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Persuasion: Definition, Process, Mechanism and Barriers

Define Persuasion

Persuasion is the process of influencing the attitude and behavior of the target group in an intended direction.

According to Aristotle, the process of persuasion requires the use of three modes:

  1. Logos (facts, evidence, and reasons)
  2. Ethos (trust and reliability)
  3. Pathos (feelings and emotions)

Process of Persuasion

The Process of Persuasion involves 4 elements:

  1. Persuader – Persuader is the originator of persuasion. He carries out persuasion because he has some need.
  2. Persuadee – is a target group that needs to be persuaded.
  3. Persuasive appeal – is the message that is delivered by the persuader to the target group.
  4. Channel – It is a medium through which the information or the message travels to reach the persuade

Mechanism of Persuasion

The mechanism of persuasion involves following four steps:

  1. Attention: Attention is the deployment of concentrations on the object of interest. Any object or item of utility novelty is generally the one that catches the attention of the target group.
  2. Comprehension: Target groups’ understanding of the message delivered to them. To facilitate comprehension the persuader must:
    • keep the message short and simple
    • To promote understanding that provides relevant illustrations to support the message.
    • Must present the message using receiver-friendly symbols.
  3. Acceptance: Acceptance takes place when the target Group yielding to the message. Acceptance is said to be complete when the target group not only understands the message as intended by the persuader but also acts upon it as desired by the persuader.
  4. Retention: is the target group remembering the message only when the message is remembered. It is likely to be acted upon by the target group

A successful Persuasion is said to have occurred when there are minimum discrepancies between the intended and the perceived meaning. And for this, the field of experience of the persuader and the persuadee must overlap.

The field of experience consists of variables like Morality, Ethics, Values, Attitude, religion, caste, customs traditions, language, etc.

For Persuasion to be effective, the persuader should be able to surmount the semantic, psychological, and physical barrier that operates between the persuader and the persuadee.

Semantic barriers

Semantics is the science of meaning and semantic barriers arise because words and the symbols used in Persuasion can have more than one meaning. It may also arise because of the discrepancies between the verbal and non-verbal aspects of the message. These barriers may also result because of the presence of foreign and Technical words in the language/symbols used in persuasion.

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