The Dynamics Of Persuasion / Edition 3

The Dynamics Of Persuasion / Edition 3

by Richard M. Perloff

The Dynamics of Persuasion provides a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to persuasive communication and attitude change. Offering a thorough discussion of classic and contemporary theories of persuasion, this text explores the structure and functions of attitudes, consistency between attitude and behavior, and issues in attitude

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The Dynamics of Persuasion provides a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to persuasive communication and attitude change. Offering a thorough discussion of classic and contemporary theories of persuasion, this text explores the structure and functions of attitudes, consistency between attitude and behavior, and issues in attitude measurement.

Examining persuasion through media, interpersonal, and psychological lenses, author Richard M. Perloff systematically investigates the impact of persuasive communication on attitudes toward a variety of topics, including health, politics, and racial prejudice. In addition to presenting persuasion theory and research, he provides numerous examples of persuasion in action, demonstrating the role of persuasion research in everyday life. Written in a highly accessible and clear style, The Dynamics of Persuasion serves to:

  • introduce the social science perspective on persuasion

  • enhance understanding of persuasion theories and research

  • highlight the major issues discussed in the field of persuasion research

  • explore the complexities and subtleties in the dynamics of everyday persuasion

  • raise awareness about the ethics of contemporary persuasion.

This updated third edition offers new topics of discussion, including:

  • the pervasiveness of persuasion

  • discussion of implicit attitudes

  • political segregation

  • policy aspects of attitude measurement

  • narrative persuasion

  • political language

  • social exchange with its applications to medical marketing

  • product placement

  • complexities in communication campaigns

The Dynamics of Persuasion is an engaging text appropriate for advanced courses on persuasion in communication, psychology, marketing, and sociology. In its exploration of the dynamics of persuasive communication, it illuminates the powerful effects persuasion has in contemporary society and enhances understanding of this ubiquitous communicative strategy. Visit the companion site,, for discussion questions, practice test questions, exercises, and more.

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Product Details

Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
Routledge Communication Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
1.44(w) x 9.00(h) x 6.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface     XV
Introduction to Persuasion     3
Persuasion: Constancies and Changes     5
The Sheer Number of Persuasive Communications Has Grown Exponentially     6
Persuasive Messages Travel Faster Than Ever Before     6
Persuasion Has Become Institutionalized     12
Persuasive Communication Has Become More Subtle and Devious     12
Persuasive Communication Is More Complex and Impersonal     14
Foundations of Persuasion     15
Defining Persuasion     16
Persuasion Is a Symbolic Process     17
Persuasion Involves an Attempt to Influence     18
People Persuade Themselves     19
Persuasion Involves the Transmission of a Message     20
Persuasion Requires Free Choice     22
Persuasion Versus Coercion     22
The Bad Boy of Persuasion     33
Understanding Persuasive Communication Effects     34
Historical Review of Persuasion Scholarship     35
Ancient Greece: "It's All Sophos to Me"     36
The First Scientist of Persuasion     37
A Breezy Tour of Rome and the Centuries That Followed     38
Rhetorical Developments in the United States     39
Origins of the Social Scientific Approach     40
The Contemporary Study of Persuasion     42
Seeing the Big Picture     45
Persuasion and Ethics     47
The Present Approach     50
Conclusions     52
Attitudes: Definition and Structure     55
The Concept of Attitude     57
Characteristics of Attitudes     59
Attitudes Are Learned     59
Attitudes Are Global, Typically Emotional, Evaluations     60
Attitudes Influence Thought and Action     61
Values and Beliefs     62
Structure of Attitudes     68
Expectancy-Value Approach     69
Affect, Symbols, and Ideologies     71
The Role of Ideology     73
Attitude Structure and Persuasion     74
Are Attitudes Internally Consistent?     75
Intra-Attitudinal Consistency     75
Balancing Things Out     77
The Psychology of Strong Attitudes     81
Attitudes and Information Processing     84
Social Judgment Theory     84
Attitude Accessibility     96
Implicit Attitudes     103
Conclusions     105
Attitudes: Functions and Consequences     109
Functions of Attitudes     109
Overview     109
Attitudes and Persuasion     113
Attitudes and Behavior     120
Historical Background     121
Situational Factors     122
Characteristics of the Person     124
Characteristics of the Attitude     126
Models of Attitude-Behavior Relations     129
Theory of Reasoned Action     130
Theory of Planned Behavior     135
Accessibility Theory     136
Implications for Persuasion     138
Judging Consistency     139
Conclusions     141
Attitude Measurement     143
Overview     143
Questionnaire Measures of Attitude     146
Likert Scale     146
Guttman Scale     147
Semantic Differential     147
Pitfalls in Attitude Measurement     149
Policy Implications     153
Asking Good Questions     155
Open-Ended Measures     158
Indirect Methods to Measure Attitudes     159
Conclusions     163
Changing Attitudes and Behavior
Processing Persuasive Communications      167
Historical Foundations     169
Elaboration Likelihood Model     173
Main Principles     180
Motivation to Process     182
Ability     189
Peripheral Processing in Real Life     190
The Oprah Book Club Effect     190
The Electoral Road Show     191
Jargon     193
Central Processing     194
Complications and Criticisms     197
Criticisms and Reconciliations     199
Conclusions     203
"Who Says It": Source Factors in Persuasion     209
Understanding the Communicator     213
Authority     214
Experimental Procedures and Results     214
Explanations     216
Additional Issues     218
Applications     219
Credibility     221
Core Characteristics     222
Role of Context     224
A Theoretical Account     227
Social Attractiveness     232
Likability     233
Similarity     234
Physical Attractiveness     235
Conclusions     239
Message Factors      247
Understanding the Message     247
Message Structure     248
One or Two Sides?     249
Conclusion Drawing     250
Continuing Issues     251
Evidence     251
The Other Side of Evidence: The Case of Case Histories     255
Summary     258
Fear Appeals     263
The Psychology of Fear     265
A Theory of Fear Appeals     271
Applying Theory to the Real World     275
Summary     280
Language     280
Speed of Speech     281
Powerless Versus Powerful Speech     283
Language Intensity     286
Political Language     291
Conclusions     294
Personality and Persuasion     303
The Myth of the Vulnerable Other     303
Summary     306
Need for Cognition     306
Self-Monitoring     310
Dogmatism     314
Additional Issues     314
Other Personality Factors     315
Conclusions     316
Cognitive Dissonance Theory     321
Foundations     323
Dissonance and Decision Making      325
Dissonance and Expenditure of Effort     328
Applications     330
Induced Compliance     331
Applications     335
Explanations and Controversies     336
Unpleasant Consequences + Responsibility = Dissonance     337
Dissonance Occurs When You Are Concerned That You Look Bad in Front of Others     338
Dissonance Involves a Threat to Self-Esteem     338
It's Not Dissonance, but Self-Perception     339
The Dissonance Debate: Intellectual Issues     340
Summary     341
Dissonance and Persuasion     345
Conclusions     347
Interpersonal Persuasion     353
Foot-in-the-Door     355
Why Does It Work?     356
When Does It Work?     357
Door-in-the-Face     358
Why Does It Work?     359
When Does It Work?     364
Applications     364
Other Compliance Techniques     365
Summary     374
Compliance-Gaining     374
Contextual Influences     377
Individual Differences     379
Complications     381
Summary and Applications      383
Ethical Issues     388
Conclusions     389
Persuasion in American Society
Advertising     393
The Subliminal Myth     395
Definition     396
Effects     400
Self-Fulfilling Prophecies and Beyond     402
The Psychology of Low Involvement     405
Mere Exposure     406
The Magic of Association     409
Peripheral Processing     423
High Involvement     424
Summary     429
The Role of Personality     430
Advertising Ethics     432
Conclusions     433
Communication Campaigns     441
Thinking About Campaigns     443
Locating Effects     446
Theoretical Perspectives     446
Diffusion Theory     448
Social Marketing     452
Campaign Effects     458
The McGruff Crime Prevention Project     460
Antismoking and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Campaigns     462
State Antismoking Campaigns     465
Macrosocial Picture     466
Antidrinking Campaigns     467
The Designated Driver Campaign     468
Social Norms Marketing     469
Drug Prevention Campaigns     476
Complicating Factors     479
Values and Ethics     482
Conclusions     485
References     487
Subject Index     533
Author Index     551

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