Is there an optimal time for persuading older adults?:
Yes. Unlike younger people, older adults are sharper in the morning and less so in the afternoon. So “easy-to-process” messaging should go in the afternoon and “difficult-to-process”, more complex arguments in the morning.
Past research demonstrates that the majority of older adults (60 years and older) perform resource-demanding tasks better in the morning than in the afternoon or evening. The authors ask whether this time-of-day effect also impacts persuasion processes performed under relatively high involvement. The data show that the attitudes of older adults are more strongly affected by an easy-to-process criterion, picturerelatedness, at their non-optimal time of day (afternoon) and by a more-difficult-to-process criterion, argument strength, at their optimal time of day (morning). In contrast, the attitudes of younger adults are affected primarily by argument strength at both their optimal (afternoon) and non-optimal (morning) times of day. Process-level evidence that accords with these results is provided. The results accentuate the need for matching marketing communications to the processing styles and abilities of older adults.
Source: “The effects of optimal time of day on persuasion processes in older adults” from “Psychology and Marketing”
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