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This classic, cogent analysis of the major theories of persuasive communication includes many examples from advertising, the legal profession and social sciences research. Erwin Paul Bettinghaus, American Cancer research center administrator. Member National Cancer Advisory Board, With United States Army, Association president , American Comm. Administration president Find many great new used options and get the best deals for Persuasive Communication by Michael J.

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Bettinghaus is composed of 4 names. You can examine and separate out names. Combine with…. Read Chapter 5 on Source Credibility for an overview of the academic theory around what makes sources credible. The relative effectPersuasive communication. Add to My Bookmarks Export citation.

This item appears on. Camaro news and reviews. Also contains a forum. Persuasive Communication 5th Edition by Michael J. The Linked Data Service provides access to commonly found standards and vocabularies promulgated by the Library of Congress. This includes data values and the controlled vocabularies that house them. Welcome,you are looking at books for reading, the Advances In Advertising Research Vol Iii, you will able to read or download in Pdf or ePub books and notice some of author may have lock the live reading for some of country.

Free delivery worldwide on over 20 million titles. Erwin Paul Bettinghaus, Jr. P Nodust Sale. The P Nodust shown on this page are offered for sale at deep discounts. The Dynamics of Persuasion: Communication and - Staff. Persuasive Communication By Erwin P. Bettinghaus Books List of books by author Erwin. Persuasive communication Open Library.

Erwin Paul Bettinghaus born October 28, , American. Read reviews from world's largest community for readers. This classic, cogent analysis of the major theories of persuasive. Persuasive Communication. In recent years the importance of evidence in persuasive communication has.

Columbus, Ohio: Merrill. Bell, P. Persuasive Persuasion 2. Dow Jones Irwin. Bettinghaus, Erwin, P. Bruthiaux, Paul : In a nutshell: Persuasion in the spatially constrained. Bettinghaus - Goodreads. Structuring Messages and Appeals Manchester Metropolitan. Erwin P Bettinghaus Book Depository. Bettinghaus LibraryThing. Persuasive Communication by Erwin Paul Bettinghaus.

The effects of evidence in persuasive communication. Persuasive communication by Bettinghaus, Erwin. Cody and Erwin. Persuasive Communication Download eBook pdf, epub, tuebl. Bettinghaus, Michael. The intermingling of people from different cultural groups is a profoundly positive phenomenon, but it makes for more dicey and difficult interpersonal persuasion.

At the same time, attitudes—the stuff of persuasion—are ever more complex. Living in a media society in a time of globalization, we have attitudes toward more topics than before, including people and places we have never encountered directly.

Few people have met Bill Gates, but many people have opinions about him. We may have attitudes toward global warming or capital punishment or how the news media covered these topics. Some of us may have strong opinions about the media itself, or about how the media changed the minds of people we have never met. What if our friends in the higher animal kingdom also use a little homespun social influence?

Frans de Waal painstakingly observed chimpanzees in a Dutch zoo and chronicled his observations in a book aptly called Chimpanzee Politics. His conclusion: Chimps use all sorts of techniques to get their way with peers. They frequently resort to violence, but not always.

Chimps form coalitions, bluff each other, and even show some awareness of social reciprocity, as they seem to recognize that favors should be rewarded and disobedience punished. Does this mean that chimpanzees are capable of persuasion? Some scientists would answer "Yes" and cite as evidence chimps' subtle techniques to secure power. Indeed, there is growing evidence that apes can form images and use symbols Miles, To some scientists, the difference between human and animal persuasion is one of degree, not kind.

Wait a minute. Do we really think that chimpanzees persuade their peers? Perhaps they persuade in the Godfather sense of making people an offer they can't refuse. However, this is not persuasion so much as coercion. As we will see, persuasion involves the persuader's awareness that he or she is trying to influence someone else. It also requires that the persuadee make a conscious or unconscious decision to change his mind about something. With this definition in mind, chimpanzees' behavior is better described as social influence or coercion than persuasion.

Okay, you animal lovers say, but let me tell you about my cat. Isn't that persuasion? Your cat may be trying to curry your favor, 8 1. The cat is not cognizant that she is trying to "influence" you. What's more, she does not appreciate that you have a mental state—let alone a belief—that she wants to change. Nonetheless, the fact that we can talk intelligently about feline and particularly, chimpanzee social influence points up the complexities of persuasion.

Research on chimpanzee politics forces us to recognize that persuasion has probably evolved through natural selection and helped humans solve many practical dilemmas. Persuasion undoubtedly helped early homo sapiens solve adaptive problems such as pacifying potential enemies and enlisting help from friends.

In short: Persuasion matters and strikes to the core of our lives as human beings. This means we must define what we mean by persuasion and differentiate it from related terms. Defining Persuasion Scholars have defined persuasion in different ways. I list the following major definitions to show you how different researchers approach the topic. All of these definitions have strengths. Boiling down the main components into one unified perspective and adding a little of my own recipe , I define persuasion as a symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people to change their attitudes or behavior regarding an issue through the transmission of a message, in an atmosphere of free choice.

There are five components of the definition. Persuasion is a symbolic process. Contrary to popular opinion, persuasion does not happen with the flick of a switch. You don't just change people's minds, snap, crackle, and pop. As Mark Twain quipped, "habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time" cited in Prochaska et al. Many of us view persuasion in John Wayne, macho terms. Persuaders are seen as tough-talking salespeople, strongly stating their position, hitting people over the head with arguments, and pushing the deal to a close.

But this oversimplifies matters. It assumes that persuasion is a boxing match, won by the fiercest competitor. In fact persuasion is different. It's more like teaching than boxing. Think of a persuader as a teacher, moving people step by step to a solution, helping them appreciate why the advocated position solves the problem best.

Persuasion also involves the use of symbols, with messages transmitted primarily through language with its rich, cultural meanings. Symbols include words like freedom, justice, and equality; nonverbal signs like the flag, Star of David, or Holy Cross; and images that are instantly recognized and processed like the Nike Swoosh or McDonald's Golden Arches.

Symbols are persuaders' tools, harnessed to change attitudes and mold opinions. Persuasion involves an attempt to influence. Persuasion does not automatically or inevitably succeed. Like companies that go out of business soon after they open, persuasive communications often fail to reach or influence their targets. However, persuasion does involve a deliberate attempt to influence another person. The persuader must intend to change another individual's attitude or behavior, and must be aware at least at some level that she is trying to accomplish this goal.

For this reason it does not make sense to say that chimpanzees persuade each other. As noted earlier, chimps, smart as they are, do not seem to possess high-level awareness that they are trying to change another primate, let alone modify a fellow chimp's mind. In a similar fashion, it pushes the envelope to say that very young children are capable of persuasion. True, a mother responds to an infant's cry for milk by dashing to the refrigerator or lending her breast, if that's her feeding preference.

Yes, we have all shopped in toy stores and watched as 2-year-olds point to toys seen on television and scream "I want that. Yet the baby's cry for milk and the toddler's demand for toys do not qualify as persuasion. These youngsters have not reached the point where they are aware that they are trying to change another person's mental state. Their actions are better described as coercive social influence than persuasion. In order for children to practice persuasion, they must understand that other people can have desires and beliefs, recognize that the 10 1.

The main point here is that persuasion represents a conscious attempt to influence the other party, along with an accompanying awareness that the persuadee has a mental state that is susceptible to change. It is a type of social influence. Social influence is the broad process in which the behavior of one person alters the thoughts or actions of another. Social influence can occur when receivers act on cues or messages that were not necessarily intended for their consumption Dudczak, Persuasion occurs within a context of intentional messages that are initiated by a communicator in hopes of influencing the recipient.

This is pretty heady stuff, but it is important because if you include every possible influence attempt under the persuasion heading, you count every communication as persuasion. That would make for a very long book. People persuade themselves. One of the great myths of persuasion is that persuaders convince us to do things we really don't want to do.

They supposedly overwhelm us with so many arguments or such verbal ammunition that we acquiesce. They force us to give in. This overlooks an important point: People persuade themselves to change attitudes or behavior. Communicators provide the arguments. They set up the bait. We make the change, or refuse to yield. Joel Whalen puts it: You can't force people to be persuaded—you can only activate their desire and show them the logic behind your ideas.

You can't move a string by pushing it, you have to pull it. People are the same. Their devotion and total commitment to an idea come only when they fully understand and buy in with their total being. Therapists undoubtedly help people make changes in their lives. But have you ever heard someone say, "My therapist persuaded me"? On the contrary, people who seek psychological help look into themselves, consider what ails them, and decide how best to cope.

The therapist offers suggestions and provides an environment in which healing can take place Kassan, Of course, not every self-persuasion is therapeutic. Self-persuasion can be benevolent or malevolent. An ethical communicator will plant the seeds for healthy self-influence.

A dishonest, evil persuader convinces a person to change her mind in a way that is personally or socially destructive. Note also that persuasion typically involves change. It does not focus on forming attitudes, but on inducing people to alter attitudes they already possess. This can involve shaping, molding, or reinforcing attitudes, as is discussed later in the chapter. Persuasion involves the transmission of a message.

The message may be verbal or nonverbal. It can be relayed interpersonally, through mass media, or via the Internet. It may be reasonable or unreasonable, factual or emotional. The message can consist of arguments or simple cues, like music in an advertisement that brings pleasant memories to mind. Persuasion is a communicative activity; thus, there must be a message for persuasion, as opposed to other forms of social influence, to occur. Life is packed with messages that change or influence attitudes.

In addition to the usual contexts that come to mind when you think of persuasion—advertising, political campaigns, and interpersonal sales— there are other domains that contain attitude-altering messages. News unquestionably shapes attitudes and beliefs McCombs and Reynolds, Talk to older Americans who watched TV coverage of White policemen beating up Blacks in the South or chat with people who viewed television coverage of the Vietnam War, and you will gain firsthand evidence of how television news can shake up people's world views.

News of more recent events—the Challenger disaster, the Clinton impeachment, and, of course, September 11—has left indelible impressions on people's views of politics and America. Art—books, movies, plays, and songs—also has a strong influence on how we think and feel about life. If you think for a moment, I'm sure you can call to mind books, movies, and songs that shook you up and pushed you to rethink your assumptions.

Dostoyevsky's discussions of the human condition, a Picasso painting, Spike Lee's portrayals of race in Do the Right Thing, The Simpsons television show, a folk melody or rap song—these all can influence and change people's worldviews. Yet although news and art contain messages that change attitudes, they are not pure exemplars of persuasion.

Recall that persuasion is defined as an attempt to convince others to change their attitudes or behavior. In many cases, journalists are not trying to change people's attitudes toward a topic. They are describing events to provide people 12 1. In the same fashion, most artists do not create art to change the world. They write, paint, or compose songs to express important personal concerns, articulate vexing problems of life, or to soothe, uplift, or agitate people. In a sense, it demeans art to claim that artists attempt only to change our attitudes.

Thus, art and news are best viewed as borderline cases of persuasion. Their messages can powerfully influence our worldviews, but because the intent of these communicators is broader and more complex than attitude change, news and art are best viewed as lying along the border of persuasion and the large domain of social influence. Persuasion requires free choice. If, as noted earlier, self-persuasion is the key to successful influence, then an individual must be free to alter his own behavior or to do what he wishes in a communication setting.

But what does it mean to be free? Philosophers have debated this question for centuries, and if you took a philosophy course, you may recall those famous debates about free will verus determinism. There are more than definitions of freedom, and, as we will see, it's hard to say precisely when coercion ends and persuasion begins. I suggest that a person is free when he has the ability to act otherwise—to do other than what the persuader suggests—or to reflect critically on his choices in a situation Smythe, I have defined persuasion and identified its main features.

But this tells us only half the story. To appreciate persuasion, you have to understand what it is not—that is, how it differs from related ideas. Persuasion Versus Coercion How does persuasion differ from coercion? The answer may seem simple at first. Persuasion deals with reason and verbal appeals, while coercion employs force, you suggest. It's not a bad start, but there are subtle relationships between the terms—fascinating overlaps—that you might not ordinarily think of.

At the end of each year, United Way asks employees to contribute to the charity. Tom would like to donate, but he needs every penny of his salary to support his family. One year, his boss, Anne, sends out a memo strongly urging employees to give to United Way. Anne doesn't threaten, but the implicit message is: I expect you to donate, and I'll know who did and who didn't.

Tom opts to contribute money to United Way. Was he coerced or persuaded? Stanley Hayes, to get advice on where to apply for graduate school. Hayes compliments Debbie on her writing style, tells her she is one of the best students he has had in 20 years of teaching, and reflects back on his own experiences as a youthful graduate student in American literature. The two chat for a bit, and Hayes asks if she wouldn't mind dropping by his house for dessert and coffee to discuss this further.

Debbie respects Professor Hayes and knows she needs his recommendation for graduate school, but she wonders about his intentions. She accepts the offer. Was she persuaded or coerced? Waiting eagerly for the homecoming game to start, she glances at the field, catching a glimpse of the senior class president as he strides out to the yard line.

Much to her surprise, the class president asks the crowd to stand and join him in prayer. Elizabeth is squeamish. She is not religious and suspects she's an atheist. She notices that everyone around her is standing, nodding their heads, and reciting the Lord's Prayer. She glances to her left and sees four popular girls shooting nasty looks at her and shaking their heads. Without thinking, Elizabeth rises and nervously begins to speak the words herself. Was she coerced or persuaded? Before we can answer these questions, we must know what is meant by coercion.

Philosophers define coercion as a technique for forcing people to act as the coercer wants them to act, and presumably contrary to their preferences. It usually employs a threat of some dire consequence if the actor does not do what the coercer demands Feinberg, , p. Tom's boss, Debbie's professor, and Elizabeth's classmates pushed them to act in ways that were contrary to their preferences.

The communicators employed a direct or veiled threat. It appears that they employed coercion. Things get murkier when you look at scholarly definitions that compare coercion with persuasion. Mary J. Smith takes a relativist perspective, emphasizing the role of perception. According to this view, it's all a matter of how people perceive things.

Smith argues that when people believe that they are free to reject the communicator's position, as a practical matter they are free, and the influence attempt falls under the persuasion umbrella. When individuals perceive that they have no choice but to comply, the influence attempt is better viewed as coercive.

Assume now that Tom, Debbie, and Elizabeth are all confident, strongminded individuals. Tom feels that he can say no to his employer. Debbie, undaunted by Professor Hayes's flirtatiousness, believes she is capable of rejecting his overtures. Elizabeth feels she is free to do as she pleases at 14 1.

In this case, we would say that the influence agents persuaded the students to comply. On the other hand, suppose Tom, Debbie, and Elizabeth lack confidence in themselves and don't believe that they can resist these communicators.

In this case, we might say that these individuals perceived that they had little choice but to comply. We would conclude that coercion, not persuasion, had occurred. You see how difficult it is to differentiate persuasion and coercion. Scholars differ on where they draw the line between the two terms. Some would say that the three influence agents used a little bit of both. My own view is that the first case is the clearest instance of coercion.

The communicator employed a veiled threat. What's more, Tom's boss wielded power over him, leading to the reasonable perception that Tom had little choice but to comply. The other two scenarios are more ambiguous, arguably more persuasion because most people would probably assume they could resist communicators' appeals; in addition, no direct threats of any kind were employed in these cases.

More generally, the point to remember here is that persuasion and coercion are not polar opposites, but overlapping concepts. See Fig. Underscoring this point, there are instances in which coercive acts have changed attitudes, and persuasive communications have influenced coercive institutions. The terrible—unquestionably coercive—attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in produced major shifts in public attitudes. The attacks also changed attitudes toward airport safety, induced mistrust of strangers encountered in public places, and led some to reassess their entire perspective on life.

At the same time, persuasive communications—such as radio communications attempting to rally the Afghan people against terrorist Osama bin Laden in or the old Radio Free Europe anticommunist messages of the s through '80s—can help influence or bring down coercive Coercion Persuasion Nature of Psychological Threat Ability to Do Otherwise Perception of Free Choice Coercion and persuasion are not polar opposites. They are better viewed as lying along a continuum of social influence.

By then it was too late to save any of the 39 desperate souls who committed suicide. All one could do was to ask why 39 intelligent, committed men and women—stalwart members of the Heaven's Gate cult—willingly took their own lives, joyfully announcing their decision in a farewell videotape and statement on their Web site. The suicide was timed to coincide with the arrival of the Hale-Bopp comet. Believing that a flying saucer was traveling behind the comet, members chose to leave their bodies behind to gain redemption in a Kingdom of Heaven Robinson, To many people, this provided yet another example of the powerful, but mysterious, technique called brainwashing.

The cult leader, Marshall Applewhite, known to his followers as "Do," supposedly brainwashed cult members into committing mass suicide in their home in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Although Heaven's Gate was the first Internet cult tragedy, one that drove millions of curiosity seekers to the group's Web site, it was only the most recent in a series of bizarre cult occurrences that observers could describe only as brainwashing.

In one of the most famous of these tragic tales, over members of the People's Temple followed leader Jim Jones' directive to drink cyanide-spiked Kool-Aid at the cult's home in Guyana, South America back in Other cases, including the violent story of David Koresh's Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas circa , continue to fascinate and disturb.

Searching for a simple answer, people assume that charismatic leaders brainwash followers into submission. Famous though it may be, brainwashing is not a satisfactory explanation for what happens in cults. It does not tell us why ordinary people choose to join and actively participate in cults. It does not explain how leaders wield influence or are able to induce followers to engage in self-destructive behavior.

Instead, the brainwashing term condemns people and points fingers. How can we explain the cult phenomenon? First, we need to define a cult. A cult is a group of individuals who are: a excessively devoted to a particular leader or system of beliefs, b effectively isolated from the rest of the world, and c denied access to alternative points of view. To appreciate how cults influence individuals, we need to consider the dynamics of persuasion and coercion. As an example, consider the case of one young person who fell into the Heaven's Gate cult and, by crook or the hook of social influence, could not get out.

Her name was Gail Maeder, and she was one of the unlucky 39 who ended her life on that unhappy March day. Gail, a soft-hearted soul, adored animals. The lanky year-old also loved trees, so much so that she tried not to use much paper.

Searching for something—maybe adventure, possibly herself—she left suburban New York for California. Traveling again, this time in the Southwest, she met Continued 15 16 1. Gail joined the group and told her parents not to worry. She was very happy. If you look at Gail's picture in People, taken when she was 14, you see a bubbly All-American girl with braces, smiling as her brother touches her affectionately Hewitt et al.

Your heart breaks when you see the photo, knowing what will happen when she becomes an adult. People join cults—or sects, the less pejorative term—for many reasons. They are lonely and confused, and the cult provides a loving home. Simple religious answers beckon and offer a reason for living. Isolated from parents and friends, young people come to depend more on the cult for social rewards. The cult leader is charismatic and claims to have supernatural powers. He gains followers' trust and devotion.

Purposelessness is relieved; order replaces chaos. The more people participate in the group's activities, the better they feel; the better they feel, the more committed they become; and the more committed they are, the more difficult it is to leave. Initially, cult leaders employ persuasive appeals. Over time they rely increasingly on coercive techniques. Heaven's Gate leaders told followers that they must learn to deny their desires and defer to the group. At Heaven's Gate, it was considered an infraction if members put themselves first, expressed too much curiosity, showed sexual attraction, trusted their own judgment, or had private thoughts.

Everyone woke at the same time to pray, ate the same food, wore short haircuts and nondescript clothing, and sported identical wedding rings on their fingers to symbolize marriage to each other. Individual identity was replaced by group identity. Autonomy gave way, slowly replaced by the peacefulness of groupthink Goodstein, Once this happens—and it occurs slowly—cult members no longer have free choice; they are psychologically unable to say no to leaders' demands.

Coercion replaces persuasion. Conformity overtakes dissent. Persuasion and coercion coexist, shading into one another. Simple demarcations are hard to make. Gail Maeder wasn't street smart, her father said. Events like Heaven's Gate are deeply troubling. It is comforting to affix blame on charismatic cult leaders like Applewhite. It is easy to say that they brainwashed people into submission.

But this ignores the powerful role that coercive social influence and persuasive communication play in cults. And it tragically underplays the psychological needs of people like Gail, folks who persuaded themselves that a doomsday cult provided the answer to their problems. It would be a happy ending if Heaven's Gate were the last cult that exploited individuals' vulnerabilities. It is tempting to view these individuals as victims of terrorist brainwashing—automatons directed into action by receipt of an e-mail message.

Once again, the brainwashing metaphor simplifies and distorts. These individuals have frequently joined Muslim religious schools out of their own volition. Bereft of meaning and purpose in a changing world, unable to see that their own nation-states have failed to provide them with a decent set of values, desperately grasping for a way to find an outlet to express decades-long simmering hate, they join terrorist cells, and are groomed, influenced, even coerced by "teachers" and assorted leaders of an international political-religious cult Zakaria, These examples, emotion-packed as they are, speak to the powerful influences both persuasion and coercion have in everyday life, and the complex relationships between persuasion and coercive social influence see Fig.

The Bad Boy of Persuasion One other term frequently comes up when persuasion is discussed—propaganda. Propaganda overlaps with persuasion, as both are invoked to describe powerful instances of social influence. However, there are three differences between the terms.

First, propaganda is typically invoked to describe mass influence through mass media. Persuasion, by contrast, occurs in mediated settings, but also in interpersonal and organizational contexts. Second, propaganda refers to instances in which a group has total control over the transmission of information, as with Hitler in Nazi Germany, the Chinese Communists during the Chinese Revolution, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and in violent religious cults.

Persuasion can be slanted and one-sided, but it ordinarily allows for a free flow of information; in persuasion situations, people can ordinarily question the persuader or offer contrasting opinions. A third difference lies in the connotation or meaning of the terms. Propaganda has a negative connotation; it is associated with bad things or evil forces. Persuasion, by contrast, is viewed as a more positive force, one that can produce beneficial outcomes. Subjectively, we use the term 18 1.

Friend's attempt to influence another's opinion of movies 2. Loved one's antidrug appeal 3. Advertising 4. Health public service messages 5. Political campaigns 6. Sales and telemarketing 1. Threatening messages Employer's directives Interrogation Communication in dangerously abusive relationships 5. Ban on smoking 6. Enforcement of seat belt laws Borderline Cases 1. Understanding persuasion, coercion, and borderline cases of persuasion.

Note that coercion can be negative or positive as in smoking bans and enforcement of seat belt laws. Borderline cases focus on persuasion rather than coercion. Liberals claim that the news is unadulterated propaganda for Republicans; conservatives contend that the news is propaganda for the Left. Both use the propaganda term to disparage the news. When you hear people call a persuasive communication propaganda, beware.

The speakers are using language to denounce a message with which they disagree. Understanding Persuasive Communication Effects The discussion thus far has emphasized the differences between persuasion and related terms.

However, there are different kinds of persuasive communications, and they have different types of effects. Taking note of this, Miller proposed that communications exert three different persuasive effects: shaping, reinforcing, and changing responses. Today everyone has heard of the Nike Swoosh. You've seen it on hundreds of ads and on the clothing of celebrity athletes. It's a symbol that resonates and has helped make Nike a leader in the athletic shoe business.

The now-classic ad campaigns featuring Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson helped mold attitudes toward Nike by linking Nike with movement, speed, and superhuman athletic achievement. A nastier example is cigarette marketing. Tobacco companies spend millions to shape people's attitudes toward cigarettes, hoping they can entice young people to take a pleasurable, but deadly, puff. Marketers shape attitudes by associating cigarettes with beautiful women and virile men.

They appeal to teenage girls searching for a way to rebel against boyfriends or parents by suggesting that smoking can make them appear defiant and strong willed. That way I'm never taken for a ride," says one Virginia Slims ad. Contrary to popular opinion, many persuasive communications are not designed to convert people, but to reinforce a position they already hold.

As discussed in chapter 2, people have strong attitudes toward a variety of topics, and these attitudes are hard to change. Thus, persuaders try to join 'em, not beat 'em. In political campaigns, candidates try to bolster party supporters' commitment to their cause. Democratic standard-bearers like Al Gore have made late-campaign appeals to African American voters, the overwhelming majority of whom are registered Democrats. Messages offer additional reasons why these voters should expend the effort to vote Democratic on Election Day.

Republican candidates do the same, using media to remind their key supporters that they should vote Republican on the first Tuesday in November. In a similar fashion, health education experts attempt to strengthen people's resolve to maintain their decision to quit smoking or to abstain from drinking in excess.

Persuaders recognize that people can easily relapse under stress, and they design messages to help individuals maintain their commitment to give up unhealthy substances. This is perhaps the most important persuasive impact and the one that comes most frequently to mind when we think of persuasion. Communications can and do change attitudes. Just think how far this country has come in the last 50 years on the subject of race.

In the s and '60s, Blacks were lynched for being in the wrong place at the 20 1. Attitudes have changed on other topics too—sex roles, the environment, fatty fast food, and exercise. Persuasive communications have had strong and desirable effects.

They can influence attitudes and social behavior. It's not a new field—not by a long shot. The area has a long, distinguished history, dating back to ancient Greece. This section reviews the history of persuasion scholarship, offering an overview of major trends and the distinctive features of contemporary research on persuasion.

You may wonder why I review ancient history. There are many reasons, but here are two. Historical overviews help us appreciate the origins of ideas. They remind us that we are not the first to ponder persuasion, nor the first to wrestle with persuasion dilemmas. Second, an historical approach helps us see continuities from present to past to future. It helps us take note of what is unique about our era—and how today's scholarship builds on the shoulders of giants.

The Greeks loved public speech. Trophies were awarded for skill in oratory. Citizens frequently acted as prosecutor and defense attorney in lawsuits that were daily occurrences in the Athenian city-state Golden et al. Before long, citizens expressed interest in obtaining training in rhetoric the art of public persuasion.

To meet the demand, a group of teachers decided to offer courses in rhetoric, as well as other academic areas. The teachers were called Sophists, after the Greek word sophos for knowledge. The Sophists traveled from city to city, pedaling their intellectual wares—for a fee.

The Sophists were dedicated to their craft but needed to make a living. Several of the traveling teachers—Gorgias and Isocrates—taught classes on oratory, placing considerable emphasis on style. Plato, the great Greek philosopher, denounced their work in his dialogues. To Plato, truth was a supreme value. Yet the Sophists sacrificed truth at the altar of persuasion, in Plato's view. Thus, he lamented that "he who would be an orator has nothing to do with true justice, but only that which is likely to be approved by the many who sit in judgment" Golden et al.

The Sophists, he charged, were not interested in discovering truth or advancing rational, "laborious, painstaking" arguments, but in "the quick, neat, and stylish argument that wins immediate approval—even if this argument has some hidden flaw" Chappell, , p. To Plato, rhetoric was like cosmetics or flattery— not philosophy and therefore not deserving of respect.

The Sophists, for their part, saw persuasion differently. They surely believed that they were rocking the foundations of the educational establishment by giving people practical knowledge rather than "highfalutin" truth. They also were democrats, willing to teach any citizen who could afford their tuition.

Why do we care about the differences of opinion between Plato and the Sophists some 2, years later? We care because the same issues bedevil us today. Plato is the friend of all those who hate advertisements because they "lie" or stretch the truth. He is on the side of everyone who turns off the television during elections to stop the flow of "politicalspeak," or candidates making any argument they can to win election. The Sophists address those practical persuaders—advertisers, politicians, salespeople—who have to make a living, need practical knowledge to promote their products, and are suspicious of "shadowy" abstract concepts like truth Kennedy, The Sophists and Plato offer divergent, dueling perspectives on persuasive communication.

Indeed, one of the themes of this book is that there are dual approaches to thinking about persuasion: one that emphasizes Platonic thinking and cogent arguments, the other focusing on style, oratory, and simpler persuasive appeals that date back to some of the Sophist writers. The First Scientist of Persuasion Plato's greatest contribution to persuasion—or rhetoric as it was then called—may not have been the works he created, but the intellectual offspring he procreated. His best student—a Renaissance person before there was a Renaissance, a theorist before "theories" gained adherents—was Aristotle.

Aristotle lived in the 4th century B. His treatise, Rhetoric, is regarded as "the most significant work on persuasion ever written" Golden et al. Plato was right about truth being important, and the Sophists were correct that persuasive communication is a very useful tool.

Aristotle, to some degree, took the best from both schools of thought, arguing that rhetoric is not designed to persuade people but to discover scientific principles of persuasion. Aristotle's great contribution was to recognize that rhetoric could be viewed in scientific terms—as a phenomenon that could be described with precise concepts and by invoking probabilities Golden et al.

Drawing on his training in biology, Aristotle developed the first scientific approach to persuasion. Rather than dismissing persuasion, as did Plato, the more practical Aristotle embraced it. Cooper and William L.

Nothstine , p. Aristotle proceeded to articulate a host of specific concepts on the nature of argumentation and the role of style in persuasion. He proposed methods by which persuasion occurred, described contexts in which it operated, and made ethics a centerpiece of his approach.

During an era in which Plato was railing against the Sophists' pseudooratory, teachers were running around Greece offering short courses on rhetoric, and great orators made fortunes by serving as ghostwriters for the wealthy, Aristotle toiled tirelessly on the scientific front, developing the first scientific perspective on persuasion. Aristotle proposed that persuasion had three main ingredients: ethos the nature of the communicator , pathos emotional state of the audience and logos message arguments.

Aristotle was also an early student of psychology, recognizing that speakers had to adapt to their audiences by considering in their speeches those factors that were most persuasive to an audience member. Aristotle's Greece was a mecca for the study and practice of persuasion.

Yet it was not always pretty or just. Women were assumed to be innately unfit for engaging in persuasive public speaking; they were denied citizenship and excluded from the teaching professions Waggenspack, When Greek civilization gave way to Rome, the messengers were lost, but not the message. The practical Romans preserved much of Athenian civilization, adapting classic rhetorical works to Roman culture.

Cicero refined Greek theories of rhetoric, emphasizing the power of emotional appeals. Their work reminds us that concerns with public persuasion and inclusion of emotional arguments date back to early Rome, and probably earlier if you consider the Sophists. With the decline of Roman civilization, rhetoric became a less important feature of European society.

Earth-shattering events occurred over the ensuing centuries: growth of Christianity, Italian Renaissance, Black Death, European wars. Nonetheless, Aristotle's and Cicero's works survived, and influenced the thinking of rhetorical theorists of their times. Some of these writers' works made their way west, to the intellectual vineyards of the New World. Rhetorical Developments in the United States Like Athens, colonial and 18th-century America were a persuader's paradise, with merchants, lawyers, politicians, and newspaper editors crafting arguments to influence people and mold public opinion.

Great rhetorical works emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries, including the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Yet like ancient Greece, the public paradise was closed to slaves and women. But, unlike Greece, legal limits did not stifle protest voices. Frederick Douglass and, later, W. DuBois became eloquent spokesmen for disenfranchised African Americans.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony used rhetorical strategies derived from Cicero in their efforts to gain equality for women Waggenspack, Over the course of the 20th century, numerous rhetoricians have written insightful books.

Richard Weaver argued that all language contains values. Kenneth Burke , calling on philosophy and psychoanalysis, showed how good and evil communicators persuade people by identifying their views with the audience. Marshall McLuhan , using the catchy title "The medium is the message," startled, then captivated people by alerting them to the ways in which the medium— television, radio, print—was more important than the content of a communicator's speech.

Subsequently, radical scholars argued that the field of rhetoric could itself be studied and critiqued. Michel Foucault questioned the notion that there is such a thing as true knowledge. Instead, he claimed, knowledge and truth are interwoven with power; those who rule a society define what is true and what counts as knowledge Golden et al.

Feminist critics like Karlyn Kohrs Campbell pointed out that rhetorical history has been dominated by men and that women were barred from speaking in many supposedly great eras of rhetorical eloquence. Rhetorical theorists continue to enlighten us with their work. However, their mission has been supplemented and to some degree replaced by 24 1. The social science approach to persuasion now dominates academia. The history of this perspective is summarized next.

Origins of the Social Scientific Approach Social scientific studies of persuasion began in the s with research on attitudes Allport, War Department commissioned a group of researchers to explore the effects of a series of documentary films. The movies were designed to educate Allied soldiers on the Nazi threat and to boost morale.

Smith Goes to Washington, to direct the films. They were called simply Why We Fight. Asked to evaluate the effects of the wartime documentaries, the social scientists got the added benefit of working, albeit indirectly, with Capra. It must have been a heady experience, assessing the effects of a Hollywood director's films on beliefs and attitudes.

The experiments showed that persuasion research could be harnessed by government for its own ends—in this case, beneficial ones, but certainly not value-neutral objectives. Several of the researchers working on the Why We Fight research went on to do important research in the fields of psychology and communication.

One of them, Carl Hovland, seized the moment, brilliantly combining experimental research methodology with the ideas of an old persuasion sage, the first scientist of persuasion, the A-man: Aristotle. Working in a university setting, Hovland painstakingly conducted a series of experiments on persuasive communication effects.

What the researchers discovered—for example, that credible sources influenced attitudes—was less important than how they went about their investigations. Hovland and colleagues devised hypotheses, developed elaborate procedures to test predictions, employed statistical procedures to determine if predictions held true, and reported findings in scientific journals that could be scrutinized by critical observers.

Hovland died young, but his scientific approach to persuasion survived and proved to be an enduring legacy. A host of other social scientists, armed with theories, predictions, and questionnaires, began to follow suit. These included psychologists William J.

From an historical perspective, the distinctive element of the persuasion approach that began in the midth century and continues today is its empirical foundation. Knowledge is gleaned from observation and evidence rather than armchair philosophizing. Researchers devise scientific theories, tease out hypotheses, and dream up ways of testing them in real-world settings. No one—not the Greeks, Romans, or 20th-century Western rhetorical theorists—had taken this approach.

Capitalizing on the development of a scientific approach to behavior, new techniques for measuring attitudes, advances in statistics, and American pragmatism, early researchers were able to forge ahead, asking new questions, finding answers. Scholarly activity continued apace from the s onward, producing a wealth of persuasion concepts, far surpassing those put forth by Aristotle and classical rhetoricians.

These terms include attitude, belief, cognitive processing, cognitive dissonance, social judgments, and interpersonal compliance. We also have a body of knowledge—thousands of studies, books, and review pieces on persuasion. More articles and books on persuasion have been published over the past 50 years than in the previous 2, What once was a small field that broke off from philosophy has blossomed into a multidisciplinary field of study. Different scholars carve out different parts of the pie.

Social psychologists focus on the individual, exploring people's attitudes and susceptibility to persuasion. Communication scholars cast a broader net, looking at persuasion in two-person units, called dyads, and examining influences of media on health and politics. Marketing scholars examine consumer attitudes and influences of advertising on buying behavior. If you look up persuasion under PsycINFO or in Communication Abstracts, you will find thousands of studies, journal articles, and books.

What's more, research plays a critical role in everyday persuasion activities. Advertising agencies spend millions on research. When Nike plans campaigns geared to young people with ads resembling music videos , company executives plug in facts gleaned from marketing research. Antismoking campaigns hire academic researchers to probe teenagers' attitudes toward smoking. Campaigners want to understand why kids smoke and which significant others are most apt to endorse smoking in order to design messages that change teens' attitudes.

In the political sphere, the White House launched a worldwide marketing campaign after September 11 in an effort to change Muslims' negative perceptions of the United States. Plato, the purist, would be horrified by these developments. Aristotle, the practical theorist, might worry about ethics, but would be generally 26 1. Both would be amazed by the sheer volume of persuasion research and its numerous applications to everyday life. Who knows? Maybe they'll be talking about our age years from now!

So, sit back and enjoy. You're about to embark on an exciting intellectual journey. This may seem strange. After all, you may think of persuasion as an art. When someone mentions the word "persuasion," you may think of such things as "the gift of gab," "manipulation," or "subliminal seduction. However, this is far from the truth. Social scientists are curious about the same phenomena as everybody else is: for example, what makes a person persuasive, what types of persuasive messages are most effective, and why people go along with the recommendations put forth by powerful persuaders.

The difference between the scientist's approach and that of the layperson is that the scientist formulates theories about attitudes and persuasion, derives hypotheses from these theories, and puts the hypotheses to empirical test. By empirical test, I mean that hypotheses are evaluated on the basis of evidence and data collected from the real world. Theory plays a major role in the social scientific enterprise.

A theory is a large, umbrella conceptualization of a phenomenon that contains hypotheses, proposes linkages between variables, explains events, and offers predictions. It may seem strange to study something as dynamic as persuasion by focusing on abstract theories. But theories contain ideas that yield insights about communication effects. These ideas provide the impetus for change. They are the pen that is mightier than the sword. In fact, we all have theories about human nature and of persuasion Roskos-Ewoldsen, a; Stiff, We may believe that people are basically good, parents have a major impact on kids' personalities, or men are more competitive than women.

We also have theories about persuasion. Consider these propositions: 1. Advertising manipulates people. You can't persuade people by scaring them. The key to being persuasive is physical appeal. At some level these are theoretical statements, propositions that contain interesting, testable ideas about persuasive communication.

But there are problems with the statements, from a scientific perspective. They are not bona fide theories of persuasion. To most people, manipulation evokes negative images. Perhaps advertising doesn't manipulate so much as guide consumers toward outcomes they sincerely want.

The first rule of good theorizing is to state propositions in value-free language. The second statement—you can't persuade people by merely scaring them—sounds reasonable until you start thinking about it from another point of view. One could argue that giving people a jolt of fear is just what is needed to get them to rethink dangerous behaviors like drug abuse or binge drinking.

You could suggest that fear appeals motivate people to take steps to protect themselves against dangerous outcomes. The third statement—physical appeal is the key to persuasion—can also be viewed with a critical eye.

Perhaps attractive speakers turn audiences off because people resent their good looks or assume they made it because of their bodies, not their brains. I am sure you can think of communicators who are trustworthy and credible, but aren't so physically attractive.

Yet at first blush, the three statements made sense. They could even be called intuitive "theories" of persuasion. But intuitive theories—our homegrown notions of what makes persuasion tick—are problematic. They lack objectivity. They are inextricably linked with our own biases of human nature Stiff, What's more, they can't be scientifically tested or disconfirmed.

By contrast, scientific theories are stated with sufficient precision that they can be empirically tested through real-world research. They also contain formal explanations, hypotheses, and corollaries. Researchers take formal theories, derive hypotheses, and test them in real-world experiments or surveys. If the hypotheses are supported over and over again, to a point of absolute confidence, we no longer call them theories, but laws of human behavior.

We have preciously few of these in social science. Darwinian evolution counts as a theory whose hypotheses have been proven to the point we can call it a law. At the same time, there are many useful social science theories that can forecast behavior, shed light on people's actions, and suggest strategies for social change. The beauty of research is that it provides us with a yardstick for evaluating the truth value of ideas that at first blush seem intuitively correct.

It lets us know whether our gut feelings about persuasion—for example, regarding fear or good looks—amount to a hill of beans in the real world. Moreover, research provides a mechanism for determining which notions of persuasion hold water, which ones leak water are no good , and, in general, which ideas about persuasive communication are most accurate, compelling, and predictive of human action in everyday life.

Researchers study persuasion in primarily two ways. They conduct experiments, or controlled studies that take place in artificial settings. Because experiments typically are conducted in university settings and primarily involve college students, they don't tell us about persuasion that occurs in everyday life among diverse population groups.

For this reason, researchers conduct surveys. Surveys are questionnaire studies that examine the relationship between one factor for example, exposure to a media antismoking campaign and another reduced smoking. Surveys do not provide unequivocal evidence of causation. In the example above, it is possible that people may reduce smoking shortly after a media campaign, but the effects may have nothing to do with the campaign.

Smokers may have decided to quit because friends bugged them or they wanted to save money on cigarette costs. Most studies of persuasive communication effects are experiments. Research on attitudes and applications of persuasion are more likely to be surveys.

Both experiments and surveys are useful, although they make different contributions Hovland, Research, the focus of this book, is important because it clarifies concepts, builds knowledge, and helps solve practical problems. One must not lost sight of the big picture—the role persuasion plays in society and the fundamental ethics of persuasive communication. The final section of the chapter, building on the preceding discussion, examines these broader concerns. The next portion provides an overall perspective on the strengths and contributions persuasion makes to contemporary life.

The final portion examines ethics. It would be a quieter world, that's for sure, one with less buzz, especially around dinnertime when telemarketers phone! But without persuasion, people would have to resort to different ways to get their way. Many would resort to verbal abuse, threats, and coercion to accomplish personal and political goals.

Argument would be devalued or nonexistent. Force—either physical or psychological—would carry the day.

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Does this mean that chimpanzees are capable of persuasion? Some scientists would answer "Yes" and cite as evidence chimps' subtle techniques to secure power. Indeed, there is growing evidence that apes can form images and use symbols Miles, To some scientists, the difference between human and animal persuasion is one of degree, not kind.

Wait a minute. Do we really think that chimpanzees persuade their peers? Perhaps they persuade in the Godfather sense of making people an offer they can't refuse. However, this is not persuasion so much as coercion. As we will see, persuasion involves the persuader's awareness that he or she is trying to influence someone else.

It also requires that the persuadee make a conscious or unconscious decision to change his mind about something. With this definition in mind, chimpanzees' behavior is better described as social influence or coercion than persuasion. Okay, you animal lovers say, but let me tell you about my cat.

Isn't that persuasion? Your cat may be trying to curry your favor, 8 1. The cat is not cognizant that she is trying to "influence" you. What's more, she does not appreciate that you have a mental state—let alone a belief—that she wants to change. Nonetheless, the fact that we can talk intelligently about feline and particularly, chimpanzee social influence points up the complexities of persuasion. Research on chimpanzee politics forces us to recognize that persuasion has probably evolved through natural selection and helped humans solve many practical dilemmas.

Persuasion undoubtedly helped early homo sapiens solve adaptive problems such as pacifying potential enemies and enlisting help from friends. In short: Persuasion matters and strikes to the core of our lives as human beings. This means we must define what we mean by persuasion and differentiate it from related terms.

Defining Persuasion Scholars have defined persuasion in different ways. I list the following major definitions to show you how different researchers approach the topic. All of these definitions have strengths. Boiling down the main components into one unified perspective and adding a little of my own recipe , I define persuasion as a symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people to change their attitudes or behavior regarding an issue through the transmission of a message, in an atmosphere of free choice.

There are five components of the definition. Persuasion is a symbolic process. Contrary to popular opinion, persuasion does not happen with the flick of a switch. You don't just change people's minds, snap, crackle, and pop. As Mark Twain quipped, "habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time" cited in Prochaska et al. Many of us view persuasion in John Wayne, macho terms.

Persuaders are seen as tough-talking salespeople, strongly stating their position, hitting people over the head with arguments, and pushing the deal to a close. But this oversimplifies matters. It assumes that persuasion is a boxing match, won by the fiercest competitor. In fact persuasion is different. It's more like teaching than boxing.

Think of a persuader as a teacher, moving people step by step to a solution, helping them appreciate why the advocated position solves the problem best. Persuasion also involves the use of symbols, with messages transmitted primarily through language with its rich, cultural meanings. Symbols include words like freedom, justice, and equality; nonverbal signs like the flag, Star of David, or Holy Cross; and images that are instantly recognized and processed like the Nike Swoosh or McDonald's Golden Arches.

Symbols are persuaders' tools, harnessed to change attitudes and mold opinions. Persuasion involves an attempt to influence. Persuasion does not automatically or inevitably succeed. Like companies that go out of business soon after they open, persuasive communications often fail to reach or influence their targets. However, persuasion does involve a deliberate attempt to influence another person.

The persuader must intend to change another individual's attitude or behavior, and must be aware at least at some level that she is trying to accomplish this goal. For this reason it does not make sense to say that chimpanzees persuade each other. As noted earlier, chimps, smart as they are, do not seem to possess high-level awareness that they are trying to change another primate, let alone modify a fellow chimp's mind.

In a similar fashion, it pushes the envelope to say that very young children are capable of persuasion. True, a mother responds to an infant's cry for milk by dashing to the refrigerator or lending her breast, if that's her feeding preference.

Yes, we have all shopped in toy stores and watched as 2-year-olds point to toys seen on television and scream "I want that. Yet the baby's cry for milk and the toddler's demand for toys do not qualify as persuasion. These youngsters have not reached the point where they are aware that they are trying to change another person's mental state. Their actions are better described as coercive social influence than persuasion.

In order for children to practice persuasion, they must understand that other people can have desires and beliefs, recognize that the 10 1. The main point here is that persuasion represents a conscious attempt to influence the other party, along with an accompanying awareness that the persuadee has a mental state that is susceptible to change. It is a type of social influence. Social influence is the broad process in which the behavior of one person alters the thoughts or actions of another.

Social influence can occur when receivers act on cues or messages that were not necessarily intended for their consumption Dudczak, Persuasion occurs within a context of intentional messages that are initiated by a communicator in hopes of influencing the recipient. This is pretty heady stuff, but it is important because if you include every possible influence attempt under the persuasion heading, you count every communication as persuasion.

That would make for a very long book. People persuade themselves. One of the great myths of persuasion is that persuaders convince us to do things we really don't want to do. They supposedly overwhelm us with so many arguments or such verbal ammunition that we acquiesce. They force us to give in.

This overlooks an important point: People persuade themselves to change attitudes or behavior. Communicators provide the arguments. They set up the bait. We make the change, or refuse to yield. Joel Whalen puts it: You can't force people to be persuaded—you can only activate their desire and show them the logic behind your ideas.

You can't move a string by pushing it, you have to pull it. People are the same. Their devotion and total commitment to an idea come only when they fully understand and buy in with their total being. Therapists undoubtedly help people make changes in their lives. But have you ever heard someone say, "My therapist persuaded me"? On the contrary, people who seek psychological help look into themselves, consider what ails them, and decide how best to cope.

The therapist offers suggestions and provides an environment in which healing can take place Kassan, Of course, not every self-persuasion is therapeutic. Self-persuasion can be benevolent or malevolent. An ethical communicator will plant the seeds for healthy self-influence. A dishonest, evil persuader convinces a person to change her mind in a way that is personally or socially destructive. Note also that persuasion typically involves change. It does not focus on forming attitudes, but on inducing people to alter attitudes they already possess.

This can involve shaping, molding, or reinforcing attitudes, as is discussed later in the chapter. Persuasion involves the transmission of a message. The message may be verbal or nonverbal. It can be relayed interpersonally, through mass media, or via the Internet. It may be reasonable or unreasonable, factual or emotional. The message can consist of arguments or simple cues, like music in an advertisement that brings pleasant memories to mind.

Persuasion is a communicative activity; thus, there must be a message for persuasion, as opposed to other forms of social influence, to occur. Life is packed with messages that change or influence attitudes. In addition to the usual contexts that come to mind when you think of persuasion—advertising, political campaigns, and interpersonal sales— there are other domains that contain attitude-altering messages.

News unquestionably shapes attitudes and beliefs McCombs and Reynolds, Talk to older Americans who watched TV coverage of White policemen beating up Blacks in the South or chat with people who viewed television coverage of the Vietnam War, and you will gain firsthand evidence of how television news can shake up people's world views.

News of more recent events—the Challenger disaster, the Clinton impeachment, and, of course, September 11—has left indelible impressions on people's views of politics and America. Art—books, movies, plays, and songs—also has a strong influence on how we think and feel about life. If you think for a moment, I'm sure you can call to mind books, movies, and songs that shook you up and pushed you to rethink your assumptions.

Dostoyevsky's discussions of the human condition, a Picasso painting, Spike Lee's portrayals of race in Do the Right Thing, The Simpsons television show, a folk melody or rap song—these all can influence and change people's worldviews. Yet although news and art contain messages that change attitudes, they are not pure exemplars of persuasion.

Recall that persuasion is defined as an attempt to convince others to change their attitudes or behavior. In many cases, journalists are not trying to change people's attitudes toward a topic. They are describing events to provide people 12 1. In the same fashion, most artists do not create art to change the world. They write, paint, or compose songs to express important personal concerns, articulate vexing problems of life, or to soothe, uplift, or agitate people. In a sense, it demeans art to claim that artists attempt only to change our attitudes.

Thus, art and news are best viewed as borderline cases of persuasion. Their messages can powerfully influence our worldviews, but because the intent of these communicators is broader and more complex than attitude change, news and art are best viewed as lying along the border of persuasion and the large domain of social influence.

Persuasion requires free choice. If, as noted earlier, self-persuasion is the key to successful influence, then an individual must be free to alter his own behavior or to do what he wishes in a communication setting. But what does it mean to be free? Philosophers have debated this question for centuries, and if you took a philosophy course, you may recall those famous debates about free will verus determinism.

There are more than definitions of freedom, and, as we will see, it's hard to say precisely when coercion ends and persuasion begins. I suggest that a person is free when he has the ability to act otherwise—to do other than what the persuader suggests—or to reflect critically on his choices in a situation Smythe, I have defined persuasion and identified its main features.

But this tells us only half the story. To appreciate persuasion, you have to understand what it is not—that is, how it differs from related ideas. Persuasion Versus Coercion How does persuasion differ from coercion? The answer may seem simple at first. Persuasion deals with reason and verbal appeals, while coercion employs force, you suggest.

It's not a bad start, but there are subtle relationships between the terms—fascinating overlaps—that you might not ordinarily think of. At the end of each year, United Way asks employees to contribute to the charity. Tom would like to donate, but he needs every penny of his salary to support his family.

One year, his boss, Anne, sends out a memo strongly urging employees to give to United Way. Anne doesn't threaten, but the implicit message is: I expect you to donate, and I'll know who did and who didn't. Tom opts to contribute money to United Way. Was he coerced or persuaded? Stanley Hayes, to get advice on where to apply for graduate school. Hayes compliments Debbie on her writing style, tells her she is one of the best students he has had in 20 years of teaching, and reflects back on his own experiences as a youthful graduate student in American literature.

The two chat for a bit, and Hayes asks if she wouldn't mind dropping by his house for dessert and coffee to discuss this further. Debbie respects Professor Hayes and knows she needs his recommendation for graduate school, but she wonders about his intentions. She accepts the offer. Was she persuaded or coerced?

Waiting eagerly for the homecoming game to start, she glances at the field, catching a glimpse of the senior class president as he strides out to the yard line. Much to her surprise, the class president asks the crowd to stand and join him in prayer. Elizabeth is squeamish. She is not religious and suspects she's an atheist. She notices that everyone around her is standing, nodding their heads, and reciting the Lord's Prayer. She glances to her left and sees four popular girls shooting nasty looks at her and shaking their heads.

Without thinking, Elizabeth rises and nervously begins to speak the words herself. Was she coerced or persuaded? Before we can answer these questions, we must know what is meant by coercion. Philosophers define coercion as a technique for forcing people to act as the coercer wants them to act, and presumably contrary to their preferences.

It usually employs a threat of some dire consequence if the actor does not do what the coercer demands Feinberg, , p. Tom's boss, Debbie's professor, and Elizabeth's classmates pushed them to act in ways that were contrary to their preferences.

The communicators employed a direct or veiled threat. It appears that they employed coercion. Things get murkier when you look at scholarly definitions that compare coercion with persuasion. Mary J. Smith takes a relativist perspective, emphasizing the role of perception. According to this view, it's all a matter of how people perceive things. Smith argues that when people believe that they are free to reject the communicator's position, as a practical matter they are free, and the influence attempt falls under the persuasion umbrella.

When individuals perceive that they have no choice but to comply, the influence attempt is better viewed as coercive. Assume now that Tom, Debbie, and Elizabeth are all confident, strongminded individuals. Tom feels that he can say no to his employer. Debbie, undaunted by Professor Hayes's flirtatiousness, believes she is capable of rejecting his overtures.

Elizabeth feels she is free to do as she pleases at 14 1. In this case, we would say that the influence agents persuaded the students to comply. On the other hand, suppose Tom, Debbie, and Elizabeth lack confidence in themselves and don't believe that they can resist these communicators.

In this case, we might say that these individuals perceived that they had little choice but to comply. We would conclude that coercion, not persuasion, had occurred. You see how difficult it is to differentiate persuasion and coercion. Scholars differ on where they draw the line between the two terms. Some would say that the three influence agents used a little bit of both.

My own view is that the first case is the clearest instance of coercion. The communicator employed a veiled threat. What's more, Tom's boss wielded power over him, leading to the reasonable perception that Tom had little choice but to comply. The other two scenarios are more ambiguous, arguably more persuasion because most people would probably assume they could resist communicators' appeals; in addition, no direct threats of any kind were employed in these cases.

More generally, the point to remember here is that persuasion and coercion are not polar opposites, but overlapping concepts. See Fig. Underscoring this point, there are instances in which coercive acts have changed attitudes, and persuasive communications have influenced coercive institutions. The terrible—unquestionably coercive—attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in produced major shifts in public attitudes.

The attacks also changed attitudes toward airport safety, induced mistrust of strangers encountered in public places, and led some to reassess their entire perspective on life. At the same time, persuasive communications—such as radio communications attempting to rally the Afghan people against terrorist Osama bin Laden in or the old Radio Free Europe anticommunist messages of the s through '80s—can help influence or bring down coercive Coercion Persuasion Nature of Psychological Threat Ability to Do Otherwise Perception of Free Choice Coercion and persuasion are not polar opposites.

They are better viewed as lying along a continuum of social influence. By then it was too late to save any of the 39 desperate souls who committed suicide. All one could do was to ask why 39 intelligent, committed men and women—stalwart members of the Heaven's Gate cult—willingly took their own lives, joyfully announcing their decision in a farewell videotape and statement on their Web site.

The suicide was timed to coincide with the arrival of the Hale-Bopp comet. Believing that a flying saucer was traveling behind the comet, members chose to leave their bodies behind to gain redemption in a Kingdom of Heaven Robinson, To many people, this provided yet another example of the powerful, but mysterious, technique called brainwashing. The cult leader, Marshall Applewhite, known to his followers as "Do," supposedly brainwashed cult members into committing mass suicide in their home in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Although Heaven's Gate was the first Internet cult tragedy, one that drove millions of curiosity seekers to the group's Web site, it was only the most recent in a series of bizarre cult occurrences that observers could describe only as brainwashing. In one of the most famous of these tragic tales, over members of the People's Temple followed leader Jim Jones' directive to drink cyanide-spiked Kool-Aid at the cult's home in Guyana, South America back in Other cases, including the violent story of David Koresh's Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas circa , continue to fascinate and disturb.

Searching for a simple answer, people assume that charismatic leaders brainwash followers into submission. Famous though it may be, brainwashing is not a satisfactory explanation for what happens in cults. It does not tell us why ordinary people choose to join and actively participate in cults. It does not explain how leaders wield influence or are able to induce followers to engage in self-destructive behavior. Instead, the brainwashing term condemns people and points fingers.

How can we explain the cult phenomenon? First, we need to define a cult. A cult is a group of individuals who are: a excessively devoted to a particular leader or system of beliefs, b effectively isolated from the rest of the world, and c denied access to alternative points of view.

To appreciate how cults influence individuals, we need to consider the dynamics of persuasion and coercion. As an example, consider the case of one young person who fell into the Heaven's Gate cult and, by crook or the hook of social influence, could not get out. Her name was Gail Maeder, and she was one of the unlucky 39 who ended her life on that unhappy March day.

Gail, a soft-hearted soul, adored animals. The lanky year-old also loved trees, so much so that she tried not to use much paper. Searching for something—maybe adventure, possibly herself—she left suburban New York for California.

Traveling again, this time in the Southwest, she met Continued 15 16 1. Gail joined the group and told her parents not to worry. She was very happy. If you look at Gail's picture in People, taken when she was 14, you see a bubbly All-American girl with braces, smiling as her brother touches her affectionately Hewitt et al. Your heart breaks when you see the photo, knowing what will happen when she becomes an adult.

People join cults—or sects, the less pejorative term—for many reasons. They are lonely and confused, and the cult provides a loving home. Simple religious answers beckon and offer a reason for living. Isolated from parents and friends, young people come to depend more on the cult for social rewards. The cult leader is charismatic and claims to have supernatural powers. He gains followers' trust and devotion. Purposelessness is relieved; order replaces chaos.

The more people participate in the group's activities, the better they feel; the better they feel, the more committed they become; and the more committed they are, the more difficult it is to leave. Initially, cult leaders employ persuasive appeals. Over time they rely increasingly on coercive techniques. Heaven's Gate leaders told followers that they must learn to deny their desires and defer to the group.

At Heaven's Gate, it was considered an infraction if members put themselves first, expressed too much curiosity, showed sexual attraction, trusted their own judgment, or had private thoughts. Everyone woke at the same time to pray, ate the same food, wore short haircuts and nondescript clothing, and sported identical wedding rings on their fingers to symbolize marriage to each other. Individual identity was replaced by group identity. Autonomy gave way, slowly replaced by the peacefulness of groupthink Goodstein, Once this happens—and it occurs slowly—cult members no longer have free choice; they are psychologically unable to say no to leaders' demands.

Coercion replaces persuasion. Conformity overtakes dissent. Persuasion and coercion coexist, shading into one another. Simple demarcations are hard to make. Gail Maeder wasn't street smart, her father said. Events like Heaven's Gate are deeply troubling. It is comforting to affix blame on charismatic cult leaders like Applewhite. It is easy to say that they brainwashed people into submission. But this ignores the powerful role that coercive social influence and persuasive communication play in cults.

And it tragically underplays the psychological needs of people like Gail, folks who persuaded themselves that a doomsday cult provided the answer to their problems. It would be a happy ending if Heaven's Gate were the last cult that exploited individuals' vulnerabilities. It is tempting to view these individuals as victims of terrorist brainwashing—automatons directed into action by receipt of an e-mail message.

Once again, the brainwashing metaphor simplifies and distorts. These individuals have frequently joined Muslim religious schools out of their own volition. Bereft of meaning and purpose in a changing world, unable to see that their own nation-states have failed to provide them with a decent set of values, desperately grasping for a way to find an outlet to express decades-long simmering hate, they join terrorist cells, and are groomed, influenced, even coerced by "teachers" and assorted leaders of an international political-religious cult Zakaria, These examples, emotion-packed as they are, speak to the powerful influences both persuasion and coercion have in everyday life, and the complex relationships between persuasion and coercive social influence see Fig.

The Bad Boy of Persuasion One other term frequently comes up when persuasion is discussed—propaganda. Propaganda overlaps with persuasion, as both are invoked to describe powerful instances of social influence. However, there are three differences between the terms. First, propaganda is typically invoked to describe mass influence through mass media. Persuasion, by contrast, occurs in mediated settings, but also in interpersonal and organizational contexts.

Second, propaganda refers to instances in which a group has total control over the transmission of information, as with Hitler in Nazi Germany, the Chinese Communists during the Chinese Revolution, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and in violent religious cults. Persuasion can be slanted and one-sided, but it ordinarily allows for a free flow of information; in persuasion situations, people can ordinarily question the persuader or offer contrasting opinions.

A third difference lies in the connotation or meaning of the terms. Propaganda has a negative connotation; it is associated with bad things or evil forces. Persuasion, by contrast, is viewed as a more positive force, one that can produce beneficial outcomes.

Subjectively, we use the term 18 1. Friend's attempt to influence another's opinion of movies 2. Loved one's antidrug appeal 3. Advertising 4. Health public service messages 5. Political campaigns 6. Sales and telemarketing 1. Threatening messages Employer's directives Interrogation Communication in dangerously abusive relationships 5. Ban on smoking 6. Enforcement of seat belt laws Borderline Cases 1. Understanding persuasion, coercion, and borderline cases of persuasion.

Note that coercion can be negative or positive as in smoking bans and enforcement of seat belt laws. Borderline cases focus on persuasion rather than coercion. Liberals claim that the news is unadulterated propaganda for Republicans; conservatives contend that the news is propaganda for the Left. Both use the propaganda term to disparage the news.

When you hear people call a persuasive communication propaganda, beware. The speakers are using language to denounce a message with which they disagree. Understanding Persuasive Communication Effects The discussion thus far has emphasized the differences between persuasion and related terms. However, there are different kinds of persuasive communications, and they have different types of effects.

Taking note of this, Miller proposed that communications exert three different persuasive effects: shaping, reinforcing, and changing responses. Today everyone has heard of the Nike Swoosh. You've seen it on hundreds of ads and on the clothing of celebrity athletes. It's a symbol that resonates and has helped make Nike a leader in the athletic shoe business. The now-classic ad campaigns featuring Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson helped mold attitudes toward Nike by linking Nike with movement, speed, and superhuman athletic achievement.

A nastier example is cigarette marketing. Tobacco companies spend millions to shape people's attitudes toward cigarettes, hoping they can entice young people to take a pleasurable, but deadly, puff. Marketers shape attitudes by associating cigarettes with beautiful women and virile men.

They appeal to teenage girls searching for a way to rebel against boyfriends or parents by suggesting that smoking can make them appear defiant and strong willed. That way I'm never taken for a ride," says one Virginia Slims ad. Contrary to popular opinion, many persuasive communications are not designed to convert people, but to reinforce a position they already hold. As discussed in chapter 2, people have strong attitudes toward a variety of topics, and these attitudes are hard to change.

Thus, persuaders try to join 'em, not beat 'em. In political campaigns, candidates try to bolster party supporters' commitment to their cause. Democratic standard-bearers like Al Gore have made late-campaign appeals to African American voters, the overwhelming majority of whom are registered Democrats. Messages offer additional reasons why these voters should expend the effort to vote Democratic on Election Day.

Republican candidates do the same, using media to remind their key supporters that they should vote Republican on the first Tuesday in November. In a similar fashion, health education experts attempt to strengthen people's resolve to maintain their decision to quit smoking or to abstain from drinking in excess.

Persuaders recognize that people can easily relapse under stress, and they design messages to help individuals maintain their commitment to give up unhealthy substances. This is perhaps the most important persuasive impact and the one that comes most frequently to mind when we think of persuasion. Communications can and do change attitudes.

Just think how far this country has come in the last 50 years on the subject of race. In the s and '60s, Blacks were lynched for being in the wrong place at the 20 1. Attitudes have changed on other topics too—sex roles, the environment, fatty fast food, and exercise. Persuasive communications have had strong and desirable effects. They can influence attitudes and social behavior.

It's not a new field—not by a long shot. The area has a long, distinguished history, dating back to ancient Greece. This section reviews the history of persuasion scholarship, offering an overview of major trends and the distinctive features of contemporary research on persuasion.

You may wonder why I review ancient history. There are many reasons, but here are two. Historical overviews help us appreciate the origins of ideas. They remind us that we are not the first to ponder persuasion, nor the first to wrestle with persuasion dilemmas. Second, an historical approach helps us see continuities from present to past to future. It helps us take note of what is unique about our era—and how today's scholarship builds on the shoulders of giants.

The Greeks loved public speech. Trophies were awarded for skill in oratory. Citizens frequently acted as prosecutor and defense attorney in lawsuits that were daily occurrences in the Athenian city-state Golden et al. Before long, citizens expressed interest in obtaining training in rhetoric the art of public persuasion. To meet the demand, a group of teachers decided to offer courses in rhetoric, as well as other academic areas. The teachers were called Sophists, after the Greek word sophos for knowledge.

The Sophists traveled from city to city, pedaling their intellectual wares—for a fee. The Sophists were dedicated to their craft but needed to make a living. Several of the traveling teachers—Gorgias and Isocrates—taught classes on oratory, placing considerable emphasis on style.

Plato, the great Greek philosopher, denounced their work in his dialogues. To Plato, truth was a supreme value. Yet the Sophists sacrificed truth at the altar of persuasion, in Plato's view. Thus, he lamented that "he who would be an orator has nothing to do with true justice, but only that which is likely to be approved by the many who sit in judgment" Golden et al. The Sophists, he charged, were not interested in discovering truth or advancing rational, "laborious, painstaking" arguments, but in "the quick, neat, and stylish argument that wins immediate approval—even if this argument has some hidden flaw" Chappell, , p.

To Plato, rhetoric was like cosmetics or flattery— not philosophy and therefore not deserving of respect. The Sophists, for their part, saw persuasion differently. They surely believed that they were rocking the foundations of the educational establishment by giving people practical knowledge rather than "highfalutin" truth.

They also were democrats, willing to teach any citizen who could afford their tuition. Why do we care about the differences of opinion between Plato and the Sophists some 2, years later? We care because the same issues bedevil us today. Plato is the friend of all those who hate advertisements because they "lie" or stretch the truth.

He is on the side of everyone who turns off the television during elections to stop the flow of "politicalspeak," or candidates making any argument they can to win election. The Sophists address those practical persuaders—advertisers, politicians, salespeople—who have to make a living, need practical knowledge to promote their products, and are suspicious of "shadowy" abstract concepts like truth Kennedy, The Sophists and Plato offer divergent, dueling perspectives on persuasive communication.

Indeed, one of the themes of this book is that there are dual approaches to thinking about persuasion: one that emphasizes Platonic thinking and cogent arguments, the other focusing on style, oratory, and simpler persuasive appeals that date back to some of the Sophist writers. The First Scientist of Persuasion Plato's greatest contribution to persuasion—or rhetoric as it was then called—may not have been the works he created, but the intellectual offspring he procreated.

His best student—a Renaissance person before there was a Renaissance, a theorist before "theories" gained adherents—was Aristotle. Aristotle lived in the 4th century B. His treatise, Rhetoric, is regarded as "the most significant work on persuasion ever written" Golden et al. Plato was right about truth being important, and the Sophists were correct that persuasive communication is a very useful tool. Aristotle, to some degree, took the best from both schools of thought, arguing that rhetoric is not designed to persuade people but to discover scientific principles of persuasion.

Aristotle's great contribution was to recognize that rhetoric could be viewed in scientific terms—as a phenomenon that could be described with precise concepts and by invoking probabilities Golden et al. Drawing on his training in biology, Aristotle developed the first scientific approach to persuasion.

Rather than dismissing persuasion, as did Plato, the more practical Aristotle embraced it. Cooper and William L. Nothstine , p. Aristotle proceeded to articulate a host of specific concepts on the nature of argumentation and the role of style in persuasion.

He proposed methods by which persuasion occurred, described contexts in which it operated, and made ethics a centerpiece of his approach. During an era in which Plato was railing against the Sophists' pseudooratory, teachers were running around Greece offering short courses on rhetoric, and great orators made fortunes by serving as ghostwriters for the wealthy, Aristotle toiled tirelessly on the scientific front, developing the first scientific perspective on persuasion.

Aristotle proposed that persuasion had three main ingredients: ethos the nature of the communicator , pathos emotional state of the audience and logos message arguments. Aristotle was also an early student of psychology, recognizing that speakers had to adapt to their audiences by considering in their speeches those factors that were most persuasive to an audience member. Aristotle's Greece was a mecca for the study and practice of persuasion. Yet it was not always pretty or just.

Women were assumed to be innately unfit for engaging in persuasive public speaking; they were denied citizenship and excluded from the teaching professions Waggenspack, When Greek civilization gave way to Rome, the messengers were lost, but not the message. The practical Romans preserved much of Athenian civilization, adapting classic rhetorical works to Roman culture. Cicero refined Greek theories of rhetoric, emphasizing the power of emotional appeals. Their work reminds us that concerns with public persuasion and inclusion of emotional arguments date back to early Rome, and probably earlier if you consider the Sophists.

With the decline of Roman civilization, rhetoric became a less important feature of European society. Earth-shattering events occurred over the ensuing centuries: growth of Christianity, Italian Renaissance, Black Death, European wars. Nonetheless, Aristotle's and Cicero's works survived, and influenced the thinking of rhetorical theorists of their times.

Some of these writers' works made their way west, to the intellectual vineyards of the New World. Rhetorical Developments in the United States Like Athens, colonial and 18th-century America were a persuader's paradise, with merchants, lawyers, politicians, and newspaper editors crafting arguments to influence people and mold public opinion.

Great rhetorical works emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries, including the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Yet like ancient Greece, the public paradise was closed to slaves and women. But, unlike Greece, legal limits did not stifle protest voices. Frederick Douglass and, later, W. DuBois became eloquent spokesmen for disenfranchised African Americans.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony used rhetorical strategies derived from Cicero in their efforts to gain equality for women Waggenspack, Over the course of the 20th century, numerous rhetoricians have written insightful books.

Richard Weaver argued that all language contains values. Kenneth Burke , calling on philosophy and psychoanalysis, showed how good and evil communicators persuade people by identifying their views with the audience. Marshall McLuhan , using the catchy title "The medium is the message," startled, then captivated people by alerting them to the ways in which the medium— television, radio, print—was more important than the content of a communicator's speech. Subsequently, radical scholars argued that the field of rhetoric could itself be studied and critiqued.

Michel Foucault questioned the notion that there is such a thing as true knowledge. Instead, he claimed, knowledge and truth are interwoven with power; those who rule a society define what is true and what counts as knowledge Golden et al.

Feminist critics like Karlyn Kohrs Campbell pointed out that rhetorical history has been dominated by men and that women were barred from speaking in many supposedly great eras of rhetorical eloquence. Rhetorical theorists continue to enlighten us with their work. However, their mission has been supplemented and to some degree replaced by 24 1. The social science approach to persuasion now dominates academia. The history of this perspective is summarized next. Origins of the Social Scientific Approach Social scientific studies of persuasion began in the s with research on attitudes Allport, War Department commissioned a group of researchers to explore the effects of a series of documentary films.

The movies were designed to educate Allied soldiers on the Nazi threat and to boost morale. Smith Goes to Washington, to direct the films. They were called simply Why We Fight. Asked to evaluate the effects of the wartime documentaries, the social scientists got the added benefit of working, albeit indirectly, with Capra. It must have been a heady experience, assessing the effects of a Hollywood director's films on beliefs and attitudes.

The experiments showed that persuasion research could be harnessed by government for its own ends—in this case, beneficial ones, but certainly not value-neutral objectives. Several of the researchers working on the Why We Fight research went on to do important research in the fields of psychology and communication.

One of them, Carl Hovland, seized the moment, brilliantly combining experimental research methodology with the ideas of an old persuasion sage, the first scientist of persuasion, the A-man: Aristotle. Working in a university setting, Hovland painstakingly conducted a series of experiments on persuasive communication effects. What the researchers discovered—for example, that credible sources influenced attitudes—was less important than how they went about their investigations.

Hovland and colleagues devised hypotheses, developed elaborate procedures to test predictions, employed statistical procedures to determine if predictions held true, and reported findings in scientific journals that could be scrutinized by critical observers. Hovland died young, but his scientific approach to persuasion survived and proved to be an enduring legacy. A host of other social scientists, armed with theories, predictions, and questionnaires, began to follow suit.

These included psychologists William J. From an historical perspective, the distinctive element of the persuasion approach that began in the midth century and continues today is its empirical foundation. Knowledge is gleaned from observation and evidence rather than armchair philosophizing. Researchers devise scientific theories, tease out hypotheses, and dream up ways of testing them in real-world settings. No one—not the Greeks, Romans, or 20th-century Western rhetorical theorists—had taken this approach.

Capitalizing on the development of a scientific approach to behavior, new techniques for measuring attitudes, advances in statistics, and American pragmatism, early researchers were able to forge ahead, asking new questions, finding answers. Scholarly activity continued apace from the s onward, producing a wealth of persuasion concepts, far surpassing those put forth by Aristotle and classical rhetoricians. These terms include attitude, belief, cognitive processing, cognitive dissonance, social judgments, and interpersonal compliance.

We also have a body of knowledge—thousands of studies, books, and review pieces on persuasion. More articles and books on persuasion have been published over the past 50 years than in the previous 2, What once was a small field that broke off from philosophy has blossomed into a multidisciplinary field of study.

Different scholars carve out different parts of the pie. Social psychologists focus on the individual, exploring people's attitudes and susceptibility to persuasion. Communication scholars cast a broader net, looking at persuasion in two-person units, called dyads, and examining influences of media on health and politics. Marketing scholars examine consumer attitudes and influences of advertising on buying behavior. If you look up persuasion under PsycINFO or in Communication Abstracts, you will find thousands of studies, journal articles, and books.

What's more, research plays a critical role in everyday persuasion activities. Advertising agencies spend millions on research. When Nike plans campaigns geared to young people with ads resembling music videos , company executives plug in facts gleaned from marketing research. Antismoking campaigns hire academic researchers to probe teenagers' attitudes toward smoking.

Campaigners want to understand why kids smoke and which significant others are most apt to endorse smoking in order to design messages that change teens' attitudes. In the political sphere, the White House launched a worldwide marketing campaign after September 11 in an effort to change Muslims' negative perceptions of the United States. Plato, the purist, would be horrified by these developments.

Aristotle, the practical theorist, might worry about ethics, but would be generally 26 1. Both would be amazed by the sheer volume of persuasion research and its numerous applications to everyday life. Who knows? Maybe they'll be talking about our age years from now! So, sit back and enjoy. You're about to embark on an exciting intellectual journey. This may seem strange. After all, you may think of persuasion as an art. When someone mentions the word "persuasion," you may think of such things as "the gift of gab," "manipulation," or "subliminal seduction.

However, this is far from the truth. Social scientists are curious about the same phenomena as everybody else is: for example, what makes a person persuasive, what types of persuasive messages are most effective, and why people go along with the recommendations put forth by powerful persuaders. The difference between the scientist's approach and that of the layperson is that the scientist formulates theories about attitudes and persuasion, derives hypotheses from these theories, and puts the hypotheses to empirical test.

By empirical test, I mean that hypotheses are evaluated on the basis of evidence and data collected from the real world. Theory plays a major role in the social scientific enterprise. A theory is a large, umbrella conceptualization of a phenomenon that contains hypotheses, proposes linkages between variables, explains events, and offers predictions. It may seem strange to study something as dynamic as persuasion by focusing on abstract theories. But theories contain ideas that yield insights about communication effects.

These ideas provide the impetus for change. They are the pen that is mightier than the sword. In fact, we all have theories about human nature and of persuasion Roskos-Ewoldsen, a; Stiff, We may believe that people are basically good, parents have a major impact on kids' personalities, or men are more competitive than women. We also have theories about persuasion. Consider these propositions: 1. Advertising manipulates people.

You can't persuade people by scaring them. The key to being persuasive is physical appeal. At some level these are theoretical statements, propositions that contain interesting, testable ideas about persuasive communication. But there are problems with the statements, from a scientific perspective. They are not bona fide theories of persuasion. To most people, manipulation evokes negative images. Perhaps advertising doesn't manipulate so much as guide consumers toward outcomes they sincerely want.

The first rule of good theorizing is to state propositions in value-free language. The second statement—you can't persuade people by merely scaring them—sounds reasonable until you start thinking about it from another point of view. One could argue that giving people a jolt of fear is just what is needed to get them to rethink dangerous behaviors like drug abuse or binge drinking.

You could suggest that fear appeals motivate people to take steps to protect themselves against dangerous outcomes. The third statement—physical appeal is the key to persuasion—can also be viewed with a critical eye. Perhaps attractive speakers turn audiences off because people resent their good looks or assume they made it because of their bodies, not their brains.

I am sure you can think of communicators who are trustworthy and credible, but aren't so physically attractive. Yet at first blush, the three statements made sense. They could even be called intuitive "theories" of persuasion. But intuitive theories—our homegrown notions of what makes persuasion tick—are problematic.

They lack objectivity. They are inextricably linked with our own biases of human nature Stiff, What's more, they can't be scientifically tested or disconfirmed. By contrast, scientific theories are stated with sufficient precision that they can be empirically tested through real-world research.

They also contain formal explanations, hypotheses, and corollaries. Researchers take formal theories, derive hypotheses, and test them in real-world experiments or surveys. If the hypotheses are supported over and over again, to a point of absolute confidence, we no longer call them theories, but laws of human behavior. We have preciously few of these in social science. Darwinian evolution counts as a theory whose hypotheses have been proven to the point we can call it a law. At the same time, there are many useful social science theories that can forecast behavior, shed light on people's actions, and suggest strategies for social change.

The beauty of research is that it provides us with a yardstick for evaluating the truth value of ideas that at first blush seem intuitively correct. It lets us know whether our gut feelings about persuasion—for example, regarding fear or good looks—amount to a hill of beans in the real world.

Moreover, research provides a mechanism for determining which notions of persuasion hold water, which ones leak water are no good , and, in general, which ideas about persuasive communication are most accurate, compelling, and predictive of human action in everyday life.

Researchers study persuasion in primarily two ways. They conduct experiments, or controlled studies that take place in artificial settings. Because experiments typically are conducted in university settings and primarily involve college students, they don't tell us about persuasion that occurs in everyday life among diverse population groups. For this reason, researchers conduct surveys. Surveys are questionnaire studies that examine the relationship between one factor for example, exposure to a media antismoking campaign and another reduced smoking.

Surveys do not provide unequivocal evidence of causation. In the example above, it is possible that people may reduce smoking shortly after a media campaign, but the effects may have nothing to do with the campaign. Smokers may have decided to quit because friends bugged them or they wanted to save money on cigarette costs. Most studies of persuasive communication effects are experiments. Research on attitudes and applications of persuasion are more likely to be surveys.

Both experiments and surveys are useful, although they make different contributions Hovland, Research, the focus of this book, is important because it clarifies concepts, builds knowledge, and helps solve practical problems. One must not lost sight of the big picture—the role persuasion plays in society and the fundamental ethics of persuasive communication.

The final section of the chapter, building on the preceding discussion, examines these broader concerns. The next portion provides an overall perspective on the strengths and contributions persuasion makes to contemporary life. The final portion examines ethics. It would be a quieter world, that's for sure, one with less buzz, especially around dinnertime when telemarketers phone!

But without persuasion, people would have to resort to different ways to get their way. Many would resort to verbal abuse, threats, and coercion to accomplish personal and political goals. Argument would be devalued or nonexistent. Force—either physical or psychological—would carry the day.

Persuasion, by contrast, is a profoundly civilizing influence. It says that disagreements between people can be resolved through logical arguments, emotional appeals, and faith placed in the speaker's credibility. Persuasion provides us with a constructive mechanism for advancing our claims and trying to change institutions. It offers a way for disgruntled and disenfranchised people to influence society. Persuasion is not always pretty. It can be mean, vociferous, and ugly.

Persuasion, as Winston Churchill might say, is the worst way to exert influence—except for all the others. Were there no persuasion, George W. Bush and Al Gore would not have settled their dispute about the election vote in the courtroom, but on the battlefield. Persuasion is not analogous to truth. In fact, persuaders sometimes hide truth, mislead, or lie outright in the service of their aims or clients. Arts and Sports,0. The Word Album Version ,0. Dj Rockdrive ,0. Borron Y Cuenta Nueva,0.

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This classic, cogent analysis of the major theories of persuasive communication includes many examples from advertising, the legal profession and social sciences. Download This popular text provides a comprehensive introduction to the study of persuasive messages and their effects.

The book covers a broad range of communication techniques, richly illustrated with compelling examples, including resumes, speeches, and slide presentations, to help students recognize persuasive methodsPersuasive Communication by bettinghaus, erwin. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Used - Good. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside.

Persuasive communication. University Library — Two available in Main Persuasive Communication by Bettinghaus, Erwin P. Bettinghaus, Erwin P. Erwin Paul ; Cody, Michael J. Available at Middlesbrough Campus. This item is not reservable because: There are no reservable copies for this title. Please check below for status and location. Bettinghaus, Erwin Paul, Persuasive communication.

Bettinghaus online at Alibris. This classic, cogent analysis of the major theories of persuasive communication includes many examples from advertising, the legal profession and social sciences research. Erwin Paul Bettinghaus, American Cancer research center administrator.

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