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Abstract

It is a well-established theory that emotion is influential in cognitive processing. Extensive prior research on emotion has shown that emotional factors, such as affect, mood, and feeling, play as in-formation indicating whether he or she has enough knowledge. Most of their findings focused on the effect of emotional valence (i.g., one`s subjective positivity or negativity related with the emotion). Recently, several studies on emotion suggest that there is another dimension of emotion, which affects the type of cognitive processing. The studies argue that emotional certainty facilitates heuristic proc-essing, whereas emotional uncertainty promotes systematic processing. Based on the findings, current study examines the effect of certainty on attitudes and recall. Specifically, the authors investigate the effect of certainty on how much effort individuals use to process advertising information and how certainty affects attitude formation toward the advertised product. The authors also focus on recall to clarify the working mechanism of certainty on attitudes. because recall performance reflects the depth of information processing. Based on previous findings, the authors hypothesize that uncertainty (vs. certainty) leads to more favorable attitudes as well as better recall. and conduct an experiment using a fictitious advertisement with 218 participants. The results confirm the predicted effects of certainty only on attitudes not recall. A possible explanation of this discrepancy between attitudes and recall lies in the measurement method, unaided recall. To rule out this possibility, the authors perform an additional analysis with the participants who recall any correct information of the target advertisement. The results show certainty has a negative effect on both attitudes and recall. A boot-strapping test reveals that recall mediates the effect of certainty on attitudes. This result confirms that certainty decreases elaboration, which in turn leads to less favorable attitudes relative to certainty. Additionally, our data shows the association among certainty, recall. and attitudes by showing the in-direct effect of certainty on attitudes via recall. This research encourages practitioners in the field to emphasize that they should focus on target audiences` emotional certainly before they provide the persuasive message, by showing that uncertainty promotes effortful processing, which in turn leads to better memory and more favorable attitudes.

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