Persuasion: Understanding and High Perceived Efficacy Essay

There are many terms and concepts I have learned in class on the topic of persuasion. All are useful and helpful to know in their own way. I am going to focus on three of them that are more important me than the rest. They are the knowledge and awareness function, fear appeals, and motivation. The best one to start off with here is the knowledge and awareness function. It is one of the four benefits of studying persuasion. The other three are the instrumental, defensive, and debunking function. To me, knowledge and awareness alone stand above the others simply because everyone has some knowledge and awareness of persuasion.

Then the other three functions fall right into place. In our text book, it states that studying about persuasion can assist in overcoming habitual persuasion and that a good portion of our communication is mindless. To be knowledgeable and aware of persuasion means that you are not going to be mindless therefore less likely to be a victim of habitual persuasion. It also means that because you understand it yourself one can use it to their advantage. It may also be utilized to defend oneself and be more knowledgeable of what is and is not persuasive practice.

Just being knowledgeable and aware of persuasion will help me in every aspect of life; everything from my friends and friends to my profession and academic career. The next communication practice I will discuss is about fear appeals. Fear appeals are a form of persuasion which the advocate attempts including fear on some level into the receiver in order to achieve what they are after. Fear appeals at all levels of intensity are a common form of persuasion. To have an understanding of how fear appeals work, one must consider the three terms: danger and fear control, and perceived efficacy.

Danger and fear control are two ways in which a receiver responds and reacts to a fear appeal. Danger control is when the receiver of a fear appeal looks for a solution. Fear control is when the receiver focuses on the problem. And instead of a solution, they will just worry about it. Which one of these two controls in undertaken is determined by the receivers perceived efficacy. If the receiver perceives that a solution is available and they are capable of responding, that is referred to as high perceived efficacy. When the opposite is true, they are more likely to have fear control.

Most of the time, the advocate would hope to induce danger control because it is more effective. Fear appeal is a common strategy. The extent to how intense they are greatly varies. But there are fear appeals everywhere on some sort of level. Most of the time, upper level managers will make it clear that they are not lenient nor are they easy to work with. This tactic forces employees to work harder and not create any errors. But in fact, the upper level management is actually quite understanding and only imposes such fear in their employees to become more efficient in their tasks and reach higher goals.

And finally, motivational appeals are emotional and designed to increase someone’s drive to do something. They are external inducements that change people’s mood, feelings, and emotions. Two types of motivations are intrinsic (meaning it is derived from within) and extrinsic (outside factors). Which type of motivation one has varies in any given case of persuasion. An example of utilizing motivation in persuasion would be having a track coach convince his runners that waking up early in the morning to do some distance running so that they can work on sprints in the afternoon to improve their splits overall.