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Yale Attitude Change Approach

 

Explanations > Theories > Yale Attitude Change Approach

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

 

Description

A Yale University multi-year, multi-project research into persuasive communication showed (amongst other things):

Who (source of communication):

  • The speaker should be credible and attractive to the audience.

Says what (nature of communication):

  • Messages should not appear to be designed to persuade.
  • Present two-sided arguments (refuting the ‘wrong’ argument, of course).
  • If two people are speaking one after the other, it is best to go first (primacy effect).
  • If two people are speaking with a delay between them, it is best to go last (recency effect).

To whom (the nature of the audience)

  • Distract them during the persuasion
  • Lower intelligence and moderate self-esteem helps.
  • The best age range is 18-25.

Example

Watch politicians. They do this wonderfully well. They look great. They talk through the other side's argument, making it first seem reasonable then highlighting all their problems. It all seems to be just common sense spoken by a really nice person...

So what?

Using it

So use the advice. And note the point about 'not appearing to be designed to persuade'. People with new understanding about persuasion can get too enthusiastic about using it, quickly getting to the point where the other people know what they are doing.

See also

Persuasion

References

Hovland, Janis and Kelley (1953)

 

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