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Processes of Persuasion

There are two routes to persuasion: the central route and the peripheral route (How, 2005; Theory, 2005; Two, 2005)). The central route focuses on arguments that target people who are able and motivated to think about the issues and respond favorably. The peripheral route gives stimulants that cause acceptance without the target audience being aware of them, e.g. attractiveness of the speaker. There are three main factors in persuasion, the first being the credibility of who delivers the message, e.g. the president talking about the State of the Union as opposed to an unknown person delivering the speech. The second factor is the credibility of the message, e.g. Alan Greenspan giving a speech about the economy is credible, but the same speech delivered by a rock star would not be as credible. The third is the attractiveness of the person delivering the message, and their likeability. Audiences are persuaded more by someone they like than someone they do not.

Persuasion is a mixture of central and peripheral processes, and attitude changes due to peripheral cues (Theory, 2005). Attitudes formed by the central route are easily recalled, and are persistent over time (Theory, 2005; Two, 2005). They are resistant to counterpersuasion and predict subsequent behavior. Sources of peripheral cues include the communicator, the message, how the message is communicated, and the audience. The speech style of the communicator influences the audience, with a straightforward style being more effective, and the message must interest the audience through their cultural values.

How can we make our message persuasive? (2005). Retrieved Apr. 22, 2005 from:

Theory of social influences. (2005). Retrieved Apr. 22, 2005 from:

Two routes of persuasion. (2005). Retrieved Apr. 22, 2005 from:


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