Persuasion affects everyone to a certain extent every day whether we realize it or not. When I stopped and thought about a time that I was consciously persuaded by something or someone I thought about the beginning of this semester.
I came to MSU as a guest student for a variety of reasons and I was only required to take this class. However, my boyfriend had told me several times in the months before that I should take the Basic Horsemanship class. I love horses, I work with horses on a regular basis, and I am always looking for ways to improve my horsemanship, so it seemed like a great idea at first. However, I knew I had to have 300 hrs in an internship this semester, I had to take this Persuasion Communication class, and I had to possibly look for a part-time job so it didn’t look like it was going to happen.
My boyfriend knew all of this and he presented his case very well by elaborating on how good the teacher was, how much he learned, and how much fun it was. He repeated multiple times that I would like it and that I should take it despite my busy schedule. I wasn’t completely sold on it by the end of the summer, but I was close. Furthermore, after my boyfriend and I broke up I knew that I would have to stay at MSU this semester to graduate in December and if I decide to stay in Murray longer I can’t take other riding classes without taking Basic Horsemanship first. I thought about all of those things a great deal and then decided to give it a shot.
After reading Chapter 3 in our book I saw how the Theory of Reasoned Action had taken effect. My boyfriend positively influenced my belief about the outcome, that is that I would learn new things and have fun, and the evaluation of the outcome, that he would be happy if I did it and others would see what a better rider I was. Those things in turn positively influenced my attitude about taking the class, which in turn influenced my behavioral intention.
I also read an article by AJ Kumar called “5 Techniques that Make You Powerful, Persuasive, & Influential.” Three of those techniques contributed significantly to my decision: The “Because” Technique, the Social Expectancy Effect, and the Half & Half Technique.
A second article I read that held some relevancy to my situation was “Influence and Persuasion Techniques Not Typically Shared.” It discussed Social Validation and Liking/Friendship as did our book and the previous article, but it also touched on scarcity, which in my case was a very big deal. One of the biggest reasons I decided to take the class was because I knew it wouldn’t be offered next semester and I couldn’t take other classes without it.
We have discussed in class the number of ways people are bombarded with thousands of persuasive messages everyday, and we have touched on several reasons they are effective. By reading the material I did and applying it to the above-mentioned situation I was able to take our class discussions and make them relevant to everyday life. It also further ingrained the persuasive techniques in my mind through simple repetition of material.