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Chapter 5- Persuasion From Social Psychology -Myers, Spencer, Jordan -4th ed.

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University of Waterloo
Emiko Yoshida

Chapter 5 Persuasion Persuasion the process by which a message induces change in beliefs attitudes or behavioursWhat Paths Lead to PersuasionWhen people try to persuade others they can try to use good arguments and convince people that if they really think through the issues they will become persuaded to change their mindsAt the opposite extreme they can try to change peoples minds without having them think about this issue at allPerhaps the best way to convince people that something is good is just to associate it with something positiveEg Hovland and his colleagues studied the barriers that can prevent a message from being persuasive o They approached their task carefully varying factors related to the communicator the content of the message the channel of communication and the audience o They believed persuasion entailed clearing several hurdles any factors that help people clear the hurdles in the persuasion process increases the likelihood of persuasionFor example if an attractive source increases your attention to a message then the message should have a better chance of persuading youEg Researchers at Ohio state university suggested that peoples thoughts in response to persuasive messages also matter o If a message is clear but unconvincing then you will easily counter argue the message and wont be persuaded o But if the message offers convincing arguments then your thoughts will be more favourable and you will most likely be persuaded o This cognitive response approach helps us understand why persuasion occurs more in some situations than in others The Central RouteCentral route to persuasion occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favourable thoughtsIf arguments are strong and compelling persuasion is likelyIf the message only contains weak arguments thoughtful people will notice that the arguments arent very compelling and will counter argue The Peripheral RoutePeripheral route to persuasion occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues such as a speakers attractivenessSometimes the strength of the arguments doesnt matter sometimes were not all that motivated or able to think carefullyIf we are distracted uninvolved or just plain busy we may not take the time to think carefully about the message contentSmart advertisers adapt ads to their consumers thinkingBillboards and television commercials media that consumers are only able to take in for brief moments of time typically use visual images as peripheral cuesOur opinions regarding products such as food drinks smoking and clothes are often based more on feelings than logic ads for such products often use visual peripheral cues instead of providing arguments they associate products with beauty and pleasure 1Different Routes for Different PurposesThe goal of persuasion is to have the audience change some sort of behaviour most believe that the central route can lead to more enduring change than does the peripheral routeThe central route is more likely to lead to attitude and behaviour changes that stick whereas the peripheral route may lead merely to superficial and temporary attitude changeNone of us has the time to thoughtfully analyze everything often we take the peripheral route by using simple ruleofthumb heuristics such as trust the expertsWe all make snap judgements using other ruleofthumb heuristics if a speaker is articulate and appealing has apparently good motives and has several arguments or better if the different arguments come from different sources we usually take the easy peripheral route and accept the message without much thoughtCentral Route o Audience analytical and motivated o Processing high effort elaborate agree or counter argue o Persuasion cogent arguments evoke enduring agreementPeripheral Route o Audience not analytical or involved o Processing low effort use peripheral cues rule of thumb heuristics o Persuasion cues trigger liking and acceptance but often only temporarilyWhat Are the Elements of PersuasionThe primary ingredients of persuasion are o The communicator o The message o How the message is communicated o The audience Who Says The CommunicatorWho is saying something affects how an audience receives it Don Cherry vs other sports anchorman Eg In one experiment when the Socialist and Liberal leaders in the Dutch parliament argued identical positions using same words each was most effective with his members of his partyIts not just the central message that matters but also who says itCredibility o Credibility believability a credible communicator is perceived as both expert and trustworthy o Sleeper effect a delayed impact of a message occurs when we remember the message but forget a reason for discounting it o If a credible persons message is persuasive its impact may fade as its source is forgotten or dissociated from the message o The impact of a noncredible person may correspondingly increase over time if people remember the message better than the reason for discounting it o Perceived ExpertiseOne way to appear credible is to say things the audience agrees withAnother way is to be introduced as someone knowledgeableEg a dentist is more credible to talk about dental hygiene than a high school student doing researchAnother way to appear credible is to speak confidently 2
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