CMST 1a03: Introduction to Communication
Alex Sévigny, PhD, APR, MCIPR (Winter Term, 2013)
UHC2, Chapter 11, Audiences & Persuasion
Guest Lecture, David Schokking, MA Candidate
The role of truth in persuasion
1. URANIUM example, when unobserved, releases radioactive ions, however, the act of
observation prevents radioactive decay. To repeat, the simple act of looking, changed
an element on the particle level: for a much denser understanding here’s a link:
2. How does this relate to how we see the world, how we relate to truth, and how we are
3. Do you know how the THE EYE works?
First, light is refracted off an object.
Light then bounces through this clear lens known as the cornea.
And gets inverted flipped and magnified through the aqueous and
vitrius humour. (that’s the jelly bits in your eyes)
Hitting some retinal photo receptors
Triggering the optic nerve, and then on to the brain to get flipped,
flopped and processed.
Everything you see, is how it was a few seconds ago.
Furthermore, every eye, lens, retinal photoreceptor make up is
wholly unique, like a fingerprint:
1. I don’t see the same yellow that you see, neither does the
person next to you.
2. All yellows are different.
3. But, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t looking at something. I
turn my back on something, doesn’t mean its not there. How
you see the world is wholly original, unique and individual.
4. You are an individual with a perspective on the world. You have an attitude towards
the objective world.
a. Attitudes are predispositions to respond to something in a favourable or
b. Attitudes are learned
c. Attitudes are based in our emotions
d. Attitudes influence our thoughts and behaviours
e. Attitudes are strongly related to our beliefs and values.
5. Persuasion, in its many forms is an adjustment of attitude.
a. Now, since you all have these individual attitudes and perceptions, advertisers
and marketers use a number of Tactics.
b. Demographics and groupings are possibly the best.
A Demographic is a group or subgroup that you can box people into. It is an arrangement of audience characteristics that can be analyzed statistically.
Such as age, gender, geography, etc. And it’s highly effective.
c. Eg. Are you a MAC /PC ?
The question is are you a mac because you agree with their brand, or
are you a mac because their brand agreed with you? I.e. because mac
told you what the type of person who uses a mac is like, and you
wanted to be that?
Do you wear Nikes, Uggs, or knockoffs? What do these brands all say
MAC/PC BRICK study: MAC users and PC’s users were given an
assignment: come up with uses for a brick.
1. Mac came up with more creative
2. PC, more, options but conventional.
But you are not your brands. You are an individual.
So, if truth is perceived then how do we persuade?
1. PERSUASION IS PLAYING WITH SOMEONES YELLOW.
2. EG. False Disney memory example. Families were taken to
Disney and had their experiences videotaped. Half of them
interacted with characters while half of them didn’t. At the end
of the study, the families were brought to watch the Disney
commercials with families hugging and interacting with the
characters and when the families were asked if they did this, 80%
of them who didn’t still said they did.
6. Advertising and branding and persuasive tactics can shift how we relate to our world,
how we relate to our past and our truths.
a. NOT LYING. Deception is a lie; persuasion is not. It is shifting someone’s
view on something.
b. Persuaders are trained to adopt and adjust the perceptions of its audience.
c. Truth is the most important part of persuasion. If it is respected and utilized
effectively, then persuasion can be ethical.
7. Carrots and WWII example. Why we believe carrots are good for your eyes- In 1939,
British army had invented radar and were shooting down German planes at night.
When Germans wanted to find out how the British were doing this they deceived
them by saying they were eating carrots. Therefore, the Germans then thought that
their eyesight was so good because carrots were helping it.
8. If truth is