Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Two studies investigated a cognitive model of college choice and the effect of visual-verbal redundancy in student recruitment messages on the decision factors. The proposed model integrated the college choice model (Hossler & Gallagher, 1987) with the effortful decision-making and enactment model (Bagozzi, Dholakia, & Basuroy, 2003) and contained 14 latent variables: goal feasibility, positive anticipated emotions, negative anticipated emotions, decision process importance, decision process effort investment, decision process confidence, subjective norm, attitude, perceived behavioral control, goal desire, goal intention, behavioral desire, behavioral intention, and plan enactment. The model was tested on self-report data from students in three high schools in Northwest Tennessee using structural equation modelingStudy 1 results showed that a measurement model using both formative and reflective indicators provided the best data fit. Post-hoc modifications indicated three latent variables: predisposition, intention, and plan enactment. Goal feasibility, decision process importance, and attitude were significant indicators for predisposition; campus feature knowledge was a significant indicator for plan enactment; and predisposition was significantly related to intention but intention was not significantly related to plan enactment. Study 2 cross-validated the revised model from Study 1 and tested hypotheses related to visual-verbal redundancy in student recruitment messages. Visual-verbal redundancy was manipulated via a message containing a photograph (visual element) and text (verbal element), where the photograph either had substantial overlap (high redundancy) or very little overlap (low redundancy) with the key point of the text. Goal feasibility, decision process importance, subjective norm, and attitude were significant indicators for predisposition in the high visual-verbal redundancy group; positive anticipated emotion, subjective norm, and attitude were significant indicators for predisposition in the low visual-verbal redundancy group; ability was significantly and positively related to intention whereas perceived behavioral control was significantly but negatively related to intention in the low visual-verbal redundancy group; predisposition was significantly related to intention in both groups. Positive decision process importance, subjective norm, attitudes, and perceived behavioral control were higher in the high than in the low visual-verbal redundancy group. The results offer implications for college choice and persuasion theory as well as recommendations for education policymakers and student recruitment message designers.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Rutledge, Tracy, "A Cognitive Model of College Choice and the Influence of Visual-Verbal Redundancy in Student Recruitment Messages" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 132.