PersuasionReview1 - Chapter 1 1 Persuasion-a symbolic...

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Chapter 1 1) Persuasion —a symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people to change their attitudes or behavior regarding an issue through the transmission of a message in an atmosphere of free choice. components 1. Persuasion is a symbolic process—it involves the use of symbols, with messages transmitted primarily through language. Nonverbal signs are symbols too 2. Persuasion involves an attempt to influence—it does not automatically succeed; the persuader must intend to change other person’s attitude, and must be aware they are trying to accomplish that goal 3. People persuade themselves—the people being persuaded always have some choice in the matter (people can’t make you do what you don’t want to do) 4. Persuasion involves the transmission of a message—may be verbal or non-verbal, but there must be a message to communicate 5. Persuasion requires free choice—an individual must be able to make a free choice (not be coerced into doing something) 2) Social influence —the broad process in which the behavior of one person alters the thoughts or actions of another 3) Persuasion deals with reason and verbal appeals, while coercion employs force. Smith argues that the difference between persuasion and coercion comes down to the idea of perception. In this view, if people believe that they are free to reject the communicator’s position, it is persuasion. When Individuals perceive that they have no choice but to comply, the influence attempt is more or less coercion. 4) Propaganda —a persuasive communication with which one disagrees and to which the individual attributes hostile intent a type of persuasion typically invoked to describe mass influence through mass media (persuasion itself can work through propaganda, but also through interpersonal relations) 5) Persuasive communication exerts three different effects: shaping, reinforcing, and changing. Shaping—shape your ideas about how something is perceived (i.e. ads making cigarettes viewed in a positive light) Reinforcing—reinforces a position that the person already holds Changing—the actual changing of attitudes and social behavior 6) The sophists were a group of philosophers who traveled from city to city offering to teach people the art of persuasion and oratory for a fee. Plato was different in that he believed that truth was the supreme value, and what the sophists were doing was not in search of truth and justice, but getting people to believe an argument even if it was incorrect. 7) Aristotle was a famous renaissance rhetoric theorist, and a student of Plato’s. He believed that the truth was important, but persuasion is a very useful tool as well.
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His greatest contribution was to recognize that rhetoric could be viewed in scientific terms, and developed the first scientific approach to persuasion.
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