SPARKS CHAPTER 8: PERSUASIVE EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA
1. What are the three dimensions of Persuasion?
i. Attitude: First when you are persuaded, there is a change in your attitude. You feel differently about something as a result of being exposed to a message. One sure sign that a person has experienced a genuine change in attitude is when other related beliefs and attitudes surrounding the one that’s been changed also seem to be affected. ii. Behavior: in addition to attitude change, significant persuasion also results in changes of behavior. iii. Persistent Change: Truly significant persuasion results in behavior that persists over time. Together these three things define what we mean by persuasion. 2. Understand the difference between the “Drench Hypothesis” and the “Drip-Drip-Drip Hypothesis” iv. Drench Hypothesis: Where media cultivation (the idea that consumption of entertainment media can change people’s attitudes) tends to emphasize the effects of repeated exposure to the same sorts of images over a long period, the drench hypothesis emphasizes the power of critical images to overwhelm the stereotypical ones that appear regularly. Critical images are the ones that stand out, are deviant, are intense, and thus more important viewing experiences. v. Drip-Drip-Drip Hypothesis: media cultivation or effects that emerge after steady, long term exposure. 3. Understand the weapons of influence (Box 8-11)
There are six principals that are ever-present in daily life. By learning to recognize these principles, you may be able to guard against the bombardment of persuasive attempts from the mass media. i. Reciprocity =
a. If someone does something for you, you usually feel that you need to reciprocate and do something in return. b. Charity group sends you free address labels your automatic response may be that you need to give it something in return. c. The danger is that you end up giving much more than you received. ii. Commitment and Consistency
d. People strive for consistency in their behavior
e. You may feel more inclined to give to maintain consistency with your prior commitment iii. Social Proof
f. When we are not sure how to behave, we look to others around us for guidance. g. Programs will be perceived as funnier if they include laugh tracks. People are persuaded that the content of the show is more humorous if they hear other people laughing. iv. Liking
h. If we like someone, we are more susceptible to being influenced by that person. i. One car salesman attributes his great success to the cards he sends his customers that simply say “I Like You”. Few people want to believe that such an expression of affection could be disingenuous. v. Authority
j. We tend to respond more readily to messages delivered by people whom we regard as authority figures k. Persuasive practitioners present us with messages from people who only appear to be authorities. Appearances can often be deceiving. vi. Scarcity
l. We tend to go after things that appear to be in high demand m. “Only while supplies last”
n. You might soon discover that the true merits of the product weren’t worth the price you paid. 4. What are the characteristics of the source that can contribute to persuasiveness? vi. Credibility of the source = credible sources are more persuasive vii. What makes a source more or less credible? Two chief components of credibility are: i. Expertise = has to do with the extent to which people perceive that the source of the message is a real expert of the topic. ii. Trustworthiness = has to do with the extent to which people perceive that the source of the message to be reliable or truthful iii. If advertisers can find sources who have both of these characteristics they stand a good chance of putting together a...