COMM 318 Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Definition of Persuasion
Miller (1980) defines persuasive communication as any message that is intended to shape, reinforce, or change the responses of another, or others.
Goals: Shape Reinforce Change
Occurs when individuals possess no established pattern of response to an object/idea/event
Reinforcing currently held beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors
Involves affecting another person’s cognitions, attitudes, or behavior
Targets of Persuasion
1. Cognitions: Easiest of the three to influence
2. Attitudes: “A learned predisposition to respond in a consistently favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a given object” (Fishbein, 1965).
3. Behavior: action
Sources of Attitudes
1. cognitions- thoughts and beliefs (belief broccoli is nutritious)
2. affection/emotion (appearance or taste of broccoli)
3. past behavior: ex. personal history of broccoli consumption
Characteristics of Attitudes
1. attitude accessibility
- attitudes vary in how quickly they may be retrieved from memory and applied from and applied
2. attitude strengths
La Pierre
chinese couples study traveling the US with a white man
66 hotels, 184 restaurant
refused service: 1
then sent a questionnaire 6 months: 128 replied, 91 % refused
the attitude behavior controversy
measurement correspondence
the degree of match b/w the attitudes and behavior measured depends on target (attitude object), action: what is being done, context: in what setting, time: when; all must be applicable for attitudes to predict behavior
Problems with measuring attitudes
carelessness, extremity, acquiescence (agreeing with everyone) and social desirability
instances when attitudes are more likely to predict behavior
-social norms are unimportant
- time is limited
- attitudes based on direct experience
- attitudes being accessible
difference between conditioning and learning
Learning: a relatively stable change in behavior
that results from prior experiences
 Conditioning: to cause to respond in a specific manner to a specific stimulus
General types of learning/conditioning theories
Behavioristic (S-R)
• People are regarded as reactive victims of external rewards and punishments with no freedom of choice or capacity for self-direction
• Attitude and behavior change occur automatically, without conscious human awareness
2. Cognitive (S-O-R)
• Human cognitive and interpretive processes shape external reality and determine responses to the environment
• Free will is critical
Classical Conditioning
Occurs when a connection is drawn between two events in the environment
-The main idea is that a UCS-CS pairing is created and eventually the CS alone elicits the UCR (which then becomes the CR)
UnConditioned Stimulus (UCS)
2. UnConditioned Response (UCR)
3. Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
4. Conditioned Response (CR)
High Order Classical Condition
Works the same way as classical conditioning
 However:
 A conditioned response is transferred to a different conditioned stimulus
CR transferred from one CS to another CS
1. Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
2. Conditioned Response (CR)
3. Conditioned Stimulus (CS) –
**CS & CS are paired/presented together**
4. Conditioned Response (CR)
Operant condition
Based upon the idea that people act to maximize positive and minimize negative consequences
 Reinforcement is key
Positive reinforcement = Repeated rewards for a response increase the likelihood of that response 
Negative reinforcement = Intended to discourage a behavior
 We adhere strongly to attitudes that yield rewards and to reject attitudes that result in punishments
Social Cognitive Theory
Explains how patterns of behavior are acquired and how their expression is continuously regulated by both self- and other-generated sources of influence
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