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PSY 301 Week 3 Persuasion Who, What, to Whom
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Persuasion: Who, What, To Whom

In your textbook, Feenstra (2013) states, “In evaluating persuason we need to take into account where the message comes from, what the message contains, and the intended audience.” (p. 167).

For your assignment this week, construct a paper that provides an in-depth analysis of the three parts of persuasion. Address the following points in your paper:  

1.   Who – Describe the Characteristics of the Persuader: What influences our ability to become persuaded by someone? What specific characteristics must this person possess? Be sure to address the impact of credibility, physical attractiveness, and likeability in your response. Why do we respond well to those who possess such characteristics? Would we respond the same to an unattractive, angry, or non-credible person? Why not?

2.   What – Discuss the Characteristics of the Message: What attributes are inherent in persuasive messages? How are we influenced by the emotion, framing, narratives, and rational appeals in the messaging we receive? What is the significance of the sleeper effect? 

3.   To Whom – Examine the Characteristics of the Audience: Why do different audiences perceive messages in different ways? What is the role of culture, gender, and self-esteem in this process? How does the elaboration likelihood model help to explain the relationship between the persuader, the message, and the audience?

4.   Review the excerpt from p. 156 of your textbook, Social Psychology in Depth: Word of Mouth and Persuasion. How does the e-word of mouth phenomena illustrate the concepts above? Please be specific in your response.

Include an introduction, thesis statement, and conclusion. Your completed assignment must be three to four pages in length (excluding title and reference pages), and must follow APA guidelines include a minimum of three APA references.


Table 7.1 Persuasion techniques: Definitions and examples





An initial small request is made andaccepted. A large request, the targetrequest, is then made.

You are asked to sign a petition to support blooddonation. After you sign, you are asked to donate blood.


An initial request, the target request,is made, but only later are the fullcosts are revealed.

You are asked to volunteer 20 minutes of your time. Onlylater is it revealed that the time will involve blooddonation, with accompanying needles and slight pain.


Small favors are described asacceptable, although not desired.

A small donation to support blood drives, just 25 cents,is acceptable, although a larger donation would beappreciated.


A request is made after a gift hasbeen given.

After receiving a cookie you are asked if you would bewilling to donate blood.


A large request is made andrefused. Then the target request ismade.

You are asked if you could volunteer 2 hours a week forthe next year. When you refuse, you are asked if youcould spend just a half hour now donating blood.


A large request is made, but beforethe individual can refuse additionalincentives are added.

You are asked to donate blood, but before you say noyou are told you will get a cookie and a sticker and yourname will be published in the paper.


Products or opportunities arepresented as being limited innumber or as only available for alimited time.

The blood bank tells you the special post-donationcookies are only available today for the first 20 peoplewho give blood.


Attention is disrupted by an oddlyframed request.

You are asked if you want to save the lives of threechildren today.


An unusual request is made andthen framed in a positive way.

When asked to give blood you are told it will only take3,600 seconds, a very short time to give.

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