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Persuasion occurs when a person causes someone else to
change. The change may either be to their inner mental systems or to their
external behavior. Inner systems include values, attitude, beliefs, schema,
goals. The change may creation of something new, or extinguishing or modifying
something that already exists.
Elements of persuasion include:
- Intent: We usually persuade intentionally, but we can also
accidentally persuade. In fact every interpersonal interaction causes a change
to both parties.
- Coercion: Coercion gains compliance, where behavior is changed, but
without any internal commitment or change of inner mental systems (in fact
these may be strengthened in the opposite direction).
- Context: A changed behavior may be constrained to limited context.
- Plurality: You can persuade one person or many people. You can even
persuade just yourself.
- Presence: You can be physically with the other person (allowing
maximum communication) or communicating via such as the telephone or written
- Media: Communication may be done via a range of media.
Inner systems are often held as networks of connected
beliefs, etc. Persuasion often acts to break and redirect those
A three part model of persuasion includes the source, message and target:
- Communicator or source of the persuasion
- The actual persuasive appeal
- The target audience of the appeal
Coercion, Yale Attitude Change Approach,
Gass and Seiter