7125 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Persuasion, Cognitive Dissonance, Attitude Change

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Persuasion and attitude change
- Attitudes, arguments and behaviour pg 174
oAttitude change: any significant modification of an individuals attitude. In the
persuasion process, this involves the communicator, the communication, the
medium used and the characteristics of the audience. Attitude change can also
occur by inducing someone to perform an act that runs counter to an existing
attitude
oCognitive dissonance: stat of psychological tention, produced by simultaneously
having two opposing cognitions. People are motivated to reduce the tension, ften by
changing or rejecting one of the cognitions. Festniger proposed that we seek
harmony in our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours and try to reduce tension from
inconsistency among these elements.
- Persuasive communication
oPersuasive communication: message intended to change an attitude and related
behaviours of an audience
oHovland, Janis and Kelley
Suggested that the key to understanding why people attend to, understand,
remember and accept a persuasive message is to study the characterstics of
the person presenting the message, content of the message and the
characteristics of the person presenting the message.
Yale approach
3 variables in persuasion
Communicator, source
Communication, message
Audience
4 steps in persuasion
Attention
Comprehension
Acceptance
Retention
oThird person effect: most people think that they are less influenced than others by
advertisements.
oThe communicator
Great expertise
Good physical looks
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Extensive interpersonal and verbal skills
Knowledge
Ability
Source credibility
Attractiveness, likeability (ie famous spokespeople), similarity (when
concerns matter of fact – not so much, but when matter of taste:
similarilty works best)
If simple message: source credibility acts as a heuristic (must be
true)
If more complex message: more elaboration and thought processes
oThe message
If audience against argument: but intelligent – better to present both sides
Ie comparative advertising
Only present one side is less intelligent audience is already favourable to
argument]
Effects of repetition
Goal is for repetition minimization: want to have big impact with
minimum exposure – most cost effective
oOptimum rate 2-3 ads per week
Repeated exposure = familiarity; make it seem famous
Does fear work?
Discrepancy in results
oJanis and feshbach: dental hygiene
Fear didn’t matter low fear took better care
oLeventhal, watts and pagno
High fear = less smoking
Inverted U hypothess
Mcguire: ways to ontrol the way we respond to persuasive
messages
oComprehension
oDegree to which we yield to change
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Document Summary

Attitudes, arguments and behaviour pg 174: attitude change: any significant modification of an individuals attitude. In the persuasion process, this involves the communicator, the communication, the medium used and the characteristics of the audience. Attitude change can also occur by inducing someone to perform an act that runs counter to an existing attitude: cognitive dissonance: stat of psychological tention, produced by simultaneously having two opposing cognitions. People are motivated to reduce the tension, ften by changing or rejecting one of the cognitions. Festniger proposed that we seek harmony in our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours and try to reduce tension from inconsistency among these elements. Persuasive communication: persuasive communication: message intended to change an attitude and related behaviours of an audience, hovland, janis and kelley. Retention: third person effect: most people think that they are less influenced than others by advertisements, the communicator.

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