This course examines the capability of communication media to persuade and the basic processes involved both cognitive and social psychological theories of influence, attitude change and persuasion are examined in detail and in connection with a variety of persuasive phenomena including advertising media campaigns and propaganda. Conditions that facilitate or impede the persuasive effects of communication are investigated as are the ethical implications of employing communication media to influence audiences.
This course also tackles how to create a persuasive message, whether it is a press release, speech, advertisement, or letter. The primary goal of this course is to examine major theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence about what makes messages persuasive. Topics covered include source characteristics such as expertise, trustworthiness, and likeability; the use of emotions such as fear and humour; and the sequencing of messages for maximum impact. The course explores how psychological theories about consistency, conformity, and reciprocity help one understand what is persuasive and why.
1. Students be able to understand a range of theoretical and empirical issues in the study of practice of communication for persuasion
2. Critically evaluate and apply communication for purposes of persuasion and social influence