision. On the other hand, the peripheral route states that the individual process information based off of peripheral cues, such as message style, source credibility, or their own mood.

When analyzing this model, its evident that each message being sent is undergoing the process of persuasion in two different ways. Thinking about how I make decisions and how I am persuaded by others, I believe that my attitude is shaped through the peripheral route. Elaborating more on the peripheral route, this idea involves a low level of thought and research. The presentation of the product or message can also play a big role, meaning the persuasion is largely based on emotion.

For me for example, if I am choosing to buy a new hair tool, with a budget of $200, and I get a recommendation from a friend, I am most likely going to purchase that product. I tend to make my decisions based off of recommendations I’ve heard from others or seen online versus spending my time researching the best product for my needs.

Another example of how this theory would determine my persuasion is simply by the way something is presented. I tend to be a sucker for good marketing packaging, and if something looks aesthetically pleasing or catches my attention, I will spontaneously purchase it. I am not one to do extensive research on whether this product is right for me or not, but I do lean more towards reviews and recommendations from others. After learning about the elaboration likelihood theory, I can see how I tend to take the peripheral route in my day-to-day life.