Inhibitory control moderates the relation between advertising literacy activation and advertising susceptibility

RW Hoek*, E Rozendaal, HT van Schie, M Buijzen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


This study aimed to investigate whether children’s advertising literacy activation affects their susceptibility to advertising and if this relationship is moderated by inhibitory control. In an experiment among 48 children aged 10–13 years old, we made a distinction between children’s conceptual advertising literacy (i.e., knowledge of advertising) and attitudinal advertising literacy (i.e., critical attitude toward advertising). By using a within-subjects design, participants were primed with either television commercials (advertising condition) or a news broadcast (control condition). Advertising literacy activation was assessed with the Advertising Literacy Activation Task (ALAT), inhibitory control with a Go/No Go Task, and susceptibility with both an Approach-Avoidance Task (to assess implicit desire for the advertised products) and a questionnaire measurement (to assess explicit desire for the advertised products). The results showed that the relation between both conceptual and attitudinal advertising literacy activation and implicit desire for the advertised products was moderated by inhibitory control. Inhibitory control not only diminished the direct positive effect of advertising literacy activation on implicit desire, but even reversed it. No effects of advertising literacy activation and inhibitory control were found on explicit advertised product desire. Our results indicate that inhibitory control plays an important role in countering advertising effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-81
Number of pages31
JournalMedia Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date21 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2022

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© 2020 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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