Affect Emotion And Persuasion English Language Essay

Through this Literature Review, I have endeavored to explicate the function which affect and emotion drama in the procedure of persuasion. I start with a brief history of the history of persuasion, so travel on to explicate how emotion came to be a portion of the persuasive procedure, the difference between similar footings such as affect, emotion and temper and what impact does each of them have on the persuasive procedure. I conclude by mentioning the hereafter range and two observations I made from my research on this field of survey.

Rhetoric, the survey of how human existences use symbols to pass on ( Foss, Foss, & A ; Trapp, 2002 ) , is one of the oldest constructs of human communicating in the Western World which dates back to the 5th century B.C ( Baldwin, Perry, & A ; Moffitt,2004 ) . This field of survey marked the coming of speech communicating. A polar construct studied in the field of rhetoric is Persuasion. Such is the prominence of this peculiar phenomenon in this subject that, in present times, the survey of rhetoric is by and large considered synchronal to the survey of persuasive communicating ( Baldwin et al, 2004 ) .Persuasion stems from the three civilizations which make up the classical rhetorical theory. It all started with the Sophists, a organic structure of Grecian instructors, who wrote enchiridions which defined methods of bring forthing and presenting persuasive messages. The act of Sophists bear downing money for their services and their strong unfavorable judgment by Plato “ perpetuated an antisophistic sentiment ” which lead to their subsequent death. By this clip ( 428 – 348 B.C ) Plato had come to the head and professed the necessity of happening the absolute truth ( Baldwin et al, 2004 ) . Plato ‘s pupil Aristotle constructed a doctrine which drew from the political orientations advocated by the Sophists every bit good as Plato, supplying a kind of in-between land between “ wholly comparative ” to “ absolute changeless truth ” . ( Baldwin et al, 2004, p.78 ) . In his chef-d’oeuvre “ The Rhetoric ” , Aristotle speaks of the three indispensable elements of an effectual persuasive address: ethos, poignancy and Son. Ethos is the moral character of the talker, poignancy is taking into consideration the feelings of the audience members and Sons is the truth of logic and statement in the address ( O’Hair, Wiemann,2009 ) . The current literature reappraisal chiefly focuses on the function of poignancy in persuasive messages. But before come oning in that way, the most cardinal inquiry which needs to be addressed is: What is persuasion?

Persuasion and Interpersonal Influence

Persuasion, at its really nucleus, is an effort to act upon without direct coercion ( Dillard, & A ; Pfau, 2002 ) . Daniel O’Keefe ( 2002 ) cleverly pointed out that success is considered to be ingrained in the construct of persuasion. Making a claim that “ I was persuaded ” means that the effort of influence was so successful. This influence effort can either be to convey in a complete alteration in attitude and beliefs which is inclusive of emotions and behaviour of another individual or to merely continue this attitudinal alteration ( Dillard & A ; Pfau, 2002 ) . The early research work conducted on persuasion has chiefly been with regard to a big audience apparatus ( Miller, 1987 ) . However, with the realisation that about 80 % of the influence efforts occur in close relationships ( Dillard, Anderson, & A ; Knobloch, 2002 ) the focal point on research work has steered towards interpersonal influence which, as the name suggests, focuses on the persuasive message production and effects ( Dillard, Anderson, & A ; Knobloch, 2002 ) in interpersonal relationships.

One of the chief differences which crops up between the survey of rhetoric and the survey of persuasion theories is the fact that research on rhetoric is chiefly humanistic while persuasion takes a more societal scientific crook seeking to explain the variables which enhance or inhibit the chance of success of a persuasive message ( Baldwin et al 2002 ) .

Affect, Emotion, Mood and Feelingss: Lapp or different?

Some research workers use the footings affect emotion and temper interchangeably ( Guerrero, Anderson, & A ; Trost, 1998 ) . Affect refers to the experience of feeling or emotion. Emotions are considered to be internal and have a primary focal point on affect. Tempers are longer permanent feelings ( which are non as concrete and specific as emotions ( Clore, Shwartz, & A ; Conway, 1994 ; Frijda, 1986 in Guerrero et al. , 1998 ) . However in order to hold a better apprehension of each of their functions in persuasive communicating, a proper word picture of these footings is necessary. We first history for affect and so we move on to emotions, depicting the beginning and construction of each.


Affect refers to the experience of feeling or emotion. There have been two contending positions on the beginning or beginning of affect. Surveies conducted by Dillard and Wilson ( 1993 ) explicated the “ message irrelevant affect ” where the affect itself bears no logical relationship to the content of the message, it has nil to make with the message whatsoever ( Dillard, & A ; Pfau,2002 ) . This type of affect takes into history the emotional province bing prior to the response of a persuasive message which has a important impact on the message processing by an person ( Anderson, & A ; Guerrero, 1998 ) . The other position on the beginning of affect, the “ message induced affect ” ( Dillard, & A ; Wilson, 1993 ) is one where affect is considered a portion and package of the message rating, when messages are designed in a manner to arouse certain emotions and feelings which serve as the footing of credence of the protagonism ( Dillard, & A ; Pfau,2002 ) . Dillard and Wilson ( 1993 ) refer to it as “ direct consequence ” as the emotion occurs in direct response to a given message ( Jorgenson, 1998, p.406 ) . After the persuasive message has been disseminated, the audience member processes the information in different ways depending on factors such as the message characteristics and audience member ‘s emotional and affectional province. The Message Relevant and Message Irrelevant Models help us understand how certain message features and the beginning of affect influence the manner receiving systems process the message.

Message Relevant Models.

There are two theoretical accounts under this category- The Elaboration Likelihood Model and the Heuristic Systematic Model.

The Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion is an attack developed by Richard Petty, John Cacioppo and their associates ( 1986a, 1986b ) which postulates that there can be two different paths to persuasion depending on the extent to which the statement is elaborated, by the cardinal path or by the peripheral path. The cardinal path is when the receiving system of the message weighs the argumentative quality of the message and processes the message utilizing sound logic and ground whereas peripheral path is when the receiving system of the message uses cues such as temper ( Jorgenson, 1998 ) to respond to the persuasive message. When the receiving system ‘s motive is low and is unable to judge the cognitive facets of the message, i.e. , he/she performs low amplification of the message. The receiving system is by and large guided by simpler heuristic rules such as credibleness, liking, and consensus ( O Keefe, 2002 ) . On the other manus, during extended amplification, the content of the message takes predomination over the peripheral cues. Jorgensen ( 1998 ) argues that emotional entreaties are more effectual as persuasive tools during low amplification and even brings about attitude alteration in the receiving system, nevertheless based on old researches it was found out that such attitude alteration is more fugitive than those brought approximately by the cardinal path processing.

The Heuristic Systematic Processing theoretical account is besides used to explicate the message processing methods used by receiving systems of persuasive messages. Harmonizing to this theoretical account, there are two ways by which a receiving system will judge a message, either by Systematic processing or by Heuristic Processing. Dillard and Peck ( 2000 ) in their article on rating of public service proclamations compactly describe both attacks in this theoretical account with mention to how the audience perceives the persuasive wellness run messages. They province that systematic processing is brooding analytic and antiphonal to the argumentative quality of the message while heuristic processing involves the use of shortcut determination devising regulations called heuristics to do a faster determination. Many research workers have stated that affect serves as the footing of the heuristics in heuristic logical thinking. “ Emotion is, possibly, the psychological heuristic key to human endurance ” ( Newhagen, 2002, p.735 ) . This brings us to the inquiry – when are these procedures used? What are the grounds behind the differing amplification of the message by the receiving system? This is addressed by the message irrelevant theoretical accounts.

Message Irrelevant Models – Consequence of Mood on Persuasion.

We have already discussed how the amplification of a message affects the message processing by the receiving system. Now, we shift our attending to the causes which govern the picks the receiving systems make in treating the messages. More than theoretical accounts, five hypotheses govern the account of how temper and affect has a significant consequence on message processing ( Schwartz, Bless and Bohner, 1991 ) .

As suggested by Blumenthal ( 2008 ) , the Mood Regulation Hypothesis states that cognitive information processing of a persuasive message is influenced by the receiving system ‘s temper. If the receiving system is in a positive temper, he is motivated to maneuver off from a deep analysis of the message for it might take him out of that good temper. Similarly, if person is in a negative temper, he is more likely to measure the entrance stimulation more carefully. Therefore positive temper involves heuristic cognitive processing of a communicating message and negative temper is synchronal with the in-depth systematic processing of the message.

Motivational Hypothesis ( Schwartz et al. , 1991 ) is similar to the temper ordinance hypothesis stated by Blumenthal ( 2008 ) . It states that the usage of peripheral or systematic processing to measure a message depends upon the temper of the receiving system ; if the individual is in a certain temper, he might be predisposed to take a certain method of message processing over another. Together with this, the motivational hypothesis besides sheds visible radiation on the manner the argumentative quality of the message is perceived in different emotional provinces. Recipients of strong statements should be more persuaded when they are in a bad temper and conversely, receivers of weak statements should be more persuaded when they are in a good temper. This shows that the temper plays an instrumental function in make up one’s minding the credence of the message every bit good as its argumentative quality ( Jorgensen, 1998 ) .

Cognitive Capacity Hypothesis can be considered as an extension of the motivational hypothesis. It does province that different affectional provinces of the receiving system will interfere with the information processing of the message ; nevertheless it fails to clear up how under different fortunes different affectional provinces can go hinderances ( Jorgensen, 1998 ) . This claim is elucidated by Dillard and Nabi ( 2006 ) when they posited that different emotional provinces can heighten or suppress persuasive success and that under different fortunes the same emotional provinces may suppress or heighten persuasive procedures.

Temper As Peripheral Cue Hypothesis states that “ receiver ‘s affectional province may itself function as a peripheral cue if it becomes associated with the attitude object or beginning itself ” ( Schwartz, et al. , 1991, p.162 ) . This hypothesis is farther rooted in larning theory approached to attitude alteration every bit good as mood-as-information heuristic. The former provinces that audience members exhibited positive attitude when coupled with positive temper and negative attitude when coupled with negative temper. The latter hypothesis provinces that when the audience member is faced with a complex determination devising undertaking, he/she simplifies it by utilizing their bing affectional province to come to a decision, therefore their tempers serve an “ enlightening map ” in this manner. ( Schwartz et al. , 1991 ) .

Mood Congruency Hypothesis specifies the two phases in which the influence of temper takes topographic point in information processing, it is the message amplification phase and the judgement phase but this is contingent on the fact if the judgement is being made based on the affectional reaction to a antecedently elaborated message ( Schwartz et al. , 1991 ) .

The fifth and last hypothesis stated by Schwartz and his associates is the Change In Criteria Hypothesis whose cardinal thought is that if the receiving system is in a bad temper, he/she will measure the persuasive message in a more rigorous manner than what he/she would if in a good temper. This hypothesis besides goes in front to province that one time the receiving system is exposed to the message, the affectional province which is produced after that is the one which should be considered ( Schwartz et al. , 1991 ) .

Structure of Affect

Dillard and Meijenders ( 2002 ) accounted for three theoretical accounts of affect.The first theoretical account is the Bipolar Valence Model. Harmonizing to this theoretical account, impact should be structured as a individual continuum with positive affect on one terminal of the spectrum and negative affect on the other. This theoretical account suggests how the preexistent affectional provinces have a considerable consequence on how the receiving system processes the message. The mood-as-information hypothesis in this respect states that positive temper or affectional province of a receiving system encourages heuristic message processing while negative tempers elicit cognitive processing. Mood direction hypothesis ( Wegener, & A ; Petty, 1996 in Dillard, & A ; Meijnders, 2002 ) was formulated as a challenge to the temper as information hypothesis which states that information processing depends on the affectional province of the receiving system in a different manner. If the receiving system feels that elaborative processing of a positive message can heighten his temper, he will indulge in it.

The 2nd theoretical account is the Two Dimensional Model. Dillard and Meijnders ( 2002 ) history for two types of two dimensional theoretical accounts. The first theoretical account has pleasure as one dimension and rousing as the other. “ The conceptual temptingness of this circumplex is its ability to explicate affectional experience as blends of pleasance and rousing ” ( Reisenzein, 1994 in Dillard, & A ; Meijnders, 2002 ) . Empirical grounds shows that increased arousal inhibits systematic processing of messages. The 2nd theoretical account in this class has two systems as the two dimensions. One of them, the “ behavioural attack ” system, facilitates “ end directed behavior ” . The other one, “ behavioural suppression ” system discourages behavior which may take to unsought negative consequences ( Davidson, 1993 ; Gray,1990 in Dillard, & A ; Meijnders, 2002, p.316 ) .

The 3rd and concluding theoretical account named the Discrete Emotion Model distinguished emotions from one another on the evidences that they are characterized by varied “ systemic alterations ” ( Dillard & A ; Meijenders, 2002 ) . The chief map of this theoretical account is to arouse the fact that each emotion has distinguishable effects on a assortment of persuasive results ( Dillard & A ; Meijenders, 2002 ) .


Emotion plays a major function in assorted signifiers of persuasive communicating, from political relations to wellness communicating to advertizements. Even Aristotle articulated emotionalism ( Jorgenson, 2008, p.403 ) as one of the three rhetorical cogent evidence used in persuasion ( O’Hair, Wiemann, 2002 ) . In malice of this, emotion has received really small attending in the survey of persuasion. One of the grounds could be the complete accent of logic over emotion, research workers have ever treated logic as a superior dimension in the building of persuasive messages ( Jorgensen, 1998 ) . On the other manus Seibold, Cantrill and Meyers ( 1985, p559 ) point out that most of the times emotion is taken for granted. Since emotion is so effortlessly incorporated in most of our twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours persuasive messages that research workers merely presume its effectivity in the persuasive procedure instead than proving its operation ( Blumenthal, 2008 ; Dillard & A ; Wilson, 1993 ) claim until the 1960s, research on emotions was negated by many of the societal scientific disciplines on the evidences of it non being in conformity with the theory of logical positivism. The acknowledgment of the importance of emotion from a communicating position ( Jorgenson, 1998 ) gained prominence in the 1980s ( Dillard & A ; Wilson 1993 ) . Emotions are considered to be internal and have a primary focal point on affect ( Ortony, Clore, and Foss, 1987 ) . Together with this, emotions are besides thought to be specific, focussed and forward grounded in consciousness ( Dillard and Peck, 2000 ) . Jorgensen ( 1998 ) posits two viing impressions of analyzing emotions: one of them states that emotion is non an built-in portion of the persuasion procedure instead it is an outgrowth of the communicative procedure. In this position, emotions are looked upon as built-in provinces of the receiving system, 1s which do non hold any direct relation with the persuasive message. The other position suggests that emotions are an built-in portion of the persuasive messages and emotional entreaties are explicitly used to convey in attitude alteration therefore carry throughing the primary end of the persuasive procedure.

Arousal of emotions – Appraisal Theory

This theory trades with the mechanisms of how the messages are ‘appraised ‘ , i.e. , evaluated and how this appraisal later leads to the coevals of emotions in the audience member. The assessment theory explains the simple causal sequence through which emotions arise in the undermentioned stairss: the message is produced by the talker, perceived by the listener and so appraised by the listener. The receiving system makes a judgement call by measuring the message against the dimension of the attendant personal injury or benefit and depending upon the extent of the judgement, an emotion arises ( Dillard, Kinney, Cruz, 1996 ) . When the province of the environment is in tandem with the ends of the receiving system positive emotions are generated or else it gives rise to negative emotions ( Dillard et al. , 1996 ) . A pertinent inquiry here would be, why entreaty to emotions at all? For this, we need to understand the potency of the entreaty to emotions in the persuasive procedure.

Entreaty to emotions

The significance of entreaty is to bespeak for alteration. Emotional entreaty is therefore an entreaty through emotions. Jorgenson ( 1998 ) gives an history of the five major maps of emotional entreaties with regard to communicating: ” To function as grounds for an statement ; To rise a beginning ‘s credibleness ; To name attending to a message every bit good as to keep attending ; To move as an option to logic ; To make a temper province. “ ( Jorgenson, 1994 ) . All of them pivot around the overruling map of “ facilitating persuasion ” ( Jorgenson, 1998, p.417 ) . Through research it was realized that the effectivity of persuasive messages in extremely enhanced when the message incorporates both unflawed logic every bit good as the effectual rousing of the receiving system ‘s emotions ( Arnold, 1985 ) .

Campbell was one of the many bookmans who attested the importance of emotion or the evocation of feelings in a persuasion procedure, “ Persuasion can non happen in the absence of passion ” ( Dillard and Meijnders, 2002, pg 309 ) . Jorgenson ( 1998 ) exemplifies the importance of emotions in the communicating position by saying that “ persuasion efforts rely to a great extent upon the usage of emotional entreaties to accomplish persuasive terminals, and the usage of emotions is an of import resource in recognizing these persuasive ends ” ( p.403 ) . Therefore understanding that emotional entreaties play an of import and legitimate function in the procedure of persuasion is an of import first measure for communicating research workers.

Sometimes the message manufacturers include emotional entreaties in the messages, meaning to elicit a certain kind of emotion in the receiving system which would increase the effectivity of the persuasive message. However, the reading of the message by the audience member may hold three possibilities ; after the receiving system appraises the message, the intended emotion will be invoked in him ; multiple emotions are invoked in the receiving system or no emotions are evoked wholly. Thus the survey of emotional entreaties has been done by a test and mistake method ( Jorgensen, 1998 ) and besides challenges the rule of the Cognitive Functional Model ( CFM ) ( Nabi, 1999 ) to an extent. CFM states that the message manufacturers should foremost make up one’s mind which emotion they want to arouse to accomplish their persuasive ends and so build the message in a manner to reflect the “ nucleus relational subject ” ( Lazarus 1991 ; Smith and Lazarus, 1993 in Dillard & A ; Nabi, 2006, p.125 ) or the Southern Cross of that emotion. This theoretical account points out one of the procedures of emotional rousing. Another generic manner of eliciting emotions is by integrating fresh stimulations in the message. It has been observed that frequently clip anterior cognition may suppress emotional rousing ( Dillard & A ; Nabi, 2006 ) .

There are certain emotional entreaties which evoke negative emotions in the audience member for illustration fright entreaties in specific wellness run messages. In such messages, when the emotional rousing is followed up with effectual and executable ways to get the better of the fright, this scheme is really effectual in increasing the strength of the message. For illustration, when a commercial on AIDS elicits fear in the audience member, the following measure should be to besides inform the audience member about safe sex, the use of rubbers and other preventative steps which reassures the audience member as good. Understanding the construction of emotions hemps message manufacturers construct emotional entreaties are constructed in a more informed manner.

Structure of Emotions

There are three ways in which emotions can be conceptualized: the distinct emotions attack, the paradigm attack and the dimensional attack. The distinct emotion attack pivots around a cardinal claim, emotions guide behavior. As the name suggests, this attack considers each emotion to be distinct and besides postulates that each emotion supplies alone information characterized by distinguishable forms of cognitive alteration ( Dillard and Meijnders, 2002, p.318 ) . This means that if each emotion has a distinguishable form of behavioural alteration, so these emotions should besides arouse distinguishable effects of persuasion. In the dimensional attack ( Guerrero et al. , 1998 ) emotions are categorized harmonizing to different dimensions like valency, activity and strength for illustration negative vs. positive and strong vs. weak emotions. The paradigm attack offers a center land place between distinct emotional attack and dimensional attack by categorising emotions by a figure of features like “ valency, common elicitors, maps and look ” ( Guerrero et al. , 1998, p.19 ) .

Future Research

There are a figure of defects in the field of affect, emotion and persuasion already pointed out by bookmans. I provide a list of all of their observations and conclude by two personal observations I made while perusing the assorted articles written on this country of survey.

Many bookmans have already pointed out important drawback in the survey of persuasion in interpersonal relationships. They account for the small attending given to emotion as an of import aspect of a persuasive message. The enterprise of this elect organic structure of research workers, nevertheless, has shown a applaudable growing in research in this field in recent old ages. However, this attending given to emotion has been mostly lopsided. Negative emotions are studied for their affect more than the positive emotions. For illustration, fright entreaties has been loosely used every bit good as studied in the literary field. Guilt as a method of persuasion has besides gained much popularity over the old ages with more and more bookmans analyzing the affect of guilt. However, the attitude alteration as an consequence of guilt remains undiscovered boulder clay day of the month. Besides, other negative emotions such as disgust, choler and enviousness every bit good as most of the positive distinct emotions such as felicity, alleviation, pride and hope have received small to no attending which compared to the immense organic structure of literary work expounded on fright as a message relevant distinct emotion ( Dillard & A ; Pfau, 2002 ) .

There has besides been a batch of unfavorable judgment of the manner in which emotions have been studied by bookmans every bit good. As pointed out by Dillard ( 1994 ) and re-articulated by Dillard and Mejienders ( 2002 ) most of the persuasive work based on emotion has looked upon the consequence emotions have on the persuasive procedure instead than concentrating on how these emotions are generated in the messages.The latter was considered to be merely a manner of ‘manipulation ‘ as non an country worthy of scholarly research. Besides Jorgenson ( 1998 ) points out that, with really few exclusions, small probe has been done on how a desirable affectional province can be produced in a receiving system through the incorporation of emotions in messages.

A batch of inquiries have risen on the topic of the definition of emotional entreaty. The argument is whether to specify emotional entreaty harmonizing to the emotions generated by the messages or establish the definition on the message features ( Jorgenson, 1998 ) . As suggested by Jorgenson ( 1994 ) , even though emotional entreaties are preponderantly used for triping persuasion, it is non entirely limited to this. That fact that emotional entreaties can besides take to “ attitude formation, alteration and support ” ( Jorgensen, 1008, p.417 ) requires farther research. As already stated, persuasive messages which were intended to arouse or appeal to a certain emotion, can besides arouse multiple emotions but how these emotions are used to do up a determination in response to the persuasive message depends on the information processing of the receiving system. One of the factors which can hold a important consequence on the determination devising is the “ emotional flow ” ( Nabi, 2002 ) , the order in which the emotions are evoked. Research in this country, to understand which sequence of emotional flow is more contributing in arousing desired the coveted message consequence, would be good to the survey of the influence of emotions in persuasion ( Nabi, 2002 ) . How different emotional entreaties work in concurrence with other 1s is a possible country of survey. This will besides cast some visible radiation on the ways in which certain emotional entreaties work likewise and which do non so they can be cleverly categorized ( Brooker,1981 in Jorgenson, 1998 ) .

While perusing some of the articles written by celebrated bookmans in the field of affect, emotion and persuasion, I could non assist but detect two subjects that was common amongst all of their work. First, most of the research work analyzing the “ erratic ” ( Campbell, 1988 in Dillard & A ; Meijnders, 2002 ) relationship between affect and persuasion has been done in the quantitative paradigm. Subjecting the audience to different constructed messages, exposing the audience to unreal scenes inquiring them to act in a peculiar manner while having the messages and making studies of people who have been exposed to persuasive messages before are some of the methods used by research workers to measure the magnitude of the influence emotions have in the persuasion procedure. Agreed that the analysis of the effectivity of persuasive messages can be learnt by deliberate methods, but an effort to carry on such research by assorted methods, i.e. , integrating qualitative every bit good as quantitative methods might clarify interesting consequences. For illustration, matching the statistical consequences with narrations might augment a better understandability of the research work. The 2nd facet of research on emotion and persuasion which I noticed was that a big part of the work is confined to wellness communicating where the persuasive nature of emotions is assessed from how the audience perceives the influential advertizements and wellness runs. Sing some of the writers started on the premiss of analyzing persuasion in interpersonal relationships and so maneuvering their survey to a way which has a persuasive message disseminated by a mass medium to an audience non located in a natural apparatus seemed a spot dianoetic.