Persuasion Factors and Communication Essay

Factors Affecting Persuasion
The credibility of communicator: In the research by Hovland and Weiss (1951) the findings have shown that persuasion depends on the communicator’s credibility, research was a follows. In a famous study, individuals were asked to read communications that deal with different topics e.g. atomic submarines, the future of movie theatre. the sources of these topics were from varied credibility from low to high .example for atomic submarine, highly credible source was taken a scientist name Robert j, while the low credibility sources were Pravda, the newspaper of communist party in the soviet union. Participants were allowed to express their attitude towards these topics before a week from the experiment and then immediately after receiving the communication.

The physical appearance of communicator: Physically attractive communicators have more persuasive capabilities than communicators who are not attractive (Hovland& Weiss, 1951). Advertisers who use attractive models attempt to suggest that if we use their product, we too will be perceived as attractive. Another way for communicators to be seen as attractive is via their perceived likeability (Eagly&Chaiken, 1993). People are persuaded by a communicator they like than one they dislike.

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Messages that do not seem to change people’s attitudes are often more successful than those that appear to achieve this goal (Walster& Festinger, 1962).

Fear appeal: Messages are aimed to arouse fear in the individual as shown in a study by, Janis and Feshbach (1953). They gave people one of three messages about the tooth decay that can result from not brushing one’s teeth. Research findings by (Broemer, 2004) suggest that the effectiveness of health messages is increased if they are constructed in a positive way (e.g., how to attain good health) rather than in a negative. For example, a health message can be designed positively as “Do this and you will feel better.” Negative framing of the same message might be “If you don’t do this, your life will be shortened.” The point is that the same health message can be designed in terms of the potential benefits of taking a particular action or in terms of the negative consequences that will ensue if the person doesn’t take that action.

Systematic Versus Heuristic Processing
Systematic processing: The first type of processing which can be employed is known as systematic processing or the central route to persuasion. Such processing requires effort, and it absorbs much of information-processing capacity.

Heuristic processing: The second approach, which is known as heuristic processing or the peripheral route to persuasion, involves the use of mental shortcuts such as the belief that “experts’ statements can be trusted.” This kind of processing doesn’t require much effort and allows us to react to persuasive messages automatically. Its occurrence takes place in response to cues in the message or situation that evoke various mental shortcuts The discovery of the following two contrasting modes of processing— systematic versus heuristic—has provided an important key to understanding when and how persuasion occurs. For example: when persuasive messages are attractive by individuals when it is relevant to their personal life. When those messages are highly relevant to individuals, and they are much more successful in inducing persuasion when the arguments they contain are strong and convincing. Similarly, the systematic versus heuristic differences help explain why people can be more easily persuaded when they are distracted than when they are not distracted. Under this condition, the capacity to process the information in a persuasive message is limited, so people adopt the heuristic mode of thought. If the message includes the “right” cues that will induce heuristic processing (e.g., communicators who are attractive or seemingly expert), persuasion may occur more easily because people respond to these cues and not to the arguments being presented.

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