PSYC215 Chapter 5 Notes
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
Peripheral Route to Persuasion: Occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a
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.
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
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
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