“Good persuasion is the art of letting others have it your way.”—Anonymous
Persuading others, and sometimes being persuaded by them, is one of the most widespread and significant of human activities. In fact, it is so common that we often take it for granted and, therefore, rely on “common sense” and so-called conventional wisdom to guide us as we try to succeed at being persuasive. For example, you might have wondered about whether evidence or image is most important to successful persuasion, or how necessary your own personal credibility is to being an effective persuader, or whether it is possible to persuade closed-minded people, or what effect your appearance has on the success of persuasion. The answers that communication researchers provide to such concerns just might surprise you, and in some cases are radically different from the answers that traditional approaches have provided. In SCM 382, we explore these and many other questions related to the art and science that is persuasion. You will also gain additional insight into the questions that matter the most to you through careful analysis of a persuasive campaign of your own choosing.
This course is especially helpful to those who will rely directly on planned persuasive endeavors in their careers, for example, those in business, marketing, advertising and public relations. However, it can certainly benefit anyone who needs to persuade others, and that’s everyone! Have you ever needed practical help from a friend or acquaintance? Have you ever wondered how best to phrase or structure your requests of others? Do you need to have a better idea of how to “defend” yourself from the unfair or aggressive persuasive attempts of others? If any of these questions apply to you, then you need SCM 382!