Evaluating Persuasion

Evaluating Persuasion
Terrence A. Smith
PSY301: Social Psychology
Tricia Raimondi

There is a field trip coming up at your son’s school and the teacher asks if you could be a bus monitor for the trip. You agree and then a few minutes later the teacher come to you and tell you to assist with chaperoning a small group of kids and then she returns and tell you that your group will consist of thirty kids. In this scenario the teacher used the classic foot- in- door technique to persuade you to assist in watching a group of kids on the field trip. The power of persuasion is a three part process that involves who, what and to whom.
Every day on television we are bombarded with commercials that have some expert trying to convince us that there product is the best product and that we should go out and get it immediately. How do we know for sure without testing the product that it is right for us? What is it about the spokesperson that makes you feel ok or not so ok with buying this product? It is the characteristics of the persuader that tells us that it is cool to buy or not so cool to buy. In order to fully persuade someone you do something they ordinarily would not do, the persuader must first establish credibility. Usually in a drug commercial the person who makes claims of the safety of the drug is wearing a lab coat to represent themselves as doctors or pharmacist who has tested the drug. That person is trying to ensure that the credibility factor has been met.
“Credibility has two aspects: expertise and trustworthiness” (Feenstra, 2013).   A medical doctor has more expertise in treating a certain disease than a lawyer does. Therefore we are more likely to feel that a person dressed as a doctor would be more of an expert with medicine than a lawyer. The expert’s message is more persuasive especially “when the message includes coherent and high quality arguments from within that expert’s field of knowledge” (Feenstra, 2013). There is a delicate...