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Lecture 9

CMNS 110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Copycat Suicide, Physical Attractiveness, Sexual Arousal

Course Code
CMNS 110
Gary Mc Carron

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Week 9 [LECTURE]
Weapons of Persuasion
Fixed-Action Patterns
o Instinctive responses to external stimuli, usually initiating sequences of behaviour (courtship,
feeding, etc.)
o Set in motion by specific trigger features
Do people have fixed-action patterns of behaviour?
o We have a number of biological dispositions over which we have limited control
Sexual arousal
Emotional responses
o We ALSO have fixed-action patterns of behaviour that are NON-biological, but cultural
Contrast Principle: how we perceive the difference or contrast between two things will
be affected by the order in which they are presented to us
Social Proof Principle: people imitate behaviour of those around them when they are
unsure of appropriate mode of behaviour
Assumption that those around them have better knowledge of the situational
Pluralistic Ignorance = majority of group members privately reject a norm but go
along with it believing that everyone else accepts it
Werther Effect
Reciprocation Principle: we give back when given to
Internal discomfort
External shame
Reciprocal concessions = requester lowers their initial request, making
respondent more likely to accept second request
Commitment and Consistency Principle: when we make a commitment we try to
remain consistent
Internal pressure to bring self-image into line with action
External pressure to adjust self-image to what others believe
Liking Principle: we are more likely to be persuaded by those we like than those we
Physical attractiveness
Conditioning and Association
Authority Principle: people tend to obey authority automatically
Trappings, objects (eg. Jaywalking in suit vs jeans/t-shirt)
Scarcity Principle: we often value things more highly if we regard them as scarce, hard
to get, or disappearing
Fear of loss is a greater motivator than the anticipation of gain
Psychological reactance theory
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