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Chapter 5

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Jennifer Ostovich

Chapter 5: Persuasion Introduction - Propaganda in Germany through radio, children books, arts, motion pictures: Anti-Semitism (boycott of Jewish business  concentration camps) - American & Iraq war • Media messages led people to believe that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in 9/11, and that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that would be found • People in America supported vs. people in other countries who did not • “America’s liberation of Iraq” or “America’s invasion of Iraq” - Persuasion as “propaganda” vs. “education” (usually when we believe in it)  inevitable What paths lead to persuasion? - Use good arguments: convince people that if they really think through it, they will be persuaded or associate it with something positive: ads make things funny, something you can relate to - Carl Hovland (Yale University, 1949) • If you overcome the barriers that can prevent a message from being persuasive  increases likelihood of being persuaded • Pay attention to the message  comprehend it  believe it  remember it  behave accordingly  take action - Central Route to persuasion • Occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favourable thoughts • Strong and compelling arguments  persuasion is likely - Peripheral Route to persuasion • Occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a speaker’s attractiveness • Don’t take the time to think carefully about the content (esp when distracted, uninvolved, busy) • Focus on cues that trigger acceptance w/o thinking • visual peripheral cues (used in advertising products e.g. images of beauty and pleasure to sell cigarettes) • shopping for clothes based more on feelings vs. logical thinking when buying a computer (therefore, those ads use less famous figures, rather show information)- central Different routes for different purposes - central more likely to lead to attitude and behaviour changes that stick (vs. superficial and temporary attitude changes) - changing attitudes is easier: abstinence education may increase attitudes supporting abstinence but little long-term impact on sexual behaviour - we often take the peripheral route • no time to thoughtfully analyze • use simple rule-of-thumb heuristics • trust the expert and friend, long messages are credible, speaker is articulate and appealing, good motives  take easy peripheral route, snap judgements - person makes a speech for voting campaign: • central route: audience analytical and motivated  makes high effort to elaborate, agree/counter agree  convincing arguments evokes enduring agreement (persuasion)  respond • peripheral route: audience not analytical or involved  makes low effort to analyze, uses peripheral cues and rule of thumb heuristics  cues trigger liking and acceptance, temporary  respond What are the elements of persuasion? How do these factors affect the likelihood that we will take either the central or peripheral route to persuasion? - communicator, message, how is it communicated, the audience 1. The communicator: who says? - who is saying the message affects how an audience receives it - expt: Socialist and Liberal leaders in Dutch parliament argued identical positions using the same words  each effective w/ members of their own party - Credibility: • Believability. A credible communicator is perceived as both expert and trustworthy (perceived expertise & trustworthiness) • Sleeper effect: a delayed impact of a message; occurs when we remember the message but forget a reason for discounting it • Credible person’s message may be persuasive but it’s impact may fade as source is forgotten, dissociated from the message • Impact of non credible person may increase if people remember the message better than the reason for discounting it • Perceived expertise: - begin by saying things audience agrees with (seems smart) - be introduced as someone who is knowledgeable on the topic - speak confidently • Perceived trustworthiness: - speech style, looking in the eye - trustworthiness higher if audience believes the communicator is not trying to persuade them - “Hidden-Camera” (Elaine Hatfield): had graduate students eaves drop on other graduate students who were talking about campus regulations (actually a recorded message), were more influenced if they perceived that the speakers didn’t know of their presence - Perceive as sincere those who argue against their own self-interest - Alice Eagly, Wendy Wood: presented students with a speech attacking a company’s pollution of a river- more persuaded when they knew the speech was from a political candidate with a business background/directed to audience of company supporters (vs. one delivered by a pro-environment politician [personal bias] for environmentalists) - Willing to suffer for own beliefs (Martin Luther King, Ghandi) • Trustworthiness and credibility increased when person spoke faster  more objective, intelligent, knowledgeable  more persuaded • TV ads constructed to make communicator appear expert and trustworthy: wearing lab coat, declaring confidently that doctors recommend their ingredient - Attractiveness and liking: • 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 • We’re more likely to respond to those we like • Liking can: (1) open us up to the communicator’s arguments- central (2) trigger positive associations when we see the product later- peripheral • Attractiveness varies: physical appeal (beauty), similarity (coming from the same group) - black junior high students were give a taped appeal for proper dental care - those who heard the appeal from a black dentist had cleaner teeth the next day • similarity and credibility  which is more important? Varies - store customer more influenced by testimony of ordinary customer who brought same amount of pain they had planned to buy than an expert who had purchased 20 times as much paint - a leading dentist (dissimilar but expert) more persuasive than a student on hygiene topics • factor X = subjective preference or objective reality - when choice concerns personal value, taste, way of life: similar communicators have more influence - when choice based on judgements of fact: confirmation of belief by dissimilar boosts confidence 2. The message: what is said? - Reason vs. Emotion depends on audience - well educated, analytical, involved: more responsive to rational appeals depends on how attitudes were formed: - formed through emotions: more persuaded by later emotional appeals (new emotions can sway emotion-based attitude) - formed through information: more persuaded by intellectual arguments (to change, more information is needed) a. effect of good feelings more persuasive if associated with good feelings • e.g. eating peanuts + pepsi, more persuaded by folk-song lyrics when accompanied by pleasant guitar music • effective ads involve reasons + emotions • good feelings enhances persuasion by (1)enhancing positive thinking (2)linking good feelings with message • good mood leads people to view the world through “rose- coloured glass”  make impulsive decisions, based on peripheral cues b. effect of arousing fear • showing smokers the horrible consequences (labels) adds to persuasiveness • more frightened  more respond • used in ads: smoking, drinking + driving, risky sexual behaviour • fear framed messages (not getting a mammogram can cost your life) led more women to get a mammogram within 12 months (2/3 vs. ½ who viewed the positive) • aroused fear  more intensely interested in information about disease and ways to prevent it • works better when preventing a bad outcome (vs. good outcome- fitness) • when fear pertains to a pleasurable activity  denial over behavioural change (aren’t told how to act, overwhelmed) • “AIDS kills” + use a condom, abstain • Streicher’s Der Sturmer (propaganda) told people about the “bad things” Jews were doing + gave them instructions of how to combat the danger (e.g. avoid, submit listof Germans who patronized Jewish shops) - Discrepancy • Disagreement produces discomfort  prompts people to change opinions? • Disagreement leads people to discredit communicator  less change? • A credible source would elicit opinion change when advocating a position greatly discrepant from recipient’s (T.S. Eliot praising a disliked poem would change people’s opinions vs. a regular university student evaluating the same poem) • Deeply involved people tend to accept a narrow range of views (sticking to their own), not involved: not committed, more able to accept • If you are a credible authority and your audience isn’t much concerned with your issue  advocate a discrepant view - One-sided vs. Two-sided appeals • Acknowledging the opposing arguments may cause confusion, weaken argument vs. makes the message seem more fair and disarming • “No aluminum cans please” vs “it may be inconvenient, but it’s important” – acknowledged counterargument, recycling doubled • Carl Hovland (1949) designed radio broadcasts arguing that the war in Pacific would last at least 2 more years [Allies didn’t want soldiers to relax]: - One sided arguments most effective with those who already agreed, acknowledging opposing arguments worked better w/ those who disagreed • Note: most persuasion variables are complex- decrease/increase persuasion depends on situation • May want “Occam’s razor” – seeking the simplest possible principles, but not possible - Primary vs. Recency • Presenting first: give ideas that would favourably bias how they would perceive and interpret second speech, but people remember recent information better…choose? • Primary effect: other things equal, information presented early is most persuasive. First impressions are important - Solomon Asch: two lines about “John” – rated more positively when read positive words first - Candidates benefit from being listed first on the ballot - Norman Miller and Donald Campbell: gave students a transcript from a civil trial- two blocks with opposing arguments  week later  sided with info they read first • Recency effect: information presented last sometimes has the most influence. (less common) - Norman Miller and Campbell: week later: re-read second block  reverse results • Forgetting creates the recency effect (1)when enough time separates the 2 messages (2)when the audience commits itself soon after second message • When two messages are back to back, followed by a time gap, primacy effect usually occurs (esp when first msg stimulates thinking) 3. Channel of communication: How is it said? - channel of communication: the way the message is delivered, whether face to face, in writing, on film, or others - Active experience or passive reception Passively received: o Spoken appeals not necessarily more persuasive o Sermons left rac
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