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Chapter 5

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Dax Urbszat

Ch. 5 PSY220 Ludmila Mohamed Chapter 5: PERSUASION Persuasion: the process by which a message induces change in beliefs, attitudes or behaviors  Persuasion is neither inherently good nor inherently bad, it is the content of the message that elicits judgments on what is good or bad  The bad we call “propaganda” the good we call “education”  Persuasion is inevitable WHAT PATH LEADS TO PERSUASION? What two paths lead to influence? What type of cognitive processing does each involve and with what effects?  if a message is clear but unconvincing, then you will easily counter-argue the message and wont be persuaded …BUT… if the message offers convincing arguments, then your thoughts will be more favorable and you will most likely be persuaded  This “cognitive response” approach helps us understand why persuasion occurs more in some situation then others  If an attractive source increases your attention to a message then the message should have a better chance in persuading you THE CENTRAL ROUTE Central route to persuasion: occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favorable thoughts  When people are motivated and able to think systematically about an issue – focusing on the argument  If those arguments are strong and compelling, persuasion is likely, if not then it will be counter-argued, not persuasive PERIPHERAL ROUTE Peripheral route to persuasion: occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a speaker’s attractiveness  Rather then noticing whether the arguments are particularly compelling, we might focus on cues that trigger acceptance without much thinking  In these situations, easily understood familiar statements are more persuasive then novel statements that have the same meaning  Ex. “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” vs. “ don’t risk everything on a single venture” Ch. 5 PSY220 Ludmila Mohamed  Commercial ads normally take this route  Our opinions regarding products such as food, drink, and clothing are often more based on feelings then on logic DIFFERENT ROUTES FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES  Central route processing can lead to more enduring change then does peripheral route  Persuasion via the peripheral route often produces superficial and temporary attitude change  Often we take the peripheral route, by using simple rule of thumb heuristics, such as “trust the experts” or “long messages are credible” SUMMING UP: WHAT PATHES LEAD TO PERSUASION?  Sometimes persuasion occurs as people focus on arguments and respond with favorable thoughts. Such systematic or “central route” persuasion occurs when people are naturally analytical or involved in the issue  When issues don’t engage systematic thinking, persuasion may occur through a faster “peripheral route” as people use heuristics or incidental cues to make snap judgments  Central route persuasion, being more thoughtful and less superficial, is more durable and more likely to influence behavior WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF PERSUASION? Among the primary ingredients of persuasion explored by social psychologists are these four: (1) the communicator (2) the message (3) how the message is communicated (4) the audience In other words, who says what by what method, to whom? How do these factors affect the likelihood that we will take either the central or peripheral route to persuasion? WHO SAYS? THE COMMUNICATOR  Who is saying the message affects how the audience receives it Credibility 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 forgot a reason for discounting it Ch. 5 PSY220 Ludmila Mohamed  Effects of credibility diminish after a month or so  If a credible persons message is persuasive, its 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 then the reason for discounting it  The delayed persuasion, after people forget the source or its connection with the message, is called the sleeper effect How does one become an “expert”?  Saying things the audience agrees with, which makes one seem smart  To be introduced as someone who is knowledgeable on the topic  Speak confidently How does one become “trustworthy”?  Speech style also affects a person’s apparent “trustworthiness”  Higher if audience believes the communicator is not trying to persuade them  Those who argue against their own self-interest  Being willing to suffer for ones own beliefs  Trustworthiness and credibility increase when people talk fast (speaker: more intelligent, objective and knowledgeable) then slow speakers 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  Our liking may open us up to the communicators arguments (central route persuasion), or it may trigger positive associations when we see the product later (peripheral route persuasion)  Attractiveness exists in several forms. Physical attractiveness is one. Arguments, especially emotional ones, are often more influential when they come from people we consider beautiful  Similarity is another, we tend to like people who are like us  People who act as we do, subtly mimicking our postures, are more influential  Salespersons are sometimes taught to “mimic and mirror”  People respond better to a message from someone that comes from their group ex. Black dentist  Is similarity more important then credibility? Sometimes yes, sometimes no Ch. 5 PSY220 Ludmila Mohamed  Similarity is more important given the presence of FACTOR X, and credibility is more important given the absence of FACTOR X  Factor X: subjective presence or objective reality WHAT IS SAID? THE MESSAGE CONTENT o Which is more influential reason or emotion? Depends on the audience o Thoughtful, involved audiences travel the central route o Disinterested audiences travel the peripheral route o It also depends on how ppl’s attitudes were formed Ex. When initial attitudes are formed through emotion, they are more persuaded by later emotional appeals … when initial attitudes are formed through reason; they are more persuaded by later intellectual arguments o New emotions may sway an emotion based attitude but to change an information based attitude, more information may be needed The effect of good feelings  Messages become more persuasive through association with good feelings  Students were more convinced by persuasive messages if they were able to enjoy peanuts and Pepsi while reading them  In a good mood, ppl make faster and more impulsive decisions, rely on peripheral cues The effect of arousing fear  cut down on smoking, tetnus shot, brush teeth evoking negative emotions can be effective  fear arousing message can be potent  ex. Graphic warning labels on cig. Packs  fear framed messages work better when trying to prevent a bad outcome  when the fear pertains to pleasurable activity, the result is not behavioral change but denial  For some it only works If along with fear of severity is shown, perceive a solution and feel capable of implementing it  When feeling frightened or threatened people tend to become more responsi
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