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March 29, 2006


kathy hale


Thanks for these thoughts about participatory tools and persuasion. I think I remember (or maybe it's my own observation) about the McCroskey breakdown of source credibility is that the first two--perceived competence and perceived trustworthiness--are overshadowed by perceived goodwill. So if people perceive a significant lack of goodwill in a persuader, the other two are significantly diminished.

Something else your discussion of persuasion reminded me of is Herbert Kelman's social theory that distinguishes between compliance, identification, and internalization. In a marketing context, if a compliance level of persuasion is reached, people will adopt the desired behavior as long as a reward or punishment backs it up and stop the behavior when that reward/punishment is no longer in place. If they reach an identification level, they will adopt the behavior as long as they see themselves or want to see themselves like the people advocating the behavior or using the product, but will stop the behavior when they no longer identify. The internalization stage means they actually believe in the behavior, the product or service, regardless of whether others do or not. This is the longest lasting degree of persuasion.

The Kelman approach is a bit on the behavioral/control side to suit me, but it certainly makes me think about our communication strategies, our participatory tools, what our goals are in communicating, etc. I think for me, Kenneth Burke's work in persuasion makes most sense--It's not about bringing about your way of thinking in someone else, but is about achieving identification between people. He isn't using "identification" in the sense used by Kelman--as a way of bringing about a desired behavior-- but in the sense of connection between people being a form of persuasion in itself.

Again, thanks for your discussion.
Kathy Hale

Elizabeth Albrycht

Thanks for pointing me to these sources Kathy; I remember the Kelman stuff from way back. Your mention of "identification" is interesting, as I am reading some political philosophy that discusses the need for "recognition" to form consensus (basically our opinions are verified by others via recognition), leading to a equal/free society. I'll have to think about this in terms of persuasion and pull Burke's work. Thanks for contributing to the discussion! I hope you'll stick around.


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