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BACC COSC6212. Learning Unit 2 The theoretical foundation and principles of internal persuasion. The link between persuasion and motivation (De Wet 2913:40).

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bacc cosc6212


Learning Unit 2

The theoretical foundation and principles of internal persuasion

the link between persuasion and motivation de wet 2913 40
The link between persuasion and motivation(De Wet 2913:40)

People are influenced by different things and a persuader needs to find out why and when you need to persuade. Motivation is the reason for action.


  • Needs – the needs of the persuadee will lead them to be persuaded, e.g. I need a new car, thus a motor manufacturer can persuade me to buy his brand by exploiting that need
  • Attitudes – a person’s feelings towards a subject or issue. E.g. You are in favour of the death penalty; or against abortion
  • Consistency – people want to feel secure; that their lives are predictable and has stability
packard s eight 8 hidden needs de wet 2013 40 41
Packard’s eight (8) hidden NEEDS(De Wet 2013:40-41)

Needs (that which has to be satisfied from time to time) make people susceptible to persuasion.

Emotional security

Affirmation of value

Ego satisfaction

Creative outlets

Love objects

Sense of power

Need of roots


maslow s hierarchy of needs de wet 2013 41 42
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs(De Wet 2013:41-42)

Basic (or physiological) needs are at the bottom, because these are people’s most powerful needs and only when these bread-and-butter needs are satisfied can people attend to other, higher needs.

difference between attitudes and opinions de wet 2013 43
Difference between ATTITUDES and OPINIONS(De Wet 2013:43)
  • An attitude is a feeling a person has towards another person, subject or event. It can be negative or positive (direction) or intense or mild (level of intensity)
  • An opinion is governed by an attitude and is a response to questions that do not anticipate a factual answer (verbal).

E.g. I have a negative attitude towards mathematics, thus, if someone ask me to calculate something, my opinion will be that mathematics is stupid.

seven 7 types of evidence de wet 2013 44 45
Seven (7) types of evidence(De Wet 2013:44-45)
  • Primary- or Secondary evidence
  • Written- or Unwritten evidence
  • Real- or Personal evidence
  • Lay- or Expert evidence
  • Prearranged- or Casual evidence
  • Dramatic- or Rational evidence
  • Direct- or Indirect evidence
larson s ten 10 tips when providing evidence i e things to keep in mind de wet 2013 45 46
Larson’s ten (10) tips when providing evidence (i.e. things to keep in mind)(De Wet 2013:45-46)
five 5 types of reasoning used in a persuasive argument de wet 2013 46 47
Five (5) types of reasoning used in a persuasive argument(De Wet 2013: 46-47)

Persuasive arguments show evidence that can connect through reasoning to lead an audience to change their minds.


Sign of proof.


Logical thinking.


  • Inductive reasoning – Moves from particular to general, e.g. Rise in crime in Gauteng, thus rise in crime in South Africa
  • Cause-to-effect reasoning – When A happens, B will follow, e.g. if you drink too much, you will get drunk

Criteria-to-application reasoning – Researching the criteria that would make a ‘product’ the best choice and then applying their support to that ‘product’, e.g. Omo has been found to be the best for your whites, thus the researcher supports using Omo

  • Deductive reasoning – Moves from general to particular, e.g. Rise in crime in South Africa, thus rise in crime in Gauteng
  • Reason from comparison – Looking at similar events and comparing them, e.g. in ABSA low employee morale led to a strike, the same happened in Standard Bank. Thus, Nedbank’s low employee morale could likely lead to a strike
  • Effect-to-cause reasoning – Reasoning from the end results and working back to the cause, e.g. There is low morale in an organisation (effect), due to miscommunication from management (cause)
  • Reason from example – Persuaders looking at a series of symptoms and draw a conclusion, e.g. in an organisation there might be a lot of sick leave and people taking their annual leave, these are symptomatic of low morale
inductive vs deductive reasoning de wet 2013 46
Inductive- vs. Deductive reasoning(De Wet 2013:46)

Deductive reasoning: from general to specific

Inductive reasoning: from specific to general

three 3 elements of credibility
Three (3) elements of credibility

What is credibility?

“The quality of being believable or worthy of trust…” (

Credibility revolves around a communicator’s seeming expertness (1) (intelligence (1) and knowledge of the subject (1)), trustworthiness (1) (a reputation of being honest (1)) and goodwill (1) (i.e. having the recipient’s best interests at heart (1)) towards a recipient. Also, language (1), message development (1), common sense (1) and sincerity (1) contribute to the source’s credibility.

discuss do these personalities have credibility why why not refer to the elements of credibility
Discuss:Do these personalities have credibility? Why/ why not? (refer to the elements of credibility)

Angelina Jolie Desmond Tutu Jacob Zuma Oprah Winfrey


verbal and non verbal messages in persuasion de wet 2013 51
Verbal- and non-verbal messages in persuasion(De Wet 2013: 51)

Verbal communication concerns the words used in persuasive messages; non-verbal messages (no words used, including kinesics, haptics, proxemics, etc.) can contradict, repeat, regulate, substitute, accentuate or compliment verbal messages – thus, non-verbal communication can affect persuasive outcomes.

five 5 ways non verbal messages affect persuasion de wet 2013 51
Five (5) ways non-verbal messages affect persuasion(De Wet 2013:51)
  • Non-verbal messages look like what they mean
  • Non-verbal messages subtly or implicitly reveal the truth
  • Non-verbal messages rely heavily on social context
  • Individual mannerisms (non-verbal) have to be considered
  • Non-verbal messages rely heavily on cultural contexts
paralinguistics can affect a persuasive message de wet 2013 54
PARALINGUISTICS can affect a persuasive message(De Wet 2013:54)

Definition: Paralanguage is language (non-verbal) over-and-above language (words used). E.g. the pitch, volume, pace, etc., which contextualise a message.

An example of how paralanguage can be used to persuade an audience is when a speaker shouts information at their audience, the audience will be less inclined to accept the message (as shouting is contextualised as being rude)

example how mcguire s inoculation theory can be used to resist persuasive messages
Example: How McGuire’s Inoculation Theory can be used to resist persuasive messages

Refer to McGuire’s Inoculation Theory covered in LU1 (#22; De Wet 2013:22).

Inoculation, here, means to expose people to arguments against their beliefs and attitudes and then refuting those arguments.

E.g. Mr. Marchant will highlight the benefits of effective communication in an organisation (i.e. strengthening your attitudes and beliefs); he then list the reasons why ‘separate but equal’ is a bad idea (an argument against your beliefs being refuted).

learning theories social learning theory de wet 2013 61 62
* Learning Theories: Social Learning Theory(De Wet 2013: 61-62)

People change because of their interaction with one another. E.g. We learn how to behave in class, because we look at how people in our social group behaves in a class.

@ Consistency Theories: Cognitive (i.e. psychological) Dissonance (i.e. discomfort) Theory(De Wet 2013:63-64)

A moral dilemma – it refers to the feeling of discomfort caused by conflicts or inconsistencies between a person’s attitudes and/ or behaviour.

E.g. If I steal something, it will be behaviour that would contradict my belief (that stealing is wrong). I will be easily persuaded by my friend to do the right thing and hand myself over to the police.

social judgement involvement theory de wet 2013 64 65
# Social Judgement-Involvement Theory(De Wet 2013: 64-65)

This theory describes two (2) components:

(i) anchor points (i.e. making judgements based on internal anchors, e.g. trust) and

(ii) ego involvement (i.e. making decisions based on whether something applies to you and how strongly you feel about it – e.g. women might be more vocal about equal rights policies)

the elaboration likelihood theory elt de wet 2013 65 66
 The Elaboration Likelihood Theory (ELT)(De Wet 2013:65-66)

This theory describes how people are persuaded by messages they think about (thus, elaborate on) – i.e. people are motivated to hold correct attitudes, which they contextualise (whether it is relevant to them or not).

In ELT, the two (2) routes to persuasion are: i) central (the person considers the argument carefully and critically); andii) peripheral (the person does not critically or carefully consider the argument, but agree/ disagree with it based on whether it is pretty or some other superficial elements)