We are bombarded with hundreds of persuasive messages every day: Buy this car, join that group, support our cause, vote for this political candidate, give to that charitable organization.
Some persuasive messages are effective while others are not.
The four main factors that influence persuasion are source, message, channel, and audience.
The source of a persuasive message can affect our attitudes and behaviors.
Expertise, attractiveness, and trustworthiness have been found to increase the impact of persuasive messages.
The following experiment has been done many times.
Partici pants are randomly assigned to one of two groups, and an initial appraisal of their skills on a particular subject, such as dependability of American-made cars, is made.
Both groups read a message.
The participants' attitudes are measured again after the message has been read.
The results show that the message from the authority has made more people change their minds.
If the attitudes of the two groups were the same on the first measurement, then any differences that appear in the second must reflect the influence of the source.
The more attractive the source, the more effective the message will be.
Physical factors that influence impression formation also influence persuasion.
The more likely you are to be persuaded, the bet ter your impression of the source.
You might want to draw a diagram of your proposed study on a sheet of paper.
Take all the possibilities into account.
Continue reading if you are satisfied with your research design.
We would start with two randomly formed groups of people and measure their attitudes.
The same persuasive message would be given to both groups, but different people would deliver it.
The degree of perceived expertise must be the same for both groups if we want to measure only attractiveness.
The attractive expert would become less attractive with a change of clothes, shoes and hair.
Table 15-2 shows the research strategy.
Even if an attractive expert gives a persuasive message, it may not change attitudes.
The source of the persuasive message must also be trustworthy, because it takes more than an attractive expert to convince us.
Most people are aware of the prevalence and intent of per se communications and are skeptical of the vast array of claims they are exposed to.
They need to trust the source of the message.
The speaker's perceived gain from acceptance of the message is one of the main factors contributing to trustworthiness.
When speak ers don't have anything to gain from presenting a particular message, they are more likely to be seen as trustworthy.
A famous athlete in a series of TV commercials encourages you to buy a certain type of running shoe.
The athlete will be hired to make commercials if the number of shoes sold increases.
The Veg-O-Matic salesman was described at the beginning of the section.
He was at tractive, that's a point in his favor.
The salesman's level of expertise is questionable because world-class chefs don't usually demonstrate products in local discount stores.
You immediately question his claims because he only wants to sell as many Veg-O-Matics as possible.
His persuasiveness has been reduced by his lack of expertise and trustworthiness.
Over time, an audience member may be able to get which person gives the message.
Would this salesperson be successful in convincing flawed decisions?
The features of the message affect whether we are persuaded.
The factors include attention, drawing conclusions, and message acceptance.
You have to pay attention to the message.
This simple fact has led to the development of numerous proce dures that are designed to attract attention, such as printing signs upside down or backwards, using vivid colors, and featuring sexually arousing stimuli.
The story doesn't end here unless the sights and sounds are the message.
The message that accompanies these attention-getters must be heard by the audience.
Messages cause us to reach a conclusion by changing our attitudes.
A basic research question is who draws the conclusion, the person delivering the message or the individuals receiving it.
The answer depends on the audience's involvement.
If the audience simply receives the message without being involved in processing it, explicitly drawn conclusions are more effective.
The majority of television commer cials are in this situation.
Unusual scenes and shapes will not be persuasive if someone attends to a message.
How many times have you heard a televised speech?
The audience's attitudes should not be different for a message to be persuasive.
Television commercials urging people to buy imported goods are less likely during a recession.
The greatest amount of attitude change can be found in messages that do not differ from our beliefs.
The acceptance of a message is manipulated through reactance.
A proposal to raise taxes, regardless of the need for added revenue, is not likely to be welcomed by most people because the loss of income would limit their financial freedom.
Consider the ads we see on television, in newspapers and magazines, online, and in stores.
As you answer this question, try to think of as many examples as possible and write them down.
These ads are designed to make us believe that our freedom to pay low prices is being restricted.
The answer depends on when the audience is required to act.
The first message is more effective if there is a delay between the presentation of the message and the required action.
The last message has the advantage if action is required immediately after the message has been delivered.
Suppose you are the campaign manager for a political candidate.
The candidates are going to debate the issues.
If the election is a few weeks away, your candidate should speak first.
Your candidate should speak last if the election is tomorrow.
Persuasive messages are presented in a variety of ways to make consumers believe in the channels.
If you buy their products, you will use two or more channels at the same time.
Television is popular with advertisers because it combines visual and auditory opportunities.
It is possible to present messages to large audiences on some channels.
Delivery of a message to a group of people at the same time can save a lot of time and effort.
You were the recipient of a persuasive message.
Before reading further, write down your answers to the questions.
The person-to-person approach is more effective than appealing to a larger group.
Both cases have the same message.
Questions and answers can be given when we are in a one-on-one situation.
The person presenting the mes sage can get a commitment from the receiver on the spot.
We will talk about this phenomenon later in the chapter.
The nature of the source, message, for the section on persuasion has been discussed so far.
The nature of the audience can affect different colors for different factors.
The knowledge and past experiences of the receiver of a persuasive message are organized.
Children try to get their parents to buy them toys and food that they see advertised on TV.
The attitudes of the audience are what the most persuasive messages differ from.
Audiences can defend themselves against persuasion.
The most frequently used procedure is giving people a mild case of a disease to inoculate them against it.
The audience is exposed to a mild form of the persuasive message before the main or real message is presented.
It has been shown that exposing teenagers to a mild form of peer pres sure to smoke, in anticipation of the pressure they will encounter later, reduces the likelihood that they will smoke.
Inoculation effects work best when the audience is made aware of the message being presented.
The central and peripheral routes are what we attend to.
The answer to this question involves the nature of the message and the motivation to attend.
You are more likely to attend if the message is relevant to you.
In Chapter 1 we met Kara, who was learning about the famous experiments.
The people of New Haven, Connecticut, were participants in the experiments.
A scientist in a white lab coat and a middle-aged man who was actually a confederate of the experimenter greeted each participant at the laboratory.
The scientist told the participant and the confederate that they would be taking part in a study of teaching and learning and that one of them would be the teacher.
The real participant was the teacher, not the confederate.
The teacher asked the learner to identify the second word from a list of four words after reading the first word of a pair.
An electric shock was given to the teacher when the learner gave an incorrect answer.
Each teacher experienced a mild shock before the session began to appreciate what the learner would feel.
The questioning began.
The experimenter demanded that the intensity of the shock be increased as the session progressed and the learner began to make mistakes.
The learner indicated that he had a heart condition after the initial shocks were administered.
The teachers became tense and faced a real conflict.
ethical issues about the conduct of this behavior experiment were raised by the stress they faced.
The teachers were unaware that no elec tric shocks were actually given to the learners in the experiment.
The teachers obeyed the instructions of the experimenter until the shock level was reached.
"Because they were told to" seems to be the best answer to this question.
Before you say, "I wouldn't do that", bear in mind that the research involved more than 800 participants.
Equal numbers of men and women continued to administer shocks.
The same effect has been replicated with similar results recently showing that people are just as likely to obey authority as they were in the 1960s.
Consider an even more frightening situation.
In 1978, hundreds of people in Jonestown, Guyana, poisoned their own children and then killed themselves.
Jim Jones, a charismatic leader, gave commands that were obeyed.
The need to use social-psychological research findings wisely is underscored by tragic events like this one.
A tragic example of disobedience occurred at a Mcdonald's.
A store manager was called by an individual who said he was a police officer looking into a theft.
The manager was told to question one of her female employees.
After the employee was brought back to the manager's office, a person pretending to be a law enforcement officer told the manager to make the employee strip and put her clothes in a plastic bag.
The teachers in the experiment thought they were giving electric shocks to the learners.
The humiliation of the female employee was caused by both the manager and employee obeying perceived authority.
The Jonestown tragedy and McDon ald's episode lead us to conclude that people can be too obedient.
Several factors, including proximity to the victim, proximity to the authority figure, and assumption of responsibility, influence how obedient we are.
The closer the victim is to the par Ticipant, the lower the percentage of participants who obey a command to harm the victim.
When the learner was in the same room with the teacher, fewer shocks were administered.
If the experimenter was in the same room as the teacher, they would be more obedient, but if the experimenter telephoned the commands from another room, they would be less obedient.
The experimenter of the lines used in asch's assumes responsibility for any harm that befalls the victim.
The likelihood of obeying drops dramatically when responsibility is shifted to the participant.
If one of the experimenter's simple assistants defies the experimenter, the teachers' will be less obedient.
Imagine being a part of an experiment.
A group of people are sitting around a table.
You have been told that the experiment is about seeing.
You can see that you will be the last to answer.
Something amazing happens.
No one picks the line that matches the standard when the students give the wrong answer.
It's your turn now.
The authority behind pressures for conformity is not as obvious as it is in commands for obeying.
Think about the study that was described.
Many of us say that we would choose the correct line.
Solomon Asch found that 30% of the time, participants chose the wrong line.
The next-to-last person to answer in each group was the real paricipants.
The other students in the group were not related to the experimenters.
Asch found that as few as three people giving the wrong answer was enough to produce conformity.
There was a decrease in the rate of conformity if one of the confederates gave the correct answer.
The effects of group influence can be wiped out by only one other person.
Asch's studies gave rise to other research on the effects of groups on judgement.
James Stoner showed that the decisions made by a group may be riskier than the decisions made by individual members of the group.
People make riskier decisions than groups.
The general conclusion was questioned.
Most people would advise you not to sell your life insurance policy to play the stock market.
The group decision will be more against selling the life insurance policy than the individual opinions.
Some researchers, such as Serge Moscovici and Marisa Zavalloni, proposed that a group's influence is strengthened or intenced in response to a request to change attitudes, not just to produce riskier decisions.
If there is nothing to lose, the initial attitude is more likely to be favorable than if there is time and effort put into it.
A group discussion would lead to greater risk-taking.
Conformity on the part of an extremely large request, which its members, increases as a group's cohesiveness or shared values increase.
As a result of this, if you are a member of a sorority, you are more likely to share and binge eat if you are close to each other.
The presence of just one person who resists the pressure to conform can reduce conformity.
When the confederate are more likely to accept jaywalking, the percentage of jaywalkers rose to 44%.
The likelihood that a person will conform is influenced by culture.
When Asch's line-judging experiment was replicated, similar rates were found in cul that involve doing something similar to what industrialized Europe does.
The rate of conformity rose in cultures that valued it more highly.
In the absence of direct requests to change behavior, we yield to group pressures.
In order to change behavior, a request is made in the form of an order.
Compliance may seem simple, but requests are made and behaviors result.
Social psychologists have studied and salespeople have exploited to increase compliance.
If a salesperson succeeds in getting a customer to comply with a small request, the chances of them complying with a larger request are greatly increased.
If you can be talked into taking a test ride in a new car, the chances of you buying it increase.
In securing compliance, the converse procedure is effective.
Most people will want to slam their door when they see this request.
The proposal of a smaller, more reasonable request, such as $10, that the person is more likely to agree to, can be made because of the refusal of the large request.
Compliance may be influenced by what another person has done for you.
Take a look at the following situation.
A computer salesperson is going to come to your apartment to talk about a new computer system.
She will give you details about sev eral systems based on your needs.
The person seeking compliance does something to make you feel obligated when he or she makes a request.
A person is giving out free samples of chips and cheese dip while you grocery shop.
It is late in the afternoon and a bite to eat would taste good.
The salesperson expects you to make a purchase if you accept the free samples.
We have seen how social influences affect people.
The effects of group membership are examined in the next section.
Most people enjoy being with others and have a strong need for affiliation.
People often join and interact in groups like the one described.
Being a member of a social group means that there are membership criteria, responsi bilities, privileges, and statuses.
You are aware of who is in and who is out of your group.
Group influences on individual behavior are examined in this section.
The effect of other people on the behavior of individuals is the first thing we look at.
Robert Zajonc proposed that the presence of other people increases arousal.
If you have performed a task many times in the past, the correct response is to perform even better when other people are present, because the increased arousal causes you to perform even better.
The tendency to exert less effort the task has not been practiced or learned well and the correct response is not when working on a group task that dominates, the presence of others tends to reduce the level of performance.
The effect does not involve evaluation and can be seen in the performance of children in a piano recital: Those who have practiced of individual participants carefully perform as if inspired, whereas those who have devoted as little time as possible to practicing are plagued by wrong notes and memory lapse.
It depends on how good a pool player you are.
When others are present, your performance should improve because you are an above-average player.
When others are present, your performance should decline if you are a below average player.
Social facilitation doesn't always happen.
Professional athletes fail in front of their fans if the pressure is too great.
Major league baseball players have lower batting averages in critical situations.
The presence of others doesn't guarantee that performance will improve.
Social facilitation can be predicted when individual efforts are evaluated.
Social loafing occurs when a group works toward a common goal and individual efforts are not monitored or evaluated.
When a group of men pull a rope, they exert less effort than when they pull alone.
People clap and cheer louder when they think they are alone.
In relay swimming performance, social loafing has been shown.
Research shows that men are more likely to engage in social loafing than women, and that people in Western cultures are more likely to engage in social loafing than people in Asian cultures.
Making the task more challenging, appealing, or competitive can help reduce social loafing.
The coach of a good athletic team uses pep talks to counteract social loafing.
Motivational speeches challenge team members to become more involved in the competition.
Social loafing is less likely to occur in smaller and more cohesive groups and in individuals who are high in achievement motivation.
We have seen that the presence of other people can cause an individual to perform better at a task.
We need to clarify the other people who are present.
We assumed that the others were an audience.
The other people are doing the same thing.
The feeling of being lost in a crowd is called deindividu ation.
Students at large universities who are plain about being a number are experiencing a negative reaction.
Uncontrollable behavior is often caused by deindividuation.
The most frequent outcome of this behavior is destructive or unauthorized.
The destructive behavior of crowds after a sports victory is an example of such behavior.
Police and security guards must be hired.
The sheets and masks of the Ku dren have a powerful influence on the behavior of both adults and children.
The behavior of the Ku Klux Klan hide personal identities, military training, and wearing white sheets are some of the more extreme examples of deindividuation.
An alternate interpretation of the effects of deindividuation has been proposed by Fathali Moghaddam.
Moghaddam suggests that they have not abandoned all group norms and social controls, they simply have adopted new antisocial norms and values.
Group members need to cooperate in many instances.
Families couldn't function, juries couldn't reach verdicts, and teams couldn't win games.
The presence of groups may result in riskier decisions.
Several of the dynamics and processes of group interaction are explored in the rest of this section.
Certain predictable behav iors occur when a group of unacquainted individuals are formed.
If the group is to function effectively, it will need a leader.
Two types of lead ers emerge in a group according to Robert F. Bales.
The business of the group is of primary importance to the leader.
A leader who is socially oriented is more likely to show concern for the feelings of group members.
The indi viduals who become leaders sit at the head of the table.
The importance of task and social leadership has been emphasized in studies of leadership in India, Iran, and Taiwan.
There are eight characteristics of effective work ing groups.
The more of these characteristics that a small and motivated group possesses, the more effective the group will be to meet the goals of the often result in better results and less group.
The group's structure can help it meet its goal.
Different structures might be used in the group.
For groups to work well, a mix of talents and abilities must be created.
All members of a group have the necessary skills to meet the goal of the group.
Group unity is less effective when groups see themselves as a collection of individuals rather than a team.
The standards should be easy to understand.
The results that meet and exceed the standards should be awarded.
This could include psychological or financial support.
Leadership is the main driver of group effectiveness.
When maintaining harmony among group members is more important than analyzing the problem at hand, the group's effectiveness decreases.
Groupthink occurs in groups that are insulated from other opinions, feel vulnerable, and are placed under time constraints to make a decision about a threat to the group.
Groups tend to make premature decisions in these circumstances.
If there is little hope of finding a better solution, the leader's first suggestion is usu ally.
The decision to cross the 38th parallel during the Korean War, to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, and to escalate the Vietnam War in the mid-1960s were poor decisions that were prompted by groupthink.
Groupthink is reflected in the activities of the Ku Klux Klan and lynch mobs.
The intelligence failure about weapons of mass destruction may have been a result of groupthink, as it has been suggested that George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq and events lead up to this decision.