Application of persuasion theories and tactics

A critical part of learning is the application of persuasion theories and tactics discussed in class.
To this end, students will connect theories and class content to real-world situations. This
assignment corresponds with the lectures on source and message factors.
Each student will.
. 1) Select 1 print advertisement that contains at least 5 source or message
factors. a. The analysis should identify in bold font the source and message factors
and then explain how they are conveyed in the advertisement
b. The source and message factors are concepts and terms from the assigned
readings and lectures (Weeks 7 & 8)
c. The writing component should be exactly 1 page single space.
. 4) Submit the 2-page document (1 page for the print advertisement and 1 page
of text)
Grading will be based on how well the identified source and message factors are explained;
correct usage of the relevant concepts and terms; connecting the selected advertisement to
relevant concepts and theories in the analysis; and clarity of writing.
What are source factors?
Source Factors are heuristic cues
– Mental shortcuts (simple decision making rules)
– For example, “If i like the source, I will agree.” – shortcuts we use because we don’t have
time to think deeply about it.
How are they related to the ELM model?
– Low elaboration (for peripheral route of ELM)
– Important when we are under peripheral elaborations and want to make shortcuts
Credibility( is defined as “the atti/tude toward a source of communication held at a
given time by a receiver”). It is an audience member’s perceptions of the
communicator’s qualities. )
o What are the 2 most common dimensions of credibility
1. Expertise ( competence能力, expertnesses专家 authoritativeness权
is the knowledge or ability ascribed to the communicator. It is the
belief that the communicator has special skills or know-how. You
see experts used all the time in commercials. Lawyers pay for
experts to testify for their side in courtroom trials. There is abundant
evidence that experts are perceived as credible and can influence
attitudes (Petty & Wegener, 1998). However, expertise has limits.
For instance, if you are trying to reach inner-city drug abusers, you
might think twice about calling on the Surgeon General. True, the
Surgeon General is a recognized expert on health, but the doctor
also is seen as a member of the ruling elite. It would be better to
employ a former drug user who has seen the error of his or her
ways and can communicate on the same wavelength as the
inner-city audience (Levine & Valle, 1975). The former drug user
also inspires trust, which is an important attribute of credibility.
2. Trustworthiness ( character, personal integrity个人诚信 )
the next core credibility component, refers to the communicator’s
perceived honesty, character, and safety. A speaker may lack
expertise, but can be seen as an individual of integrity and
character. This can work wonders in persuasion. Some years ago,
Ross Perot, the billionaire businessman-turned-politician, declared
on a television talk show that he would be willing to run for
president if citizens worked steadfastly in his behalf. His declaration
stimulated a flood of support from ordinary Americans who liked his
persona and plans to reduce the deficit. Within months he had an
army of loyal campaign workers. Legions of reporters trailed him
everywhere, and he became a major force in the 1992 election
campaign. Perot was no political expert; he had never held political
office, although he was widely known to the public for his
committed political stances. Many Americans perceived Perot as a
man of integrity, someone who said what he meant and meant what
he said. Finding this refreshing, they supported Perot—and he led
the polls for a time, in mid-June (Abramson, Aldrich, & Rohde,
o What are some other dimensions of credibility
– goodwill – Aristotle’s “ethos”
– in – depth
– fairness
– or perceived caring, is the final core communicator factor. While it has
emerged less frequently in factor analytic studies than the venerable
expertise and trustworthiness dimensions, it is an important aspect of
credibility. Communicators who display goodwill are caring, convey that
they have listeners’ interests at heart, and are empathic toward their
audiences’ needs (McCroskey & Teven, 1999). You can probably think of
a doctor who knows her stuff and is honest, but seems preoccupied or
uninterested in you when you complain about medical problems. The
physician undoubtedly gets low marks on your credibility scale, and her
advice probably has little impact on you.
– On the positive side, communicators who show us they care can gain our
trust and inspire us. Goodwill is an element of charisma, as embodied
historically by leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King. It is also a
quality that can help persuaders achieve practical goals. Salespeople who
understand their clients’ needs can tailor their appeals to suit particular
clients. This can help them achieve day-to-day success on the job
(McBane, 1995). Goodwill also has important implications for medical
communication, particularly between physicians and patients. Doctors who
convey empathy with patients’ needs can enhance patients’ satisfaction
and compliance with medical recommendations (Kim, Kaplowitz, &
Johnston, 2004).

o What are factors that can influence credibility perceptions?
1. Deliver of nonfluencies
● v expertise < – > in trustworthiness v
2. education, occupation, experience
3. speaking rate
4. HUmor
● ^ up trustworthiness, no effect on expertise
5. Citation of sources
● ^ up expertise & trustworthiness
● small effects
6. Liking
● up ^ trustworthiness
● no effect on expertise
Credibility effects
● ^ persuasion ( when low elaboration
Hong (200
Outcome: revisit health website
80% of the sites in our search repertoire are “revisits”
Sites that convey trust/expertise & depth (.org more trust or .com)
Liking (only works when in low elabration)
likable ^ up persuasion
● can be overridden by credibility
● when topic is high relevance (important to u) processing it centrally so heuristic
cues do not matter
o Examples of liking as a source factor
● Facial beauty may be innate
○ detectable by infants
○ smiling
● Attractiveness ^ up persuasion
● Indirect effect: Attractiveness —> liking (enhance persuasion through liking) —>
o Examples of attractiveness as a source factor
● source – audience similarities ^ up persuasion
● many thing can be similar!
● * Attitudinal similarity
● Men tend to be more persuasive? not really bc of topic
○ (topic)
● Indirect effect: similarity —> liking ——> persuasion (make ur audience
similarity) similarity does not have direct fact, (similarity enhance persuasion
through liking ) ex: jacqueline kennedy magazine fake pearls // melanin trump –
What is the general model of source effect
o Know direct & indirect effects to persuasion for credibility, liking,
attractiveness, similarity 这个是不是就是上面的内容
Consensus heuristic
(aka. shortcuts, source factors , persuasive principles)
– Consensus heuristic共识启发式: the approving reactions of others in
creases the message’s effectiveness 其他人的认可反应可以提高信息的有
Message Factors
What are message factors?
○ From communicator ( who says it) to what s/he says
○ message structure
■ put the strings first or last
○ message content – appeals ( central route of persuasion bc it depends on
the quality of the argument)
Message structure:
● order of argument
○ climax order: most important put last
○ anti – climax order : most important put first
○ effects? not definitive which one is better, but not want to be in the
● One or two sided? ( mac campaign, mac and pc guys, two side)
most advertising are one side , two sided more effective only u refute
○ refutation two sided ex: chocolate milk
○ enhance sources credibility & argument
● Evidence
○ cue or argument
● conclusion (explicit is better because we want to make the statement
● Explicit / implicit (implicit is implied)
● Quantitative or qualitative example (tells story) ex: don’t drink and
Message content (aka : appeals)
● commonly used persuasive tools (central route of persuasion because it
depends on the quality of the argument)
● fear appeals
● social proof
● Scarcity appeals
How are they related to the ELM model? – central route of persuasion because it
depends on the quality of the argument
Social Proof
○ social proof : looking for higher and higher meaning (when everybody’s
doing it, that is right, so i might also do it)
viewing behavior as correct to the degree that we see others doing it
Everyone is doing it, it must be a good thing, I should do it too
•EX: Colleges that have high retention and graduation rates will
attract parents who want their children to go to those schools
Fear Appeals (I will persuade you with some message by scaring you ) type of
message factor
o Components of Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM)
– Predicts adaptive or maladaptive (不适应)behavior: appraise message / 3 kinds of
responses: ignore the message / danger control / fear control (doing something else to
mitigate your threat)
– The effectiveness, feasibility, and ease with which a recommended response averts a
– 3 response 1. Ignore
– 2. Danger control –high T high E —> protection motivation (get out of
the way, —-> change behavior do sth
3. Fear control —high T low E —-> defensive avoidance (u exaggerate it…
Message appeal includes two parts: threat and efficacy 功效
Threats : – 1. severity (scary, magnitude of threating… 严重) / 2.suceptibility (有关系么
pertains or related to u)
Efficacy: – 1.Response efficacyThe perception the individual has that the action, if carried out,
will successfully control the risk.
– 2.Self efficacy :.
– o What determines Danger Control vs. Fear Control
Danger contro
Fear appeal is a type of message factor
Fear appeal: I will persuade you with some message by scaring you
EPPM: under what conditions do fear appeal work
Threat: severity (scary and threatening) and susceptibility (does it pertain or
related to you)
Protection: make actions, opinions change under danger control
Defense motivation is about fear control, not being convinced, don’t change
behavior fear control
If your message doesn’t have threat, you ignore the message (drunk driving, but
not related to yourself, so ignore this message)
Two more options of processing fear appeal ads: danger control and fear control
Prefer danger control, want people to do some actions, getting them to change
their behavior
Fear control is people ignore it, no actions, disbelieve the threat.
Write at least 5 source :
Fear appeal – Threat
Efficacy: – 1.Response efficacyThe perception the individual has that the action, if carried out,
will successfully control the risk.
Credibility – MCnn healthcare world wide / experience
Message structure: Conclusion – explicit






















































































































































































































Sample Solution