MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences : Elaboration Likelihood Model

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Elaboration Likelihood Model

Which pair best represents accurate examples of the concepts of the central route and the peripheral route of information processing, according to the Elaboration Likelihood Model?

Possible Answers:

Central Route: The answer is so obvious, it's like being hit by a two-by-four. 

Peripheral Route: By reading and re-reading the poem, its meaning will slowly reveal itself.

Central Route: This is the most efficient form of processing, because it requires the removal of distractions. Think of a car driving down the main artery. 

Peripheral Route: This is the least efficent form of processing, because it takes a long time to put the pieces of the puzzle together, and many of these pieces are only useful insofar as they provide links to more central concepts. 

Central Route: The person on the phone walked me through the calculations and explained to me how much money I would save over the course of ten years through increasing my monthly payment by 20%.

Peripheral Route: My best friend is increasing her monthly payments, and she seems to make good life choices, so I am also going to increase my monthly payment.

Central Route: Traffic is congested, processing will take a really long time.

Peripheral Route: Traffic is less congested, but processing is less focused.

Central Route: It feels like everywhere I look, I can see the answer. It doesn't even matter what direction I face, the answer is clear.

Peripheral Route: The answer is hazy no matter what I do, I can't seem to pull it into focus.

Correct answer:

Central Route: The person on the phone walked me through the calculations and explained to me how much money I would save over the course of ten years through increasing my monthly payment by 20%.

Peripheral Route: My best friend is increasing her monthly payments, and she seems to make good life choices, so I am also going to increase my monthly payment.

Explanation:

The correct answer shows that the central route is when a person deeply understands the message because they have thought about it, understand the logic, and are motivated by it. The correct answer also shows that the peripheral route influences a person through general impressions and requires less thought processing. The effect of peripheral routes is not likely to last as long as central routes. 

The incorrect answers focus more on elements of time, efficiency, clarity, and focus. These are not central to the definition of elaboration likelihood. 

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