Aristotle's Avengers


What Have We Learned: Classic

What Have We Learned: Contemporary

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Aristotle said, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." This is exceptionally insightful in regards to our class subject this semester, Persuasion. This wiki explains various aspects of persuasion with a focus of persuasion and media. As the semester goes on, our wiki will evolve mirroring our evolving thoughts on persuasion.

According to Borchers, persuasion is the co-production of meaning that results when an individual or a group of individuals uses language strategies and/or other symbols (such as images, music, or sounds) to make audiences identify with that individual or group (Borchers, 27)

Definition of Persuasion:

Persuasion is any internal or external force that influences an action.

Details of internal and external forces are:
  • Internal forces are anything that an individual experiences which could cause them to have an aversion or attraction to a persuasive element (memories, emotions, etc)
  • External forces are anything outside of oneself causing an aversion or attraction to the persuasive element (advertisements, smells, sounds, etc)

An action can be internal (a decision made); or external (an item purchased).

However, the persuader should be cautious of unintended negative persuasion, which can result in failure to include all receivers, thus dissuading the audience for the intended outcome (the Nike website not offering Spanish as a language for the US, or showing photos of disabled persons using Nike products)

Concepts of Persuasion:

Aristotle's Types of Persuasion

  • Epideictic Persuasion

  • Forensic Persuasion

  • Deliberative Persuasion

Aristotle's Artistic Proof:

Ethos- Proving the persuader's credibility

Pathos- Appealing to audience emotion

Logos- Using logical reasoning

The study of signs and symbols. A sign is something that designates something other than itself
Examples of signs include:
Iconic Sign- A sign which resembles what it
Indexical Sign- A sign which shares
association with what it signifies
Symbolic Sign- A sign which has a purely
arbitrary meaning
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Theories of Persuasion

There are two theories of Persuasion:

  • Audience Oriented
  • Media

Audience Oriented Theories:

Cognitive Dissonance Theory- Individuals seek balance in their lives and when two competing media messages are presented they try to find a solution through:

  1. Changing their ideas
  2. Seek information to support your ideas
  3. Avoid information
  4. Reduce the importance of one of the competing sides
  5. Introduce a third party to reconcile the dissonance

Problematic Integration Theory- We experience problems integrating two competing ideas so we use communication to solve the dilemma through the probability a dilemma will occur and their evaluation of whether it will be positive or negative.

Media Theories

One-Shot Model
Persuasion occurs simply through the transmission of symbols
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Two-Step Flow of Information
Opinion leaders moderate the media's control by persuading the less active public who does not receive media messages

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Uses and Gratifications Theory
We use media to fulfill our needs of curiosity, diversion, personal identity, correlation, and cultural transmission

Cultivation Analysis Theory
Heavy viewers of television believe in the reality that is depicted on television, even if it is a reality different from their own
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 | Aristotle's Avengers | Definition of Persuasion: | Concepts of Persuasion: | Audience Oriented Theories: | Media Theories