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Social Influence and Persuasion

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1 Social Influence and Persuasion
Chapter 8 Social Influence and Persuasion

2 Chapter Outline Attitude Change via Persuasion
Compliance with Threats and Promises Obedience to Authority Resisting Influence and Persuasion

3 Social Influence Social influence occurs when one person engages in some behavior (persuading, threatening, promising, or issuing orders) that causes another person to behave differently from how he or she would otherwise behave.

4 Attitude Change Attitude change is a fairly common result of social influence. The influencing source may produce a change in the target’s beliefs and attitudes about some issue, person, or situation.

5 Forms of Social Influence
Influence attempts can be either open or covertly manipulative. In open influence, the attempt is readily apparent to the target. In manipulative influence, the attempt is hidden from the target.

6 Forms of Open Influence
The use of persuasive communication to change the target’s attitudes or beliefs. The use of threats or promises to gain compliance. The use of orders based on legitimate authority to gain compliance.

7 Attitude Change Via Persuasion
Persuasion may be defined as changing the beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors of a target through the use of information or argument. Persuasion is widespread in social interaction and assumes many different forms.

8 Reactions to Persuasive Messages
Ignore it. Dismiss the communicator. Listen to the message but suspend judgment on the issue. Misperceive or misconstrue the content of the message. Attempt counterpersuasion.

9 Elaboration Likelihood Model
Holds that there are two basic routes through which a message may alter a target’s existing attitudes: central route peripheral route

10 Central Routes Persuasion via the central route occurs when:
a target actively scrutinizes the arguments contained in a persuasive message interprets and evaluates them (taking into account what he or she already knows) and integrates them into a coherent position.

11 Peripheral Routes Occurs when the target pays attention primarily to extraneous cues linked to the message. The target does not carefully think about the message but appraises peripheral cues and uses them as a basis for accepting or rejecting the message.

12 Communication-Persuasion Paradigm
Fundamental components of the communication-persuasion paradigm: Source Message Target Response

13 Communication-Persuasion Paradigm

14 Source The identity of the source provides the target with information above and beyond the content of the message itself. Because some sources are more credible than others, the target may pay attention to the source’s identity when assessing whether to believe the message.

15 Credibility of the Source
Communicator credibility denotes the extent to which the communicator is perceived as believable. Factors that influence the extent to which a source is credible include: Expertise Trustworthiness Attractiveness Likeability.

16 Social Impact Theory The impact of an influence attempt is a function of : strength (social status or power) immediacy (physical or psychological distance) number of influencing sources. A target will be more influenced when the sources are strong, when the sources are physically close, and when the sources are numerous.

17 Message A discrepant message advocates a position that is different from what the target believes. Emotional appeals try to arouse basic drives and stimulate a need where none was present. The most common emotional appeals involve fear.

18 Attitude Change: Communicator Credibility and Message Discrepancy

19 Media Mass media refers to channels of communication that enable a source to reach a large audience. A media campaign is a systematic attempt by a source to use the mass media to change attitudes and beliefs of a target audience.

20 Target Involvement with the issue affects the way the target processes a message. A need for cognition, or how much an individual enjoys puzzling through problems and thinking about issues, plays an important role in persuasion attempts. Distraction, or anything that prevents the target from giving full attention to the argument, will affect the persuasion attempt.

21 The Effects of Personal Involvement on Persuasion

22 Compliance with Threats and Promises
Compliance is behavioral conformity by the target to the source’s requests or demands. Threats and promises are two types of social power that can be used to induce compliance.

23 Threats and Promises A threat is a communication from one person to another that takes the general form, “If you don’t do X, then I will do Y.” A promise involves a reward controlled by the source. A person using a promise says, “If you do X , then I will do Y.”

24 Social Power and Compliance
Promise of reward - rewarding desired behavior. Coercion through threat - negative outcome used to assure compliance. Referent power - desire to be like others that we admire compels behavior.

25 Social Power and Compliance
Legitimate power - accepted authority. Information - providing information about desired behavior. Expertise - expert compels behavior.

26 Subjective Expected Value
A threat’s subjective expected value (SEV) is a measure of the pressure that the target feels from the threat.

27 Compliance with Threats

28 Bilateral Threat and Negotiation
Negotiation is communication between opposing sides in a conflict wherein the parties make offers and counteroffers and a solution occurs only when the parties reach an agreement. A bilateral threat situation is one where both participants issue threats and inflict damage on one another.

29 Deterrence and Conflict Spiral
Mutual deterrence is a kind of armed standoff. Conflict spiral is a form of escalation in which the participants insist on compliance to their demands, even though they realize the other can inflict damage.

30 Obedience to Authority
Authority refers to the capacity of one member to issue orders to others. They direct or regulate the behavior of other members by invoking rights that are vested in his or her role.

31 Resisting Influence and Persuasion: Attitude inoculation
Enables target persons to defend their beliefs against persuasion attempts. A refutational defense consists of giving the target exposing a target to weak attacks with an opportunity to refute them so they can build up resistance and prepare for stronger attacks.

32 Resisting Influence and Persuasion: Forewarning
Forewarning is simply warning people that they are about to be exposed to a persuasion attempt. In order for the forewarning process to work, the targets of the persuasion attempt must care about and be psychologically involved in the issue. If they do not care about the issue, the forewarning may have little effect and, in some instances, can even produce greater attitude change.

33 Resisting Influence and Persuasion: Reactance
Occurs when the target of the persuasion attempt begins to feel that their independence and freedom being threatened reacts in opposition. Feeling the need to reassert control, the targets will behave in a way counter to the persuasion attempt in order to demonstrate their independence.

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