Joint relationship of four types of involvement (SI, EI, AMI and RI) : path analysis model combining mediation and moderation
The current study addresses the overarching issue of the role that different types of involvement play in cognitive and behavioral processes and attitude formation by investigating 1) if and how SI and EI function jointly to form the level of AMI, 2) how SI, EI and AMI are interwoven to affect the level of RI, 3) the joint role of SI and EI on the routes to attitude formation. The findings suggest that SI and EI additively influence the level of AMI with stronger role of EI on the formation of AMI. Moreover, while SI and/or EI may affect AMI and subsequent cognitive and behavioral processes such as attention, comprehension, elaboration and information search intention their influences on such cognitive processes are only observed indirectly via the mediating role of AMI. No direct influence of SI and/or EI is observed when AMI is included in the models tested. In addition, AMI appears to be a robust indicator to the level of attention and information search intention regardless of the types of situational source of personal relevance and product types used, while SI and/or EI provide somewhat mixed results depending on the type of situational source of personal relevance and the type of products considered. With regard to joint function of SI, EI and AMI on the information search intention, there is an initial evidence of direct interactive influence of SI and EI on information search intention beyond the mediating role of AMI. However, this interactive function is only found via moderated regression analyses rather than ANOVA with a median-split of EI. Concerning attitude formation via dual-route theories of ELM and HSM, the current study suggests that systematic (central) vs. heuristic (peripheral) processing based on SI is inadequate to account for the two qualitatively different processes in advertising context dealing with laptop computer and digital camera ad.