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Chapter 5

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PSYC 215
Donald Taylor

PSYC215 Chapter 5 Notes Definitions: Persuasion: The process by which a message induces change in beliefs, attitudes, or behaviours. Central Route to Persuasion: Occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favourable thoughts. Peripheral Route to Persuasion: Occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a speaker’s attractiveness. Credibility: Believability. A credible communicator is perceived as both expert and trustworthy. Sleeper Effect: A delayed impact of a message; occurs when we remember the message but forget a reason for discounting it. Attractiveness: Having qualities that appeal to an audience. An appealing communicator (often someone similar to the audience) is most persuasive on matters of subjective preference. Primacy Effect: Other things being equal, information presented first usually has the most influence. Recency Effect: Information presented last sometimes has the most influence. Recency effects are less common than primacy effects. Channel of Communication: The way the message is delivered-whether face to face, in writing, on film, or in some other way. Two-Step Flow of Communication: The process by which media influence often occurs through opinion leaders, who in turn influence others. Need for Recognition: The motivation to think and analyze. Assessed by agreement with items such as “The notion of thinking abstractly is appealing to me” and disagreement with items such as “I only think as hard as I have to.” Cult (New Religious Movement): A group typically characterized by (1) the distinctive ritual of its devotion to a god or a person, (2) isolation from the surrounding “evil” culture, and (3) a charismatic leader. (A sect, by contrast, is a spinoff from a major religion.) Attitude Inoculation: Exposing people to weak attacks on their attitudes so that when stronger attacks come, they will have refutations available. Chapter Notes:  Joesph Goebbels, Germany’s minister of “popular enlightenment” and propaganda from 1933 to 1945, along with Julius Streicher used the power of persuasion to “inject poison into the minds of millions and millions of Germans” which resulted in the Holocaust  Sociologists James Davison Hunter notes that culture-shaping usually occurs top-down, as cultural elites control the dissemination of information and ideas  Persuasion is neither good nor bad. It is usually the content of the message that elicits judgments of good or bad. The bad we call “propaganda.” The good we call “education.”  You can either use good arguments and convince people or trying to associate something good with something positive  Researchers at Ohio State University suggested that people’s thoughts in response to persuasive messages also matter. If a message is clear but unconvincing, then the argument can be counter argued. If however, the message offers convincing arguments, the persuasion should be possible  Richard Petty, John Cacioppo, Alice Eagly, and Shelly Chaiken theorized that persuasion is likely to occur via the central route or the peripheral route  Central route to persuasion is where people are motivated to think systematically about an issue and focus on the arguments  Peripheral route is where persuasion occurs as a result of cues that trigger acceptance without much thinking  Our opinions regarding products such as food, drink, cigarettes, and clothing are often based more on feelings than on login, hence uses visual peripheral route  Petty explained how central route processing can lead to more enduring change than does the peripheral route. Central route is more likely to lead to attitude and behaviour changes that “stick,” whereas peripheral route lead to superficial and temporary attitude change  Humans often use the simple rule-of-thumb heuristics, such as “trust the experts” or “long messages are credible” simply because we rather take the easy peripheral route and accept the message without much thought  Four primary ingredients of persuasion is: (1) the communicator, (2) the message, (3) how the message is communicated, and (4) the audience  The effects of source credibility diminish after a month or so since the message’s impact may fade as its source is forgotten or dissociated from the message  The impact of a non-credible person may increase over time if people remember the message better than the reason for discounting it (sleeper effect)  Speech style also affects a speaker’s apparent trustworthiness. Simply put, if people don’t know someone’s listening, why would they be less than fully honest?  We perceive those who argue against their own self-interest as sincere and more trustworthy and also to those who speak fast  We are also influenced by attractiveness or likeability where we are more likely to respond to those we like  Attractiveness varies in several ways. Physical appeal is one. Arguments, especially emotional ones, are more influential when they come from people we consider beautiful   We tend to like people who are like us and are influenced by them  As a general rule, people respond better to a message that comes from someone in their group  When a choice concerns matters of personal value, taste, or way of life, similar communications have the most influence. But on judgments of fact, confirmation of belief by a dissimilar person does more to boost confidence. A dissimilar person provides a more independent judgment  Reason vs. emotion: well-educated or analytical people (thoughtful, involved audiences travel the central route; responsive to reasoned arguments) are more responsive to rational appeals than are less educated or less analytical people (disinterested audiences travel the peripheral route; how much they like the communicator)  New emotions may sway an emotion-based attitude. But to change an information-based attitude, more information may be needed  Messages also become more persuasive through association with good feelings and positive thinking  Messages can be effective by evoking negative emotions. Howard Leventhal and Ronald Rogers showed that often, the more frightened people are, the more they respond  Fear-framed messages work better when trying to prevent a bad outcome than when trying to promote a good outcome  When the fear pertains to a pleasurable activity (Elliot Aronson), the result often is not behavioural change but denial (denial because when people aren’t told how to avoid the danger, frightening messages can be overwhelming)  Fear arousing messages are more effective if you lead people not only to fear the severity and
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