SDSU Argument Persuasion and Influence Presentation

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< AA 196 T ● . K ● ● CHAPTER 14 After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: Identify and differentiate deductive, inductive, abductive, and warranting approaches to argument. Identify the key defining features of persuasion. Differentiate between persuasion and propaganda. ● Articulate the definition of attitude. Distinguish principles of the relationship of attitudes to persuasion. Distinguish the relationship between attitude and behavior. R Argument, Persuasion, and Influence Rachael A. Record, Lourdes Martinez, & Brian H. Spitzberg LEARNING OBJECTIVES • Compare and contrast the tenets and key variables of social judgment, elaboration likelihood, cognitive dissonance, and reasoned action models of persuasion. Summarize and analyze interpersonal research findings related to persuasion. Specify relevant small-group research findings related to persuasion. Summarize and analyze social-norms research findings related to persuasion. HE FIELD OF COMMUNICATION WAS ORIGI- + nally founded as the study of the processes surrounding argumentation and persuasion as the primary means through which a democratic society can be sustained. The study of rhetoric, or the available means of persuasion, originated 196 with a focus on the nature of argument in dis- course in all its forms, including the use of logic (logos), the use of emotion (pathos), and the use of credibility (ethos). From a social scientific per- spective, the study of persuasion examines the persuasive processes through the constructs of Ć p. 196 000= 8:48 197 attitude and behavior change. This chapter presents theoret- ical and practical understandings of argumentation and the process of persuasion. In particular, three categorizations of argument formation are reviewed (deductive, inductive, abductive), as well as theoretical understandings of the persuasive process as it appears generally, interpersonally, and socially. Although mass mediated communication is also essential to understanding persuasive processes, the role of media for persuasive processes (referred to as media effects) is examined in the media chapter. Argumentation Some days it can feel like the sole purpose of communi- cation is to argue. Everyone wants something, and almost everything seems to seek to influence. In the contemporary media environment, people are inundated by text, smell, sound, touch, image, and social forms of influence. This is not surprising; control over one's environment is a funda- mental survival advantage and reflects an intrinsic tendency. One of the most elemental discursive approaches we use to influence others is that of argument (see also: Chapters 3 and 4). Arguments are forms of convergence-seeking discourse that refer to "communicative attempts to reach accord with the minds or behavior of another person" or persons (Canary & Seibold, 2010, p. 12). Thus, argument is inherently an attempt to seek agreement-attempts that often share similarities across contexts. There are at least four primary forms in which arguments are structured: deductive, inductive, abductive, and warrantable. K Deduction Ancient philosophers were greatly concerned with seek- ing some form of argument that produced more reliable claims to truth. In speculating on the need for an ethical approach to influence, they formalized a way of thinking that has come to be known as deduction. Deduction is a form of reasoning from general to particulars. Its ideal- ized structure is summarized by the syllogism (Hacking, 2013). Deduction is involved in the form of a highly flexible structural template. For example, consider the following deductive chain of hypotheses: Major premise (MjP): Communication majors are more rhetorically competent than other college majors. < AA R + Chapter 14: Argument, Persuasion, and Influence Minor premise (MnP): Rhetorical competence is pos- itively related to career success. Conclusion (Cncl): Therefore, communication majors will have greater career success than other majors. There are many derivations of such syllogisms that represent causal schemata or informal ways of think- ing (Khemlani, Barbey, & Johnson-Laird, 2014). See the following example: MjP: A causes B (e.g., recessions cause unemployment). MnP: B prevents C (e.g., lowering taxes produces economic recovery). Cncl: Therefore, A prevents C. (e.g., we should lower taxes to reduce unemployment). Aristotle recognized the challenges of example and syllogism as forms of persuasion and formulated an alter- native form of persuasion he named enthymeme, which is a syllogism with one or more suppressed propositions that is filled in by the audience. Suppose a presidential candidate says, "My opponent still has not released his tax returns, so what is he hiding?" The implication of this statement is for audience members to think, "Why would anyone refuse to release his or her taxes? It must be because that person is hiding something incriminat- ing." At no point did the candidate's statement explicitly say, "My opponent is a criminal." But, it is assumed that the audience is likely to think this, and, consequently, it does not need to be expressly stated. Many advertisements operate using an enthymematic structure. An ad for men's fragrance that shows beautiful women leaping to caress a man after he sprays on the fragrance is essentially making an enthymeme: MjP: Absent this fragrance, the character in the com- mercial was alone. MnP: Having sprayed this fragrance, the character in the commercial attracted women. Cncl: If I buy and use this fragrance, I will attract women. p. 197 There are at least two attractive features to this form of argument. First, by not making all the claims of the Next Page Ć= 8:48 198 argument explicit, it is harder for an audience to criticize the exact logic underlying it. Second, because the audience members essentially help complete the argument, they are more likely to feel convinced because their own thought processes are what fit the pieces together. Who is more credible than oneself? Induction Induction is a form of reasoning from particulars (specific cases or examples) to generalizations. For instance, in the earliest days of what became the AIDS epidemic in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Pre- vention, among other organizations, had relatively little to tie the disparate cases together other than the discovery that most of the people contracting these odd diseases that are associated with compromised immune function were either gay, intravenous drug users, or people who 198 | Part III: Knowing Where We Are and What Our Communication Is Doing TABLE 14.1: Tests of Evidence and Examples Evidence Test Recency Relevance Internal consis- tency External consis- tency Sufficiency Comparative quality Ethos Accessibility < AA K R + had received a blood transfusion. The examination of such cases led to several potential generalizations, including that there was a "gay disease" or "gay cancer" and that whatever the underlying cause, it seemed to be involved in the transfer of bodily fluids. The second generalization was largely accurate, but the idea that it was a "gay dis- ease" was not. For example, most AIDS cases in Africa are heterosexually transmitted. Induction is the foundation of almost all scientific research, in which the observation of many instances of an experiment, or of survey responses, provides a basis for generalizing from those instances. As with the evi- dence tests (see Table 14.1), however, the generalization of results from looking at many instances of something is only as valid as the representativeness and adequacy of that sample of examples. One of the reasons that scientific research does not always replicate exactly-why what "science" believed 20 years ago is not believed now-is Principle (Fallacious Example) The timeliness of the evidence (e.g., citing medical evidence from the 1950s is likely to be less accurate than current research). The logical, practical, and reasonable connection to the claim being made (e.g., citing that you know a good security guard is not relevant to the argument of racial bias in police stops of African Americans). The coherence of the evidence (e.g., citing an example of your parent who smoked all his/her life but did not die of lung cancer to argue the safety of smoking when your parent did die of esophageal cancer). The degree to which the evidence is representative of the domain/population of external phenomena to which it is applied (e.g., citing that you believe in God because you experi- enced a transformative experience may not seem sensible to those who have not had such an experience). The degree to which there is adequate quantity and quality of evidence to generalize (e.g., citing that your first two cars were Fiats and they were lousy may seem sufficient to you, but hardly disqualifies the entire carmaker). The degree to which the evidence is the best available (e.g., citing a single study based on a small sample is likely to be questionable compared to a meta-analysis of hundreds of studies). The credibility or expertise of the source of the evidence (e.g., citing an unattributed Internet blog instead of a blind-reviewed scientific report). p. 198 The degree to which the evidence can be verified, observed, authenticated, and inspected by others (e.g., citing that space aliens have visited because you were abducted by them when you were 3 and returned). 000 Next Page Ć= 8:48 199 that even large-scale studies involving tens of thousands of people are still situated in a particular culture, time, and place. Nevertheless, statistical inference, which under- lies most of modern scientific research, is basically an inductive logic that is founded on the odds that one set of observed cases differs from what would be expected by chance (see chapters 10-11). K Abduction Given the limitations of deduction and induction, scholars have tried to develop better insights into the logical foun- dations of argument and proof and better understandings of the nature of everyday rationality and discursive influ- ence. One approach to a better foundation was formulated as an alternative to deduction and induction. Originally formalized by Pierce (1839-1914), abduction is generally viewed as a form of reasoning in which various reasonable explanations for a surprising or unexpected observation are compared (Velázquez-Quesada, 2015). The process has been proposed as a series of steps, in which (a) a phenomenon is detected, (b) some causal mechanism is inferred or deduced, (c) a causal model is formulated, (d) the causal model is evaluated or tested, and (e) theory is formulated (Mirza, Akhtar-Danesh, Noesgaard, Martin, & Staples, 2014). < Warranting (Toulmin) Argument Model In the 1950s, Stephen Toulmin (1958) sought to merge a more pragmatic language use perspective with tradi- tional interests in the logic of argumentative discourse. In attempting to model how people actually argue, he formu- lated the warranting model of argument, often referred to as the "Toulmin model" (see also: Chapters 3 and 4). The Toulmin model indicates that to be considered an argument at all, discourse must articulate, or at least imply, a claim. The claim is the thing a person wants others to believe, think, or do as a result of the argument. Toulmin (1958) argued that claims are predicated on some form of empirical experience, observation, research, or example(s), which is referred to as data. But, data never unequivocally justify a particular claim. For example, even when everyone agrees that the data show that the world is unequivocally getting hotter, the implication of these data is not obvious. These data may lead to the claim that we need to decrease our use of fossil fuels, or that we need to invest in better infra- structure to manage the effects of such temperature trends. AA R + Chapter 14: Argument, Persuasion, and Influence In order to connect the data to the claim, arguers express or imply one or more warrants. Warrants are reasons that bridge the relevance of the data to the claim in a way that formulates a coherent narrative structure. Furthermore, any component of this model may involve further evidence or warrants, which could be consid- ered forms of backing. Backing may involve statements providing further evidence (quantity), credibility substan- tiation (quality), durability of evidence (consistency), and so forth. Finally, to the extent that an arguer is contem- plative, critical, and self-reflexive, counterarguments will be considered. To the extent that counterarguments are included in an argument, they are considered a rebuttal and require that a qualifier moderate the degree of con- fidence or certainty expressed in the claim. These components are displayed in Figure 14.1 in their template form, and in Figure 14.2 using an analysis of a policy argument exemplar regarding the decriminal- ization and deinstitutionalization of prisoners having violated marijuana laws. Arguments will generally not explicitly reveal all components. In particular, "unlike all other components of the warranting model, warrants usually remain implicit in an argument; they are the unspoken assumptions that bind together claims and data" (Warren, 2010, p. 42). p. 199 Persuasion Persuasion has two branches of research. The first is in the field of rhetoric, in which the origins of persuasion can be traced back to Aristotle, as discussed through the lens of logic and argumentation in this chapter, and as a method of interrogating persuasive texts in Chapter 6. The rhetorical criticism approach to persuasion tends to focus on "the political or civic contexts of persuasion, and an overriding emphasis on ethical concerns" (Hogan, 2013, p. 2). The second branch of persuasion is in social scien- tific research, in which persuasion processes are explored through the constructs of attitude and behavior change. From this perspective, O'Keefe (2016) defines persuasion as "a successful intentional effort at influencing another's mental state through communication in a circumstance in which the persuadee has some measure of freedom" (p. 4). This definition consists of five key features, each of which is expanded next. Next Page Ć

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