Elements or Components of Persuasion

There are following elements or components of Persuasion

  1. The Source
  • Source or the persuader who is the originator of the message. The source must have the following characteristics:
    • Credibility
    • Expertness
    • Trustworthiness (social capital)
    • Rationality
    • Knowledge set
    • Power position
    • Attractiveness
    • Charismatic personality.
  • A source is more persuasive if he or she is seen as credible (believable) and attractive.
  • There are two ways for a source to be credible
    • Claiming to be an expert: Sensodyne by doctor
    • Appearing to be trustworthy: Yoga by Ramdev
  • There are also two ways for a source to be attractive
    • Physical appeal: Shruti Hasan Vs Radhika Apte.
    • Similarity to the audience.

2. The Message 

  • Persuasive messages can involve emotional appeals or rational arguments.
  • When time is limited, short emotional appeals may be more effective than rational arguments.
  • When the audience is highly involved and already sympathetic, a one-sided message is more persuasive.
  • When the audience is undecided or uninvolved, a two-sided message seems fairer and more persuasive.
  • Intelligent audiences are persuaded better by two-sided messages, probably because they more easily recognize that there are two sides to the issue.

3. The Context

  • When we listen to or read a persuasive message, we are usually free to limit our attention or silently counter-argue its arguments.
  • When subjects are distracted, they are more likely to accept a persuasive message.

4. The Audience

  • Intelligent recipients are more persuaded by complex messages, while unintelligent recipients are more persuaded by simple emotional messages.
  • Characteristics like age or lifestyle as relevant to persuasiveness. For example, young people may be more likely to accept a message that promised popularity, while older people would find security or health a more appealing promise  
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