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Chapter 5

PSYC 1002 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Mammography, September 11 Attacks, Cigarette Pack

Course Code
PSYC 1002
Mara Fuentes Avila

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Chapter 5: Persuasion
-Persuasion: the process by which a message induces change in beliefs, attitudes, or
- There was a survey given before the war and Canadians opposed military action against
Iraq by 2 to 1 while Americans favored it 2 to 1, other countries did not favor the war like
oAttitudes were shaped in America by persuasive messages in the media that led
half of people in the U.S. to believe Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attacks and
believed there were weapons of mass destruction
oCulture shaping usually happens top-down as the elite control the dissemination
of information and ideas
- Canadian smoking rate is 18%
- Bad persuasion is propaganda and good persuasion is education
What Paths Lead to Persuasion?
- Perhaps the best way to convince people that something is good is to associate it with
something positive
Central Route
- Petty said persuasion happens via 2 routes
o1) Central Route: this is when you focus on arguments and if they are strong
then persuasion happens
o2) Peripheral Route to Persuasion: when we don’t have time to reflect on the
message’s content rather than noticing the argument we focus on cues that
trigger acceptance ex. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket has more impact
than “Don’t risk everything on a single venture.”
Different Routes for Different Purposes
- Petty saw that central route processing can lead to more enduring change than
peripheral route does
- Persuasion via the peripheral route produces superficial and temporary attitude change
- It is easier to change attitude than behavior
- We often as humans take the peripheral route by using simple rule of thumb heuristics
ex. “trust the experts”
What are the Elements of Persuasion?
-1) The communicator
-2) The message
-3) How the message is communicated

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-4) The audience
Who Says? The Communicator
- Who is saying something affects how an audience receives it. Ex. If a girl said that
vicious hits shouldn’t be allowed in hockey you would say that the girl is trying to ruin the
sport good hits are part of the game but if Don Cherry talked about Swedish player
vicious hit on Canadian then a person would react differently
- Wiegman did an experiment where Socialist and Liberal leaders in Dutch parliament
argued identical position using same words, each was most effective with members of
their part
- What makes a communicator more persuasive than another? Credibility
-Credibility: it is believability
- The effect of source credibility (trustworthiness) diminishes after a month
- Cook study saw that the impact of a non-credible person may increase over time if
people remember the message better than the reason for not believing it
-Sleeper Effect: delayed persuasion, it is when people forget the source or its
connection with the message
Perceived Expertise
- Ways to become an expert:
oBegin saying things the audience agrees with
oBe introduced as someone who is knowledgeable on the topic
oScare messages from reliable sources are important in reducing behaviors
oSpeak confidently
Perceived Trustworthiness
- Hemsley and Doob found that while testifying, if videotaped witnesses looked their
questioner straight in the eye they seemed more believable
- Trustworthiness is higher if the audience believes the communicator is not trying to
persuade them
- Festinger (1962) had subjects eavesdrop on student’s conversations but it was actually
a tape recording.
oWhen conversation topic had to do with subject the speakers had more influence
if the listeners thought the speakers were unaware of the eavesdropping
- We perceive those who argue against their self-interest as trustworthy

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oWood, Eagly did a study where they presented students with a speech attacking
a company’s water pollution
oWhen speech given by political candidate with business background it seemed
unbiased and was persuasive
oWhen a pro-environment politician gave the speech listeners attributed the
politician’s arguments to personal bias
- Miller found that trustworthiness and credibility increase when people talk fast
Attractiveness and Liking
-Attractiveness: having qualities that appeal to an audience
- We are more likely to respond to those we like
- We tend to like people that are like us
- People respond better to a message that comes from someone in their group
- Brock (1965) found that paint store customers were more influenced by the testimony of
an ordinary person who bought the same amount of paint they wanted to but weren’t
influenced by people who bought 20 times as much
- When choice concerns matters of personal value, taste, or way of lafe similar
communicators have the most influence
- When judgments of fact ex. Does Ottawa have more snow than Toronto?, confirmation
of belief by a dissimilar person boost confidence
What is said? The Message Content
- The content of message is important also
Reason vs. Emotion
- Whether using reason or emotion when making an argument depends on the audience
- Well-educated people are more responsive to rational appeals than less educated
- Disinterested audiences use the peripheral route; they are most affected by how much
they ike the communicator
- It also depends on how people’s attitudes were formed
oWhen people’s initial attitudes are formed through emotion they are more
persuaded by later emotional appeals
oWhen their initial attitudes are formed through reason they are more persuaded
by later intellectual arguments
The Effect of Good Feelings
- Messages become more persuasive through association with good feelings
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