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Social Psychology by David G. Myers 8th Edition
Changing Attitudes
Two Routes to Persuasion
Central route persuasion – focus on the arguments

Peripheral route persuasion – focus on incidentals

Routes to Persuasion
Processing Messages
Processing Messages
The Elements of Persuasion
The communicator (WHO)
Credibility (perceived expertise & trustworthiness)
Attractiveness and likeability
The message content (WHAT)
Reason versus emotion
One-sided versus two-sided appeals
Primacy versus recency
Effects on Persuasion
The Elements of Persuasion
The communication channel (HOW)
Active experience or passive communication
Personal versus media influence
The audience (TO WHOM)
How old are they?
What are they thinking?

Case Studies in Persuasion: Cult Indoctrination
Attitudes follow behavior
Compliance breeds acceptance
Foot-in-the door phenomenon
Persuasive elements
The communicator (charismatic leader)
The message (vivid emotional messages, warmth of the group)
The audience (often young, open to change)
Group Effects

How to become a cult leader.
Create your own social reality. Remove contact with the outside world.
Establish an in-group of followers (the chosen) vs. an out-group (the wicked).
Generate commitment through dissonance reduction, insure obedience by establishing a spiral of escalating commitment. (foot-in-the-door technique)
Establish leader’s credibility & attractiveness (myths).
Send members out to proselytize, ensuring that they are engaged in self-generated persuasion.
Distract members from thinking undesirable thoughts by never giving them time to themselves, chanting & singing, etc. Teach that negative thoughts are from the devil.
Fixate members’ vision on a future phantom, providing incentive to keep working and a sense of mission.

Resisting Persuasion: Attitude Inoculation
Strengthening personal commitment
Think about beliefs and develop counterarguments
Large scale inoculation programs (such as inoculating children against peer pressure to smoke)