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Updated: Sep 17, 2020

social psychology of persuasion
Persuasion attempts are everywhere

Hello, everyone. I hoped that you had a great weekend.

Today’s post will be on the social psychology of persuasion.

Personal and writing update:

This week has been a very busy one.

In terms of university, I had a lot of interesting psychology lectures and I have a lot of ideas for new books as well as various other projects.

For example: I can definitely see a Forensic Psychology book forming in my mind as compared to other lectures. My Forensic Psychology lectures are very linear and clear cut. Meaning that there’s one main topic and only that psychological topic.

Compared to my social psychology lectures which I think are a lot more mess in terms of book creation as you have the main topic like: Persuasion. Then you have all the sub-topics that make writing a book more challenging as you have so much information and you need to keep it interesting.

For instance, in persuasion you have what is persuasion, the various models and theories about how persuasion works, persuasive techniques and when persuasion does and does not work so there’s a lot of information and I’ll find it interesting to see the result.

However, there’s exciting news!

I’ve started to record my podcast episodes and to be honest I do love podcasting because the problem with recording audiobooks is that when recording audiobooks you need to read without emotion and emphasis and you need to be a narrator, not a person.

Although, what I like about podcasting is that I can talk about my topics as well as what I love whilst being me and a genuine person.

I will fully admit that I’m still new and raw as a podcaster but I’m learning and on the 11th November 2019. I’ll release the podcast.

Social psychology of Persuasion:

Persuasion is when you try to change someone’s behaviour, in its simplest form.

The process of persuasion tends to have one of four outcomes:

· Opinion change

· Perception change

· Emotion change

· Action change

Nevertheless, persuasions need four steps as supported by Howland, Janis and Kelley (1953)

· You need to pay attention

· You need to comprehend the message

· You need to accept the message

· You need to retain the message

Without those four steps, the target of the persuasion attempt will not be persuaded by you.

There are many things that will increase the likelihood of the attempt being successful, but this is a brief overview:

The source (the persuaders) ideally needs to be:

· Attractive- Eagly and Chaiken (1975) found that attractive people are more persuasion.

· Be familiar to the target as we tend to like familiar or similar people more.

The message needs to be:

· Strong as long and strong messages are more effective than long and weak messages.

· Repeated- Tellis (1987) shows that 2-3 times a week is best.

Finally, some reasons why persuasion attempts fail include:

· Reactance- when the persuader annoys the target and they end up disliking you, in its simplest form.

· Avoidance- they simply avoid you as the persuader or they avoid people who would try and get them to change their behaviours. For example: smokers might try and avoid medical professionals.

· Forewarning- if people have prior knowledge that someone is going to try and persuasive them then this gives them time to prepare and come up with counter arguments.

· Counterarguments

· And many more…

This is a quick overview of the social psychology of persuasion and I’ll explore this topic is greater depth in my new social psychology book next year.

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Have a great week!

Reference: Sutton, R.M., & Douglas, K.M. (2013). Social psychology. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan

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