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Taylor Scantlebury

Literary Review
February 24, 2015

Persuasion is a combination of power, influence, and motivation (Brambilla, & Leach,


2014). Power increases ones ability to persuade and influence. This power can be seen with
people who possess knowledge, authority, or use the coercion during the persuasion process
(Henning, 1998). Influence is who a person is, and how they impact a message; this includes
traits like being trustworthy and credible. Motivation is the ability to incite others to act in
accordance with the suggestions and ideas presented. Motivation is the call to action or what
the speaker wants the audience to do. Persuasion is the process of changing or reforming
attitudes, beliefs, opinions or behavior towards a predetermined out come through voluntary
compliance. Persuasion is not the same as negotiation. Negotiation suggests some degree of
meeting in the middle. Rather than compromising, effective persuasion will actually convince the
opposing party to abandon their previous position and embrace yours.
In the 2005 article Isabelle Poggi explains how every act of persuasion is simply an effort
to influence people to pursue a goal. The goal of persuasion takes a look at the Aristotelian
persuasive strategies of logos, pathos, ethos and how persuaders uses these strategies to appeal to
the audience and convince them to pursue a goal. This article suggests an analysis of dialogue,
by looking at goals as tools to determine what strategies are being used within the dialogue
structure. When examining advertising, this kind of analysis clarifies the relationships between
the persuaders and the audiences goals and to explain how much and how directly the persuader
utilizes logos, ethos and pathos in his/her discourse. In the book Style, Rhetoric and Rhythm
(1967) Standish Henning wrote a general summary of Aristotle's appeals. This book discussed in
great detail what the three persuasive appeals of Aristotle were. Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Ethos
refers to the personal character of the Speaker. Aristotle's believed that audiences could be
persuaded if they perceived a speaker as credible. It's the audience's perception of the credibility

of the speaker. Ethos includes such things as body type, height, movement, clothes, reputation,
vocal quality, word choice, eye contact, sincerity, expertise, and charisma. Pathos refers to the
psychological state of the audience. The psychological or emotional state of the listener can
affect persuasion because "our judgment when we are pleased and friendly is not the same as
when we are pained or hostile. Logos is the substance of a message, or the logic presented to
provide proof to the listener. He claimed that the most effective persuasive attempts contain all
three concepts, making a steadfast base for victory. This manner of reasoning is what enables the
audience to find the message persuasive and convincing. In 2010, Cynthia King also wrote an
article explaining the work of Aristotle. King claimed that Aristotle believed that ethos was the
most powerful of the three persuasive mean. A scientific study has proven the power of
individual ethos. A study by Hovland and Weiss gave students messages that were identical in all
respects, except for their source. Sources perceived as highly credible yielded large opinion
changes in the students; while sources perceived as low credible produced small opinion
changes. All three of these articles explain the basics of persuasion. Each one has a slightly
different position to persuasion, which supports why further study and research can still be done.
Persuasion does take a set of skills and for it to be effective almost always needs to follow
certain guidelines. However, because there are exceptional cases and situations, persuasion is an
art, not a science.
In the 2014 article, Kwang Yeun Chun, Ji Hee Song, Hollenbeck, Candice, and Jong-Ho
Lee researched if contextual advertisements are effective. This article is important and useful
because the sample for my research question and the sample from this research are the same
demographic. This article suggests that because of the growing online market, advertisements
must become more contextualized to appeal to the audience. This article gives examples of how

the Theory of Priming effects the audience. The Theory of Priming states that media images
stimulate related thoughts in the minds of audience members. For example, if a person were to
see a cartoon character play a trick that inflicts pain or injury on another character, without
permanent consequences, it could make that person more likely to repeat the violent action in
real life. The results of the study showed that the audience prefers less complex contextual
advertisements online. Related to my research question, this means that college aged individuals
respond more favorably to advertisements that are straight forward and explain what exactly the
product is and to advertisements that dont have so much going on that it distracts them from the
product. In 1998, Eleonora Curlo and Robert Chamblee examined the process of advertising and
persuasion and how identifying brands played a role in credibility. This article studies
advertisement-based persuasion; it suggests that viewer identification of the brand being
advertised positively affects attitude toward the advertisement, which in turn enhances positive
brand attitudes. Curlo and Chamblee also state that identification of the advertiser is key in
advertisement processing. Advertisements that enabled identification of the brand appeared
credible, which contributed to enhancing their persuasive impact of Ethos. These two articles
explain what components in advertisements make viewers have a more favorable attitude
towards them. This is important to my research because it allows me to see what researchers
have deemed essential to have in an advertisement. Both of these article show the importance of
having credibility in the advertisement.
These articles draw attention to significant parts of the process of persuasion and certain
criteria necessary for advertisements to appeal to the viewers. Most of these articles claim that
the only part of the message that is important is its influence, the position it supports, and the

clarity of the claim. These articles do not explain how to be a successful persuader, but how
people are persuaded.

References
Brambilla, M., & Leach, C. W. (2014). On The Importance of Being Moral: The Distinctive Role
of Morality in Social Judgment. Social Cognition, 32(4), 397-408.
Curlo, E., & Chamblee, R. (1998). Ad processing and persuasion: The role of brand
identification. Psychology & Marketing, 15(3), 279-299.
Henning, S. (1967). Style, rhetoric and rhythm: A general summary of Aristotle's appeals.
Modern Language Journal, 51(2), 112.
King, C. L. (2010). Beyond Persuasion. Journal of Business Communication, 47(1), 69-78.
Kwang Yeun, C., Ji Hee, S., Hollenbeck, C. R., & Jong-Ho, L. (2014). Are contextual
advertisements effective?. International Journal of Advertising, 33(2), 351-371.
doi:10.2501/IJA-33-2-351-371
Poggi, I. (2005). The goals of persuasion. Pragmatics & Cognition, 13(2), 297-336.