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Chapter 5

PSYCH 2C03 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Carl Hovland, Elaine Hatfield, Solomon Asch

Course Code
Jennifer Ostovich

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Chapter 5: Persuasion
-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)
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

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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
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

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delivered by a pro-environment politician [personal bias] for
-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-
Attractiveness varies: physical appeal (beauty), similarity
(coming from the same group)
-black junior high students were give a taped appeal for proper dental
-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
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
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