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Compare And Contrast Two Methods For Achieving Attitude Change Through Persuasion. In Your Answer, Discuss Factors That Might Inhibit Persuasion.

1611 words - 7 pages

Attitudes refer to one’s evaluations of the social world: others, objects and ideas. These overall evaluations can be positive, negative, or neutral, vary in their extremity and be based on a variety of information (Tesser and Martin, 1996; Petty, Wheeler, and Tormala, 2003 ). A popular conceptualization of the attitude construct, the tripartite theory, holds that there are three primary types of information in which attitudes can be based (Breckler, 1984; Rosenberg & Hovland, 1960; Zanna & Rempel, 1988) : cognitions or beliefs, affect or feelings and actions or behaviour. As defined by Richard Perloff, persuasion is the process which moulds and shapes attitudes. It is through persuasion that changes in attitudes can occur. The two methods for achieving attitude change through persuasion that will be the main focus of this essay are: the Ingratiation and Door-in-the face techniques. Discussed will be the factors that might inhibit their ability through cognition, feeling and actions. Additionally addressed with be the classes of independent variables examined by the Yale group that aid in persuasion such as message source, message and processing of the message (page124AAC).

The fundamental component of the ingratiation technique is the level of likeability the target regards towards persuader. Through flattery or kindness, one can ingratiate themselves to their persuasive target before making the persuasive attempt, making the target more likely to change their attitude (Smith, Pruitt and Carnevale, 1982page283textbookpage120/130AAC). Through this process it is possible to activate particular heuristics such as 'I agree with people I like'(page120chaiken et al.,ithinkAAC). While the Door-in-the-face technique involves the persuader first making a large, unrealistic request. Then by making a smaller, more realistic the target may feel obliged or more inclined to accept the second through guilt or obligation (Cialdini, 1984). An almost blatant limitation, in the application of the Door-in-the-face-technique, is if the unrealistic request is refused. Not only does this scenario diminish the possibility of compliance for the realistic request, an additional attempt cannot be made to that particular target again as a further attempt after a rejection may be seen as a threat to the targets personal freedom as well as their independent self image; which can be defined as the effect of reactance and the boomerang effect(Brehmn and Brehm, 1981Page286). While a limitation of the ingratiation technique is that flattery and the degree of flattery will more than likely have varying affects depending on the individual .

McGuire and Papageogis proposed forewarning targets of the persuasive intent of a message might produce inhibition of persuasion through counter arguments (1962p127AAC). Hass and Gracly, found that this is only particularly effective if there is a time delay between warning and message which allows for cognitive processes to...

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