Journal of the Midwest Association for Information Systems (JMWAIS)


This study explores how presentation rhetoric affects message impact on a complex issue that is difficult to comprehend for the general public and becomes a debatable issue at large, such as the current American healthcare reform initiatives. The paper reports the results from an experimental study that compared the differential impact on viewers of two rhetorically contrasting videos on the current American healthcare debate. Both the videos shared almost identical narratives by the same presenter. Video-One simulated realistic, face-to-face communication while Video-Two was ‘infotainment’-oriented and presented the discussion using entirely computer-generated multimedia. The data yielded by this study suggests that perceivably objective messages that include a combination of text, imagery and sound tend to arouse and involve its viewers more and, thereby, may garner a greater impact on its viewers and enhance their understanding of a complex issue than presentations that lack these qualities.