The Dynamics of Persuasion

The Dynamics of Persuasion

The Dynamics of Persuasion

The Dynamics of Persuasion

Synopsis

Persuasion is one of the oldest fields of academic study - it dates back thousands of years. In our own era, persuasion has been studied primarily by means of the theories and methods of social science research. Numerous scholars have made contributions to our knowledge of persuasion, and the field has generated a wealth of intriguing concepts and an impressive body of knowledge on persuasion processes and effects. Persuasion is not simply a science, however - it is also an art. Today there is a burgeoning persuasion industry that includes advertising, sales, public relations, political consulting firms and a host of private and public companies that seek to change attitudes and influence social behaviours.

Excerpt

Persuasion is one of the oldest fields of academic study--it dates back thousands of years; indeed Aristotle was arguably the Western world's first great persuasion theorist. In our own era, persuasion has been studied primarily by means of the theories and methods of social science research. Numerous scholars have made contributions to our knowledge of persuasion, and the field has generated a host of intriguing concepts and an impressive body of knowledge on persuasion processes and effects.

Persuasion is not simply a science, however. It is also an art. In the 16th century, the Italian writerMachiavelli wrote a book entitled The Prince, in which he counseled politicians on how to use power and social influence techniques to manipulate the masses and to achieve personal and political goals. Since then, politicians and rulers have made considerable use of persuasion techniques. Unfortunately, these techniques have been employed successfully by the likes of Hitler and Stalin; fortunately, they have been used to accomplish positive end-states by individuals ranging from Thomas Jefferson to Susan B. Anthony. Today, there is a burgeoning persuasion industry that includes advertising, sales, public relations, political consulting firms, and a host of private and public companies that seek to change attitudes and influence social behaviors.

This book is designed to enhance students' understanding of persuasion theory and its applications to everyday situations. The volume presents an up-to-date review of persuasion theory and research; it also attempts to show students how these theories can deepen our understanding of how persuasion is practiced in a variety of real-life situations. The book is designed as a text for undergraduate students who have heard the terms attitude and persuasion bandied about, and who wish to know more about these fascinating concepts. The book is also designed to introduce graduate students to theory and research in the field of persuasion. Finally, the book . . .

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