Posted at 10.15.2018
'Persuasion is where a deliberate attempt was created to change people's behaviour and can be involved with the cognitive process involved in how that change is bought about' (Petty and Cacioppo 1981:190). In conditions of social internal research, do we know all that there surely is to learn about persuasion? Can we use it to regulate manipulation? As people are likely to be exposed to some type of persuasion in everyday activities, it is not hard to ignore how our views can be influenced by external pushes. Persuasive techniques are apparent throughout world in areas such as: politics, advertising, advertising, faith and education. Emotional research can be utilized effectively by these organizations in order to change the frame of mind of the public. For example, this is evident in the transition from the use of behavioural techniques in advertising, to present day use of attractive communicators in society (Atkinson 1984). Subconscious exploration of persuasion techniques formally began at the beginning of the 20th century where research has comes from two institutions of thought; the traditional procedure and the public psychological critique. The original approach feels that persuasion must be researched medically whereas critiques claim that there is no objective fact (Stainton Rogers 2003). This article will summarize the findings of the approaches and use them to demonstrate how the secrets of persuasion have become increasingly exposed.
This 'science of persuasion' was implemented by Traditional psychologists who think that persuasion should be analyzed using technological methodologies (Billig 1996:81). Their nomothetic procedure aims to uncover trends amongst parameters from which they can create laws of persuasion (Billig 1996). Arguably it was early Greek philosophers such as Protagoras and Aristotle, who first provided an perception into the secrets of persuasion. However, many claim these insights are irrelevant as they did not know what we realize now (Billig 1996). Petty, Ostrom and Brock (1981) declare that 'although the first group of principles governing the artwork of persuasion was saved in the fourth century B. C. , it had not been before present century that frame of mind change was investigated experimentally' (Billig 1996:94). On the other hand, Bryant (1965) remarks that 'though modern psychology is completely different from that of the Greeks, and doubtless more scientific, modern enlightenment has produced no new approach to analysing an audience which can replace Aristotle's' (Billig 1996, :94). If persuasion is usually to be researched from a scientific stand point, we can consider Kuhn's idea of the 'normal knowledge'. He suggests that knowledge is not gathered like building blocks; old blocks are simply changed by new ones. This might claim that any conclusions on persuasion by Greek philosophers have been 'substituted' by knowledge of modern social psychologists. Does this imply that 'old' knowledge regarding secrets of persuasion no more holds any relevance? Many Traditional Psychologists would say yes however, Billig argues often (Billig 1996).
Aronson (1976) remarks that 'although Aristotle first asserted a few of the basic ideas of social influence and persuasion around 350 B. C. , it wasn't before midsection of the 20th century that those ideas were put to experimental studies by Carl Hovland and his affiliates'. (Billig 1996:94). This is argued to be the earliest influential research on uncovering the secrets of persuasion. Hovland (1949) and his co-workers served as key psychologists for the U. S. Conflict Team during World War II and completed a scientific study on persuasion which placed target of soldier morale. He offered a one-sided word which he provided to group A proclaiming that they were going to win the warfare. Then offered a two-sided word which including uncertainties such as physical difficulties, loss of life etc. to group B. They discovered that one sided quarrels were more persuasive only once personal beliefs weren't taken into account (Myers 1983). By failing to use comparable control groups, preceding intelligence could not be measured however, it had a significant effect on his conclusions. Hovland (1949) argued that the addition of factors would lose convenience, however he did recognise the vitality for more complex results. This prompted him and his fellow workers to think about their research after the war, and focus on aspects of communication and functions of persuasion which increased the chance that a concept would be persuasive (Myers 1983). Traditional critiques would dismiss Hovland's research to be too infused with subjectivity due to the historic framework within which his research was carried out (Stainton Rogers 2003). However, the actual fact that the idea of 'intelligence' was an exception to his one-sided guideline of persuasion, agrees with Billig's debate that there will be infinite exceptions to laws and regulations. Quintilian's findings would support this as he said that there have been no such things as rigid guidelines of persuasion. He stated that there surely is no assurance that strategies that did the trick before will work again in new contexts (Billig 1996:92). Although this shows that there aren't one group of persuasive guidelines to be observed, it can still be argued that Hovland's research was pivotal as it place a benchmark, from which more research stemmed, on understanding the secrets of persuasion.
Michael Billig (1996) considers himself to be an 'antiquarian psychologist' meaning that he highlights the significance of a neglected record of rhetoric to modern interpersonal mindset (Billig 1996:2). He argues against modern social psychology and believes that psychologists should refer back to the findings of ancient Greek philosophers in order to understand the concept of persuasion. He cases that the traditional studies of Aristotle and Protagorous specifically, provide valuable knowledge about secrets of persuasion (Billig 1996). For example, Aristotle spoke about the value of ethos, this was later reinforced by Hovland and his team who discovered the significance of the source of the note and the popularity of the audience. Billig's focus on specific historical knowledge has been criticised as being a 'schemata of collection' (Billig 1996:3). However, this may not be negative. The fact that he has sifted through historical results and extracted those he thought to have relevance to today, is probably more beneficial to modern public psychologists. We are able to learn from Billig's support of early findings that we now have alternative means of understanding a persuasive debate. Unlike Atkinson's idea that physical and lexical factors keep importance, Billig feels in looking fundamentally at the quarrels themselves (Billig 1996). In conditions of persuasion, this might uncover the messages that want to be conveyed and have an impact on the way that people might allow an argument to affect us. Billig's rhetorical procedure has been reported to be 'key to the discursive turn in the cultural sciences' as his beliefs in historical knowledge has led to key advancements in modern sociable psychology (Billig 1996:330).
Roman critics of oratory; Cicero and Quintilian, arguably provided an extremely memorable insight ever sold towards persuasion and rhetoric. Their effect in judicial and political speaking arguably performed historical relevance in uncovering the secrets of persuasion. (Billig 1996). However, it could also be disputed that they lacked any modern tools to analyse how particular tricks did the trick (Atkinson 1984). Atkinson completed an ideographic research on political speeches. He centered on form and how top features of rhetoric cause an audience to applaud throughout a political conversation. His ethnomethodological research provided observation on the dependent variable in a genuine context instead of the Traditional medical methods (Stainton Rogers 2003). Critiques claim that these techniques remain context dependent, e. g. appearance of source, intelligence of audience etc. (Myers 1983). While using rapid expansion of the multimedia in today's contemporary society, the public have become increasingly subjected to politics. Atkinson's results have been highly influential in conversation writing and have produced guidelines that politicians and companies may use his secrets to form the material which is exposed to the public (Atkinson 1984). Arguably politicians may exploit his techniques of manipulation and eventually the public have become more cynical as they become more conscious that they are focuses on of persuasion. This may be seen to get positive effects on persuasion, even as are being ever more exposed to the secrets of persuasion, this can be an inevitable need to improve the levels of sophistication in techniques of persuasion. Orators will be required to use more refined techniques as they face more and more cynical followers (Atkinson 1984). Out of this viewpoint, Atkinson's findings have posed threat to techniques of persuasion mostly used in politics and advertising, such as 3-part contingencies (Gettysburg's address 1863) and contrasting pairs (Churchill's talk 1940), but at the same time he has motivated development. Therefore it can be argued that his review has uncovered secrets of persuasion regularly utilized by two institutions which have major persuasive power over world.
With reference to both the traditional and critical methods to social mindset, it must be looked at whether the idea of persuasion is now able to be fully known. It could be argued that making comparisons between the works of ancient greek language philosophers and modern social psychologists shows the progress in uncovering guidelines and suggestions to manipulation. However, prior to Hovland's research, there is a distinctive gap in history where the review of persuasion suffered neglect. This may claim that there are extensive historical secrets which are yet to be determined. In today's mass media dominated society, the study of persuasion keeps an increased relevance. Although research has uncovered many guidelines of persuasion, there is almost a certainty that many remain undiscovered. It is only once these secrets are uncovered, that attitudinal change can totally occur within an increasingly cynical contemporary society.