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Computer-Tailored Messages

Imagine that a person wants to convince someone to stop smoking or start exercising, select one political candidate or position over another, or purchase a certain product from a particular business. Previous theory and research suggest one good way to increase one's chance of successfully persuading another would be to increase the personal relevance of one's message. For example, if one wants to convince someone to start exercising, one might begin by asking him or her what he or she sees as the biggest benefits (such as weight loss, better health, improved appearance or strength, or decreased stress) and barriers (such as cost, time, being self-conscious about one's appearance, a belief that exercise is boring, or having tried in the past and failed) to exercising. ...

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