The Sleeper Effect in Persuasion: A Meta-Analytic Review

G. Tarcan Kumkale, Dolores Albarracín

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A meta-analysis of the available judgment and memory data on the sleeper effect in persuasion is presented. According to this effect, when people receive a communication associated with a discounting cue, such as a noncredible source, they are less persuaded immediately after exposure than they are later in time. Findings from this meta-analysis indicate that recipients of discounting cues were more persuaded over time when the message arguments and the cue had a strong initial impact. In addition, the increase in persuasion was stronger when recipients of discounting cues had higher ability or motivation to think about the message and received the discounting cue after the message. These results are discussed in light of classic and contemporary models of attitudes and persuasion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-172
Number of pages30
JournalPsychological bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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