COMM 339 – Persuasion

Theory Knowledge Homework #3

For each of the persuasion “actions” described below, identify the specific persuasion theory you believe best explains or fits the method used by the “persuader” (or the result described).  Then explain in a few words why the theory you selected seems the correct one (e.g. what features of the theory match the action).


  1. Recently scam artists tried to get people to buy a worthless stock by sending email messages praising the stock in a way that led investors to think they were getting insider information by mistake.  That way they would believe the false praise more readily.










  1. Many companies seek to have their products used by movie stars and other famous people in places where the products will be seen connected to the stars in public settings.

  2. An insurance salesman tells you he gets no commission if you buy his product.  That’s a way to get you to be less suspicious of his motives so you will be more likely to go along with his sales pitch.

  3. When my son was first eligible to vote, he was reluctant to go do it because he was afraid he would look foolish not knowing where to go or what questions he would be asked.  So I took him to the polls and let him follow my lead.

  4. When I was told that a person I admired had made a serious mistake, I resisted believing it.  I only accepted that there was a problem when I saw several documents that were clear and uncontestable and that showed my friend had messed up.

  5. A crucial part of getting young people to follow medical guidelines for diabetes treatment includes not only showing them the treatment is necessary to their lives.  It also requires convincing them that it will not be as hard as they may think to adopt the diet and treatment methods they need.