Evaluating Ethos Through Technology Essay

774 words - 4 pages

Evaluating Ethos through Technology
Logical and emotional appeals are two elements that Aristotle believed to be important in persuading an audience. Ethos also known as credibility is another important element in the attempt to persuade an audience. If the speaker is able to communicate the culture, language, and information to his or her audience, the audience will be more likely to perceive the speaker’s character, goodwill, and intelligence. But, these attributes can only be evaluated if the speaker personally delivers the messages and provides the proper researched information (Rottenberg &Winchell, 2012, p. 4) In fact, in the 1950’s, individuals would use dictionaries, encyclopedias, and books to research information. The information gathered was then used for the purpose of successfully arguing matters. The writer or speaker would adjust his or her ideas, facts, and terminology to its audience. But in this day and age, information can be accessed by clicking on an electronic device. Writers now present much of their work online, and by doing this, cannot gain the trust needed to persuade the audience to accept a claim. Therefore, the audience is unable to perceive the writer’s intention, trustworthiness, and expertness because technology has replaced the physical presence of the speaker. Moreover, technology has taken the place of the human factor and without it, facts, opinions, and language cannot be adjusted to the target audience.
Aristotle names intelligence, character, and goodwill as the attributes that produce credibility (Rottenberg & Winchell, 2012, p.4). These factors are what create ethos. However, these attributes can become very difficult to evaluate when the physical presence of a person has been replaced with audio and virtual videos posted online. Believability and trustworthiness is much easier to earn when the author conveys a message in front of his or her audience. This is due to the fact that the people in the audience would have to trust the words of the speaker instead of his or her actions. In fact, a speaker can positively impact the way a person perceives a controversial issue with nonverbal communication such as hand gestures. For instance, pointing and making fists can denote negative feelings toward the communicator. However, if the speaker shows the palm of his or her hands it can denote trust and put the audience at ease (Thompson, 2012). But without hand...

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