COMM 339 -- Persuasion

Dr. Lee McGaan  

  Office:  WH 308  (ph. 309-457-2155);  email
  Home:  418 North Sunny Lane (ph. 309-734-5431, cell 309-333-5447)

Fall 2016 Office Hours:   MWF:  9:30 - 10am, 11am - Noon & 1 -2pm TTh:  2-3pm & by apt.  |  copyright (c) by Lee McGaan, 2006-2016

Course Description Syllabus Course Notes and Handouts Course Assignments +

Four Stratagms of Persuasion

Pratkanis and Aronson (ch. 5) describe Four Key Stratagems that underlie successful persuasion.

  1. Pre-persuasion:  Taking control of the persuasive situation and context in such a way that the rhetor can structure how the issues are framed and how decisions will be judged.

  2. Source Credibility:  Insuring that communicators of the message are seen favorably (seen as likable, trustworthy, authoritative, dynamic, etc.) by the target audience for persuasion.

  3. Message Design:  Creating messages that focus the target audience's attention and thoughts on the concepts that favor the persuasive goal and only on those sorts of thoughts.

  4. Emotions:  Arousing emotional responses in the audience and providing a way for the audience to respond to those emotions in a manner that produces the desired outcome.

 Fair, Deliberative Persuasion versus Propaganda:  Questions that determine what is propaganda.

  • Does the communication method induce thoughts about the issue at hand    OR does it truncate thought and play on prejudice?

  • How does the communicator use emotion? -- to add energy to our thoughts and actions on the issue   OR to overwhelm our abilities to engage in thoughtful reflection?


For Discussion on Friday (9/9/16):

        Imagine you are trying to persuade a rational individual and average, adult, taxpaying citizen. 

For each persuasive topic/goal below, identify

  • the belief(s)   [i.e. "the facts"], and

  • value(s)   [i.e. morals, what's right and wrong] and/or

  • motive(s)   [i.e. the audiences self-interests and desires]    .

that should lead to a favorable attitude toward the topic/goal (below).

  1.      Support for the death penalty.

  2.      Opposition to the death penalty.

  3.      Support for including discussions on the use of birth control in high school health classes.

  4.      Opposition to including discussions on the use of birth control in high school health classes.

Last updated 1/22/2016