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Chapter 2 Reading Notes January 31, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Reading Notes — sarahgricius @ 6:07 PM

After reading the first paragraph in chapter two which explained the history of persuasion; I realized that this class is much like my Introduction to Human Communication class. Aristotle was the first to set down the ideas of ethos, logos, and pathos. In short, ethos is your personal credibility and character, pathos is an appeal to emotion and sympathy from the audience, and logos depends on the logic of the argument.

  • The four basic elements of communication consist of the sender, message, channel, receiver. In public relations, “it is extremely important to always think of publics in the plural sense instead of as a collective entity called ‘the general public.’” (page 36)
  • “People will not believe a message, or act on it, if it is contrary to their predispositions. This is the crux of Leon Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance.” (page 38) Dissonance can be created in at least three ways. First the writer needs to make the public aware that circumstances have changed. Second, the writer needs to provide information about new developments. And finally, the writer should use a quote from a respected person that the public trusts.
  • There are a number of factors to persuade your target audience. To name just a few; audience analysis, appeal to self-interest, clarity of message, timing and content, etc. I feel the number one factor in persuasive writing is source credibility. “A message is more believable to an audience if the source has credibility, which is why writers try to attribute information and quotes to people who are perceived as experts.” (page 43) The three elements of expertise is credibility, sincerity, and charisma.

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