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Unformatted text preview: Narrative by Paul Burkhart “She would of been a good woman, if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.” Those words are spoken at the end of Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by a serial killer who has just shot the woman that he held hostage during the course of the story. When the story opens, the woman is selfish, cold, and completely unfeeling towards everyone around her. Through the course of the conversation between the murderer and the woman, she makes several discoveries about herself and ends up becoming a completely different person whom the reader can actually love and admire. Just when this happens, the murderer kills the woman. The reader feels cheated to watch someone change from bad to good, just to be killed. But, when the reader speaks the above words, the reader realizes that this change in the woman was probably only in the moment. Putting ourselves in the situation, we would become better people too as we reflect on our lives when we have a gun in our faces. The process by which a message induces change in beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors is what we call “persuasion.” The message faced by the woman was “you have a gun in your face, you could die.” This message and the following reflections caused by it induced a change in the woman’s beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. Based on a message’s purpose and content we label it either good or bad. “Propaganda” is what we call the bad, “education” is what we call the good. Due to human nature, persuasion or attempts thereof are inevitable. There are two paths that lead to persuasion: the central route and the peripheral route. The central route to persuasion occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favorable thoughts. The peripheral route to persuasion occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a speaker’s attractiveness. Central route persuasion is more durable and more likely to influence behavior mainly because it is more thoughtful and less superficial. There are four main elements to persuasion: the communicator, the message, how the message is communicated, and the audience. Many times, a person’s opinion can be swayed or reinforced not based on the words, but by whom the are spoken – or not spoken- by. There several factors to this. First, who says it - credibility pretty much is...
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