PS270 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Peer Pressure, Group Dynamics, New Religious Movement

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Published on 31 Jan 2013
Midterm review- Chapter 5 - Persuasion10/31/2012 7:53:00 PM
What Paths Lead to Persuasion
Central Route
o Occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and
respond with favourable thoughts
o If arguments are strong and compelling, persuasion is likely
o If the message only contains weak arguments, thoughtful
people will notice that the arguments aren’t very compelling
and will counter-argue
The Peripheral Route
o Occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as
a speaker’s attractiveness
o Focusing on cues that trigger acceptance without much
o Visual images as peripheral cues
Different Routes for Different Purposes
o Central route processing can lead to more enduring change
than does the peripheral route
When people are thinking carefully and mentally
elaborating on issues, they rely not just on the strength
of persuasive appeals but on their own thoughts in
response as well.
Think deeply -> attitude change, resist attack, and
influence behaviour
o Persuasion via the peripheral route
Often produces superficial and temporary attitude
Changing attitudes is easier than changing behaviour
Analytical and
High effort
Agree or counter-
arguments evoke
Not analytical or
Low effort, Use
peripheral cues
Rule of thumb
Cues trigger
liking and
acceptance but
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often only temp.
The Elements of Persuasion
The Communicator
o Who is saying something affects how an audience receives it
o Credibility Believability. A credible communicator is
perceived as both expert and trustworthy
A doctor rather than a random person
Perceived expertise & Perceived trustworthiness
Sleeper effect - A delayed impact of a message; occurs
when we remember the message but forget a reason
for discounting it
o Attractiveness and liking
Attractiveness: having qualities that appeal to an
audience. An appealing communicator is most
persuasive on matters of subjective preference
The Message Content
o Reason vs emotion
Campaigning in support of world hunger relief. Would it
be best to itemize your arguments and cite an array of
impressive statistic’s, or would it be more effective to
presenting an emotional approach
It depends on the audience. Well educated people
or analytical people are more responsive to
rational appeals
The effect of good feelings
Messages also become more persuasive through
association with good feelings
Good feelings enhance persuasion
The effect of arousing fear
Messages can also be effective by evoking
negative emotions
When the fear pertains to a pleasurable activity,
the result often is not behavioural change by
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These messages are more effective if you lead
people not only to fear the severity and likelihood
of a threatened eve but also to perceive a solution
and feel capable of implementing it
o Discrepancy
Disagreement causes discomfort and discomfort
prompts people to change their opinions
Greater disagreement will produce less change
o One sided vs two sided appeals
How to deal with opposing arguments
Acknowledging the opposing arguments might confuse
the audience and weaken the case
On the other hand, a message might seem fairer
and be more disarming if it recognizes the
oppositions arguments
Two sided is more persuasive and enduring if people are
aware of opposing arguments
o Primacy vs Recency
Primacy effect: other things being equal, information
presented first usually has the more influence
Recency effect: information presented last sometimes
has the more influence. Recency effects are less
common that primacy effects
Forgetting creates the recency effect:
When enough time separates the two messages
When the audience commits itself soon after the
second message
The Channel of Communication
o For persuasion to occur, there must be communication, and
for communication to occur there must be a channel:
A face-to-face appeal, a written sign or document, a
media advertisement or some other method
o Channel of communication: the way the message is delivered
o Active experience or passive reception
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