PSYC 360 Lecture 2-23-09 Persuasion: Communicators, messages, and audiences What works? Communicators who are credible Communicators who are attractive in some way Messages that do not appear to be designed to change our attitudes are more successful than those that seem to be designed to achieve this goal Fear Appeals ? Can they induce change? Yes, when mild (so defenses not evoked) and paired with information about what to do When fear is high and people feel threatened, they react defensively (argue against threat, question evidence, or den applicability to the self) The Cognitive Processes Underlying Persuasion Systematic processing Central route Involves careful consideration of message content and ideas Argument strength matters Automatic processing Peripheral route or Heuristic processing Involves the use of simples rules or mental shortcuts Argument strength does not matter Resisting Persuasion Attempts Reactance: Protecting our personal freedom Negative reactions to threats to one?s personal freedom Increases resistance to persuasion Can produce negative attitudes Or even the opposite attitude (or attitude change to what was intended. Forewarning: Prior Knowledge of Persuasive Intent Advanced knowledge that one is about to become the target of an attempt at persuasion Increases resistance to the persuasion that follows Selective avoidance Tendency to direct attention away from information that challenges existing attitudes Increases resistance to persuasion Actively defend attitudes: Counterarguing against the Competitioni We are good at resisting persuasion because we actively defend our attitudes against opposing views Inoculation Individual differences in Resistance to Persuasion People may be resistant because they are more inclined to motivated to engage in counterarguing Other people may be resistant because they attempt to bolster their own beliefs when they encounter counter attitudinal messages People tend to use their favored technique quite effectively Self regulation, ego depletion, and persuasion Self-regulation is the limited capacity to engage our willpower and control our own thinking and emotions Ego depletion The state where our capacity to self-regulate has been reduced because of prior expenditures of limited resources Once we experience ego depletion we are more vulnerable to persuasion Positive mood can restore self-regulation after ego depletion Cognitive Dissonance: what it is and how we manage it. Cognitive dissonance is an internal state which results when individuals notice inconsistency between two or more attitudes or between their attitudes and their behavior. People are motivated to reduce cognitive dissonance
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