Persuasion in Everyday Life

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Upon sitting down to pre-write this paper, I had a bit of a problem figuring out where exactly to start. As this course first pointed out, persuasion is all around us—it is used by advertisers, by the news, by politicians, by friends and family, by school officials, even by my neighbor's cat (the latter of which is especially good). I looked at the paper prompt and after glancing through it, noticed the line "A good place to start is to consider if you're a person who is easily persuaded by others?" Putting off pondering whether the line actually constituted a question, I looked to the message and after reviewing my extensive class notes I decided that I was not one to be easily persuaded by others. In fact, I am well known among my friends for my stubbornness and recalcitrant argumentative style. Looking into the cause of this, I found the answer in my perception of life—in my attitude.

Attitudes are learned, or in the very least, they are influenced greatly by the environment one develops in and those that one develops with. Thus it is fitting to look to my parents to explore my own attitude and persuasibility. Both of my parents are extreme liberals and have a healthy distrust of government and authority figures, and that was undoubtedly passed on to me. They cautioned me to trust facts, urging me to think for myself and to take people's words with a grain of salt. This has resulted in an interesting situation—I look whole heartedly for the facts and numbers in a person's argument, but those most likely to use numbers in an argument are authority figures who I distrust. Thus, I am a "show me" kind of person; I like to know where a person obtains their information and how credible that source is.

For sure, credibility itself is a relative term, and my definition of it has a lot to do with how I was raised. My parents did not put an emphasis on money or material objects when I was growing up and instead stressed the value of hard...
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