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Levels of Subjective Comprehension in Advertising Processing and Their Relations to Ad Perceptions, Attitudes, and Memory.



Two fundamental orientations toward message comprehension have appeared in advertising research: the traditional objective view, which applies an accuracy criterion to conceptualize and evaluate comprehension, and the subjective view, which applies other criteria related to the individual comprehender and the actual experience of the message. This article develops a framework for four levels of subjective comprehension on the basis of an elaboration criterion. Comprehension levels are hypothesized to differ in their relations to ad perceptions, attitudes, and memory. Results from an empirical study provide initial support for the framework, including new theoretical insights and explanatory ability beyond the objective orientation. Discussion focuses on implications for advertising theory and consumer research. Copyright 1992 by the University of Chicago.

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