Elements of Persuasion

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  • Elements of Persuasion
    • The Communicator
      • A) Credibility
        • Perceived Experience
          • They must be seen to be knowledgeable on a topic eg. dentist on tooth decay
            • Olsan + Cal (1984)
          • They must speak confidently, confident speakers are perceived as much more credible
            • Pentland (2010)
        • Perceived Trustworthiness
          • They must not appear to be trying to persuade
            • Walster + Festinger (1962)
          • An effective communicator goes against self interest eg Nelson Mandela
            • Chaiken et al (1978)
          • They must talk fast to appear more objective, intelligent + trustworthy
            • Miller (1976)
        • The communicator must be perceived as being expert + trustworthy
        • Their credibility diminishes over time, however, as sources of info are forgotten
          • Cook + Flay (1978)
      • B) Attractiveness/ Likeability
        • Similarity vs. Credibility (Expert)
          • DIYers were more influenced by the opinion on how much paint to buy than shop owner.
          • But when it came to dental hygiene, dentist was more convincing
          • Brock (1965)
        • We are more likely to respond to people we like
          • Burger et al (2001)
        • Attractiveness can arise from two means:
          • Physical Appeal
          • Similarity to us
    • The Content
      • Need for Cognition
        • The quality of the argument had an effect on students with a high need for cognition but low effect on those with a low need for cognition
        • Capioppo et al (1983)
      • Good Feelings = affectiveness
        • People in a good mood make faster + impulsive decisions using the peripheral route
        • Sad people tended to think more, using the central route
        • Moons + Mackie (2007)
      • Fear Arousal
        • There is a greater response to messages that frighten
        • Fear loaded messages can be more effective to get people to quit smoking
          • de Hoog et al (2007)
        • The more frightened + vulnerable, the more responsive
        • Women aged 44-60 viewed videos on mammograms.
          • Banks et al
          • Fear got 2/3 to get one done.
          • Positive benefits got 1/2 to go get one done
        • But fear isnt always effective
          • Sometimes fear messages can lead to denial if there are more available coping strategies
          • Rogers _ Mewborn (1976)
      • Primacy vs. Recency
        • Primacy: The info that is presented earlier gets remembered
        • Recency: The info that is presented later is remembered
        • College students were given sentences to read about a guy called john.
          • When it was intelligent to envious, John was reported more positively than if it had been the other was around
          • Asch (1946)
      • Discrepancy
        • How persuasive a message is is based on how the receiver evaluates the position of the messsage
        • Students read a poorly written poen and were given an evaluation of it by TS Elliot or some student
        • The eval was either moderately in support of the poem or very in support of it
        • Opinions were most changed if TS had written a strong positive review of it
        • Aronson et al (1963)
      • Arguments are more persuasive for an educated or analytical audience
      • Emotional please are more convincing for less educated audiences
      • Cacioppo et al (1983)
      • Therefore, educated audiences often travel the central route, less educated down the peripheral route
        • Chaiken (1980)
    • The Audience
      • Age
        • Life cycle Explanation
          • Young people vs. old people tend to have different attitudes as change during the lifespan
        • Generational Explanation
          • Attitudes do not change, people hold on to the attitudes that they developed when young
          • They are different than those adopted by the young nowadays
        • Sears (1986)
        • There is more evidence for a generational explanation
      • Their thoughts
        • Forewarning
          • If someone is forewarned that they will be persuaded, they will be less open to persuasion
        • Distractions
          • Can disarm potential counterarguments eg political campaigns use images so we dont analyse the words
        • Defensive Rhetoric
          • A technique used to resist/undermine counterarguments
    • The Channel
      • Active Experience vs Passive Reception
        • Crawford et al (1974)
        • People belonging to 12 churches were visited at home before + after a sermon about racism + bigotry
        • When the 90% were asked if they had heard of such a topic at church, only 60% said yes
        • In the 2nd interview, only 10% said they had heard about such topics recently
      • Personal or Media?
        • Type of Media
          • The level of persuasiveness is also affected by the complexity of the message and the method used to convey the message.
          • Difficult messages are more persuasive when written
          • Simple messages are more persuasive in video form
          • Chaiken + Eagly (1976)
          • Students were given hard or easy messages in written audio or video format
        • Personal influence appears more important than media influence eg Harry potter success from WoM
        • Political personal visits
          • Those not intending to vote were divided into 3 groups
          • 1) Exposed to mass media campaigns. 19% voted in favour
          • 2) Received mail on it. 45% voted in favour
          • 3) Personally visited by a representative. 75% voted in favour
          • Eldersvald + Dodge (1954)
    • Hovland (1940-50)

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