Persuading and Resisting Persuasion by other People


How can we persuade, and also resist persuasion by, other people?

Answer with reference to psychological research and theory.

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Persuading and Resisting Persuasion by other People

Persuasion is a universal component of today’s life while being an ancient art. Tomrala and Petty (2002) define this art as a unique process where messages are crafted and delivered in a way that can change other people’s behaviors or attitude willingly (Tormala & Petty, 2002; Stiff, 2003). Persuasion in this case attempts to influence attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, motivations and intentions. According to Chen & Moore (1992), persuasion not only involves changing attitudes, but it also centers on convincing people not to fall prey to undesirable and unethical influence. In reference to psychological research and theory, this paper hopes to find out how we can persuade, and also resist persuasion by other people.

Generally, the main aspect of persuasion is self-persuasion (Pastorino & Doyle, 2012). Psychologists argue that communicators do not change people’s minds. Rather, people decide to alter their own attitudes or resist persuasion (Burch, 2011). Clearly, the subject matter of the persuasion influences the outcome. If the message is inappropriate or the person presenting it is ill prepared, the likelihood of success is minimal.

How Do People Respond to Persuasive Messages?

Whereas most people respond to persuasive messages in different ways, the majority respond to persuasive messages either thoughtfully or mindlessly. When people are thoughtful, they listen to what the persuader is saying carefully while weighing the options of the presented argument. The message is then analyzed for consistency and logic and criticized accordingly (Mills, 2000). When we analyze the message thoughtfully, the persuasiveness of the information is determined by the benefits of the case in question. Some models including elaboration likely-hood model perceive the permanence of the change of attitude as that which is influenced by the content’s elaboration (Gopinatha & Nyer, 2008).

Unlike thoughtful analysis, responding to messages thoughtlessly closes the brains of those responding (Stiff, 2003; Lemanski & Lee, 2012). Bearing in mind that people often do not have the inspiration, ability and time to respond keenly when responding mindlessly, they……..

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