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Chapter 8. Communication and Persuasion: The Search for the Magic Keys. Overview. Background When? Who? Program? Premise What is meant by “Magic Keys”? Why did researchers want to “find” them?. The Search for the Magic Keys. Researchers from psychology, sociology, etc.

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chapter 8

Chapter 8

Communication and Persuasion: The Search for the Magic Keys

  • Background
    • When?
    • Who?
    • Program?
  • Premise
    • What is meant by “Magic Keys”?
    • Why did researchers want to “find” them?
the search for the magic keys
The Search for the Magic Keys
  • Researchers from psychology, sociology, etc.
  • Experimental design
  • Searching for the “laws” of persuasion
the basic model
The Basic Model
  • Three key steps in the process
    • Attention
    • Comprehension
    • Acceptance
  • Major factors
    • Communicator (Source)
    • Message
    • Audience
source credibility
Source Credibility
  • Low vs. High-Credibility sources
    • An important factor in obtaining immediate opinion change.
    • Short-term effects obtained, but often reverted back to previous opinion in the long-term.
message content structure
Message Content & Structure
  • Fear appeals
    • Important not to create too much fear, as high anxiety can interfere with acceptance of the communication.
  • Message organization
    • Best to be explicit about conclusions.
    • Best to include both side of an argument, especially if the audience will be exposed to subsequent counter-propaganda.
the audience
The Audience
  • Group membership
    • Often interferes with persuasion effectiveness.
    • Persons with strong group affiliations are the most resistant to communications that present info contrary to the group’s standards.
  • Personality factors
    • Easier to persuade those with high intelligence rather than low intelligence. They have more ability to understand arguments, but also they can be more critical of arguments.
    • High persuadability was associated with low self esteem, feelings of social inadequacy, inhibition of aggression, and depression.
    • Those who are persistently aggressive, socially withdrawn and with psychoneurotic complaints are difficult to persuade.
  • Active vs. Passive
    • Having to actively participate in a communication (giving a speech, arguing an issue, debating a side) changes opinions in the direction argued more effectively than just reading or listening.