Lecture #1 The Psychology of Everyday Persuasion

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Psych 461a, Spring 2007

Lecture #1

The Psychology of Everyday Persuasion
I. Social Influence and Persuasion: Defined
II. 2 functions for persuasion & propaganda in society:

Discovery versus Communication

III. Types of social influence and persuasion in your life


I. Social Influence and Persuasion: Dr. Stone's Definitions
Social influence:

II. Function of persuasion & propaganda in society
The 4 ages of persuasion & propaganda:





a. Greeks:

Function of P&P in Greek society:
Aristotle’s 3 categories of persuasion:
1. Ethos :

2. Logos :

3. Pathos :
Also emphasized the importance of atechnoi:
b. Romans:
Use Statis:
Quintillion’s 5 necessary skills for persuasion:
1. Invention:

2. Arrangement:

3. Style:

4. Memory:

5. Deliver:
Function of P&P in Roman society:

c. Early America:

Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market,

Congress and the House of Representatives

Our form of ______________ is based on the _______________function of persuasion and propaganda
Our _________________ is based on the __________________ function of persuasion & propaganda
Our _______________________ is based on both (?)

d. The Industrial Age Through the Millennium

1. Fight tyranny:

Carl Hovland (1953): 4 Principles of persuasion
2. Rally the home troops:
Kurt Lewin (1943)
IV: Group discussion vs. lecture about using organ meats
DV: Percent who reported using organ meats in cooking

2 weeks

4 weeks

Group discussion


III. Types of Social influence and persuasion in your life
Do government institutions engage in propaganda?
What is the difference between propaganda and education?
Between advertising and propaganda?
Between education, advertising and indoctrination?
Between indoctrination and thought control (brainwashing?)
How do these forms of influence differ?


Productive & capable citizenry, actualization

Sale of a product or service

Political power & control

A cohesive and effective group

Manipulation for money, info or power

Relation between parties

Limited consensual relationship; critical thinking encouraged

Info and emotional manipulation; critical thinking discouraged

Masses persuaded by an authority figure; critical thinking discouraged

Authoritarian but consensual, critical thinking discouraged

Authoritarian, non-consensual,

low target awareness, critical thinking prevented

Use of deception

Rarely(?) deceptive

Selective information, may be deceptive

Exaggeration, may be deceptive

Rarely deceptive



Instruction; Discussion

Mild to heavy persuasion

Persuasion and/or compliance

Coercive compliance (punishment)

Coercian via psychological &/or physical punishment

Contemporary approaches: Four strategems of influence (Pratkanis and Aronson, 2000)


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