How Other People Change Your Mind Persuasive Techniques Faulty Logic Propaganda Techniques
What Are Persuasive Techniques? • Persuasive Techniques are methods an author or advertiser may use to get you to do/think/feel as they hope you will. • These techniques can be used effectively, but they are not always terribly strong or logical.
Appeal to Reason (Logos) • Appeals to Reason use our knowledge and our ability to reason to persuade an audience to do/think/feel something. • Appeals to Reason frequently use numbers, facts, figures, and sums to convince through logical analysis.
Example of Appeal to Reason • “At ACME Corporation, we price our high-quality explosive devices to be less than half the cost of other bombs, while maintaining the same health and safety standards of higher-priced products.”
Example of Appeal to Logic ACME's new dihydro cesium detonation process! By combining cesium and dihydro-oxide in laboratory conditions, and capturing the released energy, ACME has promised to lead the way into the future. Our energy source is clean, safe, and powerful. No pollutants are released into the atmosphere. The world will soon have an excellent source of clean energy.
Cause and Effect • Cause and effect is often a form of Appeal to Reason. An author may illustrate a cause and effect relationship in order to show an audience why they should do/think/feel a certain way. • This is a type of Appeal to Reason because the author depends on your ability to see or analyze the connection between the cause and the effect.
Example of Cause and Effect • “Studies have shown that students who spend more time on homework have statistically higher quiz and test scores.” • “If every American made a conscious effort to reduce their amount of trash they produce, we could significantly reduce our landfill needs.”
Analogy • Analogy is another form of logical appeal, one which uses the audience’s understanding of a simple subject in order to draw a comparison to a more complex topic. • The audience’s ability to reason and make logical connections is still relied upon here.
Examples of Analogy • “Cleaning the house while kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk while it’s still snowing.” • “Pork - the other white meat.”
Appeal to Emotion (Ethos) • Emotional appeals try to elicit emotions from the audience. • Strong emotions such as happiness and delight can make a person wish to act in a way that will prolong that emotion. • Negative emotions such as guilt, sadness, anger, and regret can make a person wish to act in a way that will get rid of the negativity.
Example of Emotional Appeal • “Help stop a different form of child abuse.” • "Gosh, officer, I know I made an illegal left turn, but please don't give me a ticket. If you do, they'll suspend my license, I'll lose my insurance, I won't be able to work, and my kids will go hungry."
Appeal to Authority (Ethos) • Writers generally attempt to make themselves seem well informed and trustworthy. • In order to make themselves seem informed, they may draw on personal experience that portrays understanding and authority. • A writer may also use the words of real experts and sources of authority to lend credibility to his or her argument.
Example of Appeal to Authority • Acme Gizmotronics, the company that you've trusted for over 100 years. Our spokesperson, Mr. Coyote says "I'm not really a coyote, but I play one on tv. I've used Acme products for years. Their slingshots, rocket launchers, crowbars, pogo sticks, and power pills are the best around. And don't forget their high-powered dynamite! I buy everything from Acme. They are the company that I trust the most."
Checking for Comprehension Directions: For each of the following examples, identify which kind of persuasive technique is evident. For these examples, you will pick from the following: - Appeal to Reason - Cause and Effect - Analogy - Appeal to Emotion - Appeal to Authority
Example 1 • Studies show that watching the History Channel will positively impact a student’s grade in World Studies. Write down which persuasive technique is being used here.
Answer? Cause and Effect • Why? What are your clues? • You have a cause: Watching the History Channel. • You have an effect: Positive impact on grades.
Example 2 • Watching TV all the time is like becoming a vegetable, namely a potato. Write down which persuasive technique is being used here.
Answer? Analogy • What was your clue? • The word “like” is often used in analogies!
Example 3 • Every elementary school principal in the state of Arizona agrees that watching too much television is detrimental to their students. Write down which persuasive technique is being used here.
Answer? Appeal to Authority • How did you know? • The principal! (He’s an authority!)
Example 4 • Parents, if you truly love your children and care about their futures, you will turn off the TV and take them for a walk. Write down which persuasive technique is being used here.
Answer/ Appeal to Emotions • Your clues? • Love. • Care.
Example 5 • Students who complete their AR are four times more likely to pass the AIMS Reading exam. Write down which persuasive technique is being used here.
Answer? Appeal to Reason • Your clues? • “Four times more likely” is a fact or a statistic being used to persuade.
What Is Faulty Logic? • The best products and ideas will be based on sound and provable concepts. But sometimes, an idea or product will be “sold” based on reasoning that violates some of the basic laws of logic. • We call these “faulty” ideas because, like a fault in the earth, they are shaky at best.
So, what is faulty logic? • Let’s break it down. • Faulty = having faults or imperfect • Logic = reason or sound judgment • Therefore, faulty logic is an imperfect reason. • Faulty logic is another kind of persuasive technique.
False Causality • False causality an attempt is made to link one event to another, even if the first event didn’t directly cause the second event. • Essentially, it is stating that event B was caused by event A just because B happened after A
Example of False Causality • “Ninety-nine percent of all of the people who ate carrots between 1800 and 1900 are dead, so carrots are obviously very hazardous to your health. If you eat carrots long enough, you will certainly die.” People ate carrots, and those people are dead, but the one did not cause the other.
Example of False Causality • “I won the bingo game while wearing my green shirt; therefore my green shirt is lucky, and I should wear it when I go play bingo again.” Winning did follow wearing a green shirt, but the shirt in no way caused winning.
Circular Reasoning • Circular reasoning is the use of restatement in place of evidence. A claim is supported not through examples but through restatement of the same claim.
Examples of Circular Reasoning • “If speeding were legal, then it wouldn’t be prohibited by the law.” • “These movies are popular because they make so much money. They make a lot of money because people like them. People like them because they are so popular.” See how the original statement says pretty much the same thing as its reason(s)?
Self-Contradiction • Self-contradiction is an idea or statement containing contradictory (opposing, not matching) elements. • A claim is true one second, and false the next.
Examples of Self-Contradiction • “Nothing is more important than the education of a child. Of course, saving money is the most important thing.” • "I am proud that I am humble." In these examples, the first part of the statement is nullified and contradicted by the second part.
Oversimplification • Oversimplication assumes that there is one, simple cause of an outcome, when in reality it was brought about by a number of causes. • You explain a complex event or issue by saying it has only one cause, when MANY causes are really responsible. You are simplifying the cause of an event, not the event itself.
Examples of Over-Simplification • “Slavery was the cause of the Civil War.” • “People are living longer now because of their improved diet.’ In fact, many different causes (including but not limited to those listed) may all have contributed.
Over-Generalization • Over-generalization is the act of forming a conclusion with too little evidence. • One or two facts may go into the conclusion, but the statement relies on too few pieces of information to be accurate. • (Look for words such as all, every, and always.)
Examples of Over-Generalization • “In times of crisis, every American supports his President.” • “All birds can fly.” Statements which are too broad to be valid, or those which contain “all or nothing” language, are often overgeneralization.
Checking for ComprehensionPart 2 Directions: For each of the following examples, identify which kind of faulty logic is evident. For these examples, you will pick from the following: - Over-Simplification - Over-Generalization - False Causality - Self-Contradiction - Circular Reasoning
Example 1 • I argued with Ms. Welch before I turned in my homework, so I got a bad grade on my paper. Write down which type of faulty logic is being used here.
THE ANSWER:False Causality • WHY? The student suggests that because he/she argued with his English teacher prior to turning in a paper (cause), the result/effect was a bad grade. • STRATEGY: Try to identify an end result or effect. Ask yourself: Did the reason given reallycause the end result?
Example 2 • "The only thing that's unchanging is that everything's changing." Write down which type of faulty logic is being used here.
THE ANSWER:Self-Contradiction • WHY? If one thing is unchanging, it is impossible to say everything is changing. • STRATEGY: Do a logic check of every part of a statement or passage. If something is true one second and false the next, that may indicate self-contradiction.
Example 3 • All football players are poor students. Write down which type of faulty logic is being used here.
THE ANSWER:Overgeneralization • WHY? This statement takes in an entire group of people all at once. It may be that some football players are poor students, but it is unfair to suggest that is true of all football players. • STRATEGY: Remember! Look for words like all, every,andalways.
Example 4 • I know why you failed all your classes last semester. You don’t study. Write down which type of faulty logic is being used here.
THE ANSWER:Oversimplification • WHY? There could be many reasons why a student experiences difficulty in school. Reducing the problem to one solution is oversimplifying. • STRATEGY: Look for an effect that has MANY possible causes.
Example 5 • This class is awesome because we do awesome things in here. Write down which type of faulty logic is being used here.
THE ANSWER:Circular Reasoning • WHY? “…we do awesome things” is very similar to “This class is awesome.” Again, the last half of the statement is similar to the first half; it’s going around and around in a circle. • STRATEGY: Look at sentence beginnings and sentence endings. Are they similar?