COMM 339 -- Persuasion

Dr. Lee McGaan  

  Office:  WH 308  (ph. 309-457-2155);  email
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Fall 2016 Office Hours:   MWF:  9:30 - 10am, 11am - Noon & 1 -2pm TTh:  2-3pm & by apt.  |  copyright (c) by Lee McGaan, 2006-2016

Information and Campaigns


1.Ineffectiveness of Information Campaigns (AP 33)

  • People opposed to your view turn off as the information become effective. (dissonance theory explains this)

  • As persuasion begins to work it lowers receiver confidence in their previous views.Ironically, that yields less willingness to listen to further opposing views.  (again, dissonance theory explains this.)

  • Result:dissonance often leads to rejection or distortion of information--- selective perception.

  • Solution:† Embed your message in "non-persuasion" settings and in small bits.e.g. entertainment shows, short ads, dramas, jokes (e.g. Sesame Street).

  • Note the effect of this on political campaigns (Daily Show guests and You Tube, for example)

2.Direct (mail) Persuasion - The direct mail advertisers are very good and do lots of research (AP 35)

  • get the "right" mailing list!

    • The envelop is an attention getter

    •  An odd size envelop works best

    • Put a catch phrase on the envelop (hueristics)

  • make it look like "official" mail

  • use heuristics and cognitive shorthands

  • use personal references, include the receiverís name

  • include opportunities to act (commitment, time investment ) and distraction from thinking of counter-arguments (e.g. sticker hunt by Publishers Clearinghouse)

  • use surveys for response set.

  • use group identity (dear friend ...)

  • use fear appeals AND a way to resolve how to deal with fear

  • list or ask for large commitments and make your expected amount the lowest box