Contrast Essay Between Central Route and Peripheral Route to Persuasion

Topics: Critical thinking, Persuasion, Credibility Pages: 3 (761 words) Published: May 1, 2012

We are constantly exposed to different sources of persuasion everyday whether it is from the advertisements on television, or the towering billboards we drive past, persuasion is unavoidable. There are two routes to persuasion: the central route and the peripheral route. They both differ from each other and have their own distinct processes that control the way in which people are persuaded.

The central route to persuasion requires people to actively think about the message being presented. People are usually interested in the topic and consider it to be somewhat of high important and relevance. This motivates them to think carefully about the message, its validity, credibility and the content of its argument. Things like the message’s advantages and disadvantages will be reflected upon. Once the message has been analyzed, through deep processing, people will usually create their own personal opinions on the topic. Because this type of persuasion makes people actively reflect on the message, changed attitudes will occur and persuasion will usually have a bigger impact (Petty & others, 1995). This type of persuasion is used in settings like election speeches and political debate. However, persuasion through this route will only be successful if the arguments are strong and compelling.

The peripheral route, on the other hand, does not require people to actively listen to the message. Rather, people are less motivated to pay attention to the message’s content and rely on heuristics to judge whether to believe what is being said. According to Myers (2010), Heuristics are thinking strategies that enable quick efficient judgments. They are a smart mechanism that helps save both time and brainpower due to the constant exposure to persuasion one faces everyday. When shown a certain message that might not have high importance, one saves energy by searching for cues that shows whether the message is believable or not. Things like the message’s...
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