Writing a second edition has different challenges and joys than preparing the first edition of a book. The second time around, one has the benefit of looking over the work one has done; a skeleton is in place. Initially, one also feels like an alter ego to one's self, worrying, wondering, and bemused, curious whether one's voice the second time around has changed, and daunted by the sheer volume of work that must be done.
In the end, though, it turned out to be very rewarding to write this book, as I realized that I had the opportunity to express the ideas that had been percolating in my mind since the first edition came out in 1993. I also had the chance to reflect, as best as I could, on changes that have occurred in the world and the academic study of persuasion since 1993. It was a challenging, stimulating opportunity, and I thank Lawrence Erlbaum Associates for giving me this shot at revising and modernizing The Dynamics of Persuasion.
Obviously, a great deal has happened in our world, from the events of September 11, 2001 to Bill Clinton's impeachment to O. J. Simpson. The Internet, not a force to be dealt with (persuasively speaking) in ′93, is a major player in the media landscape today, as are multiple cultural and lifestyle changes that have implications for the study of persuasive communication. In academia, the major models that dominated the field in the early ′90s are still dominant today. However, much research on attitudes, cognitive processing, fear appeals, advertising, and communication campaigns has been conducted, requiring a new book that incorporates the findings and their practical applications. I suppose I have changed as well. As one gets older, one is more attuned to the ways in which research fits into the giant trajectory of life—the big picture of society and human nature. Thus, the second edition places more emphasis on appreciating the role that theory and research play in persuasion as it occurs in American society, as well as on ethical implications of ideas and research.