The Dynamics of Persuasion: Communication and Attitudes in the Twenty-First Century / Edition 4

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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.

New to this edition are:

  • 2008 election examples interspersed througout the text
  • focused discussions on compliance-gaining and negative advertising
  • examples of strong attitude, such as the pros and cons of using animals in research.

Complimented by a Companion Website ( with resources for students and instructors, 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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415805674
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/24/2010
  • Series: Routledge Communication Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 425
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard M. Perloff is Professor and Director of the School of Communication at Cleveland State University. He has taught at Cleveland State University for 30 years. Prior to that, he received his Ph.D. in mass communications at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in social psychology and communication at Ohio State University. Dr. Perloff has written books on persuasion, political communication, and applications of social science to the AIDS crisis. A Fellow of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research, he is nationally known for scholarship on perceptions of media effects.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Foundations

1 Introduction to Persuasion

  • Persuasion: Constancies and Changes
  • Foundations of Persuasion
  • Defining Persuasion
  • Persuasion Versus Coercion
  • The Bad Boys of Persuasion
  • Understanding Persuasive Communication Effects
  • Historical Review of Persuasion Scholarship
  • The Contemporary Study of Persuasion
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Persuasion and Ethics
  • The Present Approach
  • Conclusions

2 Attitudes: Definition and Structure

  • The Concept of Attitude
  • Characteristics of Attitudes
  • Values and Beliefs
  • Structure of Attitudes
  • Attitude Structure and Persuasion
  • Are Attitudes Internally Consistent?
  • The Psychology of Strong Attitudes
  • Attitudes and Information Processing
  • Implicit Attitudes
  • Conclusions

3 Attitudes: Functions and Consequences

  • Functions and Attitudes
  • Attitudes and Persuasion
  • Attitudes and Behavior
  • Models of Attitude-Behavior Relations
  • Implications for Persuasion
  • Judging Consistency
  • Conclusions

4 Attitude Measurement

  • Overview
  • Questionnaire Measures of Attitude
  • Pitfalls in Attitude Measurement
  • Policy Implications
  • Asking Good Questions
  • Indirect Methods to Measure Attitudes
  • Conclusions

Part 2 Changing Attitudes and Behavior

5 Processing Persuasive Communications

  • Historical Foundations
  • Elaboration Likelihood Model
  • Peripheral Processing In Real Life
  • Central Processing
  • Complications and Criticisms
  • Criticisms and Reconciliations
  • Conclusions

6 "Who Says It": Source Factors in Persuasion

  • Understanding the Communicator
  • Conclusions

7 Message Factors

  • Understanding the Message
  • Message Structure
  • Evidence
  • Fear Appeals
  • Guilt Appeals
  • Language
  • Conclusions

8 Personality and Persuasion

  • The Myth of the Vulnerable Other
  • Need for Cognition
  • Self-Monitoring
  • Dogmatism
  • Additional Issues
  • Other Personality Factors
  • Conclusions

9 Cognitive Dissonance Theory

  • Foundations
  • Dissonance and Decision Making
  • Dissonance and Expenditure of Effort
  • Induced Compliance
  • Explanations and Controversies
  • The Dissonance Debate: Intellectual Issues
  • Summary
  • Conclusions

10 Interpersonal Persuasion

  • Foot-in-the-Door
  • Door-in-the-Face
  • Applications
  • Other Compliance Techniques
  • Compliance-Gaining
  • Ethical Issues
  • Conclusions

Part 3 Persuasion in American Society

11 Advertising

  • The Subliminal Myth
  • The Psychology of Low Involvement
  • High Involvement
  • The Role of Personality
  • Advertising Ethics
  • Conclusions

12 Communication Campaigns

  • Thinking About Campaigns
  • Theoretical Perspectives
  • Campaign Effects
  • The McGruff Crime Prevention Project
  • Antismoking and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Campaigns
  • Antidrinking Campaigns
  • Drug Prevention Campaigns
  • Interventions to Reduce Health Care Disparities
  • Complicating Factors
  • Values and Ethics
  • Conclusions
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