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Source Credibility

 

Explanations > Theories > Source Credibility

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

People are more likely to be persuaded if the person doing the persuading is seen as being credible, expert and trustworthy.

It is worth noting that expertise is not the only factor for example physically attractive communicators are generally more successful than unattractive ones in changing beliefs, as are people who are generally likeable.

Example

A shampoo commercial uses a person in a white coat who is described as their chief scientist to explain why the product is so wonderful.

So What?

Using it

Consider how the source of persuasion will be perceived in terms of credibility. Even though you may be expert, if you are not perceived as such it may be better to use someone else to front your argument.

Defending

Remember that expertise is relative. When a person claims expertise when persuading you, check out how really expert they are.

See also

Social Influence, Credibility

References

Hovland, C.I., Janis, I.L., & Kelley, H.H. (1953). Communication and Persuasion. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press

 

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