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Persuasion

Definition

Persuasion is a method of changing a person's cognitions, feelings, behaviors, or general evaluations (attitudes) toward some object, issue, or person. Although any change technique is sometimes referred to as persuasion regardless of the target of influence, the term more commonly refers to a method of change in which a person is deliberately presented with a message containing information intended to alter some general evaluative judgment (e.g., capital punishment is bad). Self-persuasion can occur when people generate their own messages in favor of or against something. Persuasive communication is readily used by advertisers, salespeople, politicians, ministers, attorneys, and people in everyday situations to produce change in others. In democratic societies, persuasion has replaced coercion as the primary means of influence.

History and Background

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