ISS 210, FS10
Dr. Cyrus Stewart
It is important to recognize the way in which mechanisms of persuasion
operate, for when they are visible we are able to alter their impact
because the most effective mechanisms are those that are obvious.
As fixed action patterns, mechanisms of persuasion require the utmost
concentration, problem-solving skill, and ability for abstract reasoning if
they are to operate at peak efficiency and effectiveness.
The more an environment requires immediate decision-making in the
context of numerous and complex choices, the more we will be rely on
routine, habitual, non-reflexive, fixed action patterns.
The underlying social psychological structure of interpersonal persuasion
is extremely complex such that no underlying principles or processes can
When we feel invulnerable, and are otherwise psychologically disarmed, is
the time when we are most susceptible to the power of persuasion.
In contexts where notions of independence and personal power are most
socio-culturally and interpersonally supported, we will typically experience
the power of the situation to be weaker than that resident within the
The power of environmental forces to transform one’s expressed
character is facilitated by the social support given to conformity,
obedience, de-individuation, de-humanization, and moral disengagement.
In automatic behavior patterns, we find that because they are learned,
such responses tend to be non-responsive to other than very specific and
unchangeable trigger features.
Things that we perceive and understand are recognized by what they are,
rather than being impacted by what preceded our perceptions, the context
wherein the perception is experienced, and the attributes of self that are
In social comparison process, one’s expectations are referred to as
Such points are remarkably changeable when initial
baselines are unstable or inaccurate, the situation is strange or novel, or
becomes suddenly uncertain or threatening.