Trying to talk someone into doing something or thinking something is an everyday activity. The ability to persuade others is essential in social interactions, and the power of effective persuasion in personal and public lives is widely recognized. As an activity, persuasion can be defined as engaging in intentional verbal communication to get someone who is not already so inclined to willingly think or do something. This commonplace definition captures what is of primary interest to psychologists who study how and when persuasion skills develop. Developmental scholars have explored the underlying cognitive and social competencies that enable individuals to utilize earnest verbal communication rather than, say, physical force or deception, to influence others’ attitudes, beliefs, desires, emotions, intentions, or actions. They have also studied how ...

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