Persuasion Rhetorical Analysis

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Concept Paper #2: Persuasion

Description and Definition

When we think about persuasion we often think about advertisements that encourage people to buy a particular item, while some may believe of a candidate who is attempting to influence citizens to vote for him/her come time of an election. Persuasion is a force in our daily lives that influences members of society and society as a whole. “Persuasion is a message’s purpose and content that elicit judgements of good or bad. The bad we call “propaganda.” The good we call “education.” We call it “education” when we believe it, “propaganda” when we don’t” (Myers 230). So, what exactly is persuasion? Persuasion is a way in which people attempt to convince others to alter their attitudes
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The central route of persuasion was first examined by Richard Petty and John Cacioppo who presumed there were a couple techniques people’s attitudes could be changed. One of these methods is through a central route to persuasion. This type of persuasion works when the individual presented with the idea is prompted to attend to the message and allowed to reflect on and understand the message. If the message is strong and convincing, it’s likely the individual will be persuaded. If the message is weak and unconvincing, then often an individual will give a counterargument. If we’re unable to think carefully, not focused, or are not strongly influenced by the argument, we might not consider the validity or content of an argument as much as we should. However, a second route of persuasion could still be followed; this is known as the peripheral route to persuasion. The peripheral route to persuasion has people look at a message fast or attend to simple cues to help them choose whether to accept the position; a common factors is the attractiveness of the speaker. In situations like this, familiar statements that are easier to comprehend are more persuasive than new statements with similar meaning (Myers 233). The peripheral route of persuasion more often than not creates short term attitude changes. “If a speaker is articulate and appealing, has apparently good motives, and has several arguments, we usually take the easy peripheral route and accept the message without much thought” (Myers

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