What is persuasion? Communication that has as its purpose the changing, modification, or shaping of the responses (attitudes or behavior) of the receiver(s).
Persuasion versus Informing Persuasion involves arguing for a particular point of view. Persuasion involves trying to change someone’s thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors.
Ethics and Persuasion Persuasion is ethically neutral (it is ‘amoral’). Knowledge of persuasion can be used as a defense. The source’s motives are considered when making judgments of ‘morality’.
Cialdini’s Persuasion Heuristics Reciprocation Commitment and Consistency Social Proof Liking Authority Scarcity
Witte’s Extended Parallel Process Model Fear Appeals –use ‘gruesome’ content in the form of: vivid and/or personalistic language gory pictures Components of the Model: Threat (severity & susceptibility) Efficacy (response- & self-efficacy) Fear Control vs. Danger Control
EPPM continued First, we appraise threat. –if moderate to high, then fear is elicited –if low, then no motivation (dismissed) When we perceive threat, but no efficacy, we engage in fear control. When we perceive both threat and efficacy, we engage in danger control.
Summary of Fear Appeal Research Show sufficient threat –moderate to high fear appeals are most effective Show sufficient efficacy –introducing an effective solution or course of action strengthens a fear appeal The higher the source’s credibility, the more effective the use of fear appeals.
Typical Domains of Persuasion Questions of Fact –seek to persuade an audience to accept the speaker’s view of the facts on a particular issue –e.g., Was there a Philadelphia experiment? (Lorraine’s speech topic)
Domains, continued Questions of Value: –Require judgments based on one’s beliefs about what is right, wrong, good, bad, moral, immoral, etc. –Are usually organized topically The first main point establishes standards. The second main point applies those standards to the topic.
Domains, continued Questions of Policy –Deal with Specific Courses of Action –Two types Seeks to gain passive agreement Seeks to motivate immediate action –Must Address 3 Basic Issues: need plan practicality
First, gain the audience’s attention. Second, show the need for change. Third, satisfy the need by presenting a plan that will remedy that need. Fourth, visualize the benefits and practicality of the plan. Fifth, urge the audience to take action in support of the plan.
Common Problems Using MMS Failure to analyze the problem first Failure to follow steps in order (do not mix up or combine steps) Failure to balance coverage: –students tend to skimp on the satisfaction and visualization steps Failure to be specific in the satisfaction step -- e.g, How much does it cost? Where can we find it? How long will it take? What’s the phone number to call?
Tips Be realistic in your persuasive goal Know your target audience and their predisposition toward the topic (whenever possible) –one-sided vs. two-sided messages –fear appeals Anticipate audience objections and answer them in your speech.
Tips, continued Convince the audience, do not try to coerce. Use evidence, logic, and argument to persuade, but also appeal to emotions. Every element in your presentation -- appearance, tone, gesture -- should reinforce your argument.