Persuasion - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Sociology

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Factors Affecting the Likelihood of Persuasion

The guiding question of who says what to whom in what way with what effect has largely determined what factors researchers look to in explaining and predicting persuasion. These factors fall into four general classes: source or communicator variables, message variables, channel variables, and receiver variables. Reflecting two decades of research on social cognition, studies of the effects of these variables on persuasion investigate how these factors affect persuasion by shaping the way in which people process information in the persuasion context. Indeed, the term process reflects the computer analogy often used to capture the manner in which people perceive, interpret, and respond to their environment.

For example, in studying the effects of source characteristics (the characteristics of the person communicating the persuasive message) researchers might examine how the likability of the source leads the receiver (the object of persuasion) either to attend...

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This section contains 3,737 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
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Encyclopedia of Sociology
Persuasion from Encyclopedia of Sociology. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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