Topic one: analyzing how a priest uses the power of persuasion, especially in leading the congregation in confessing their faith.
Topic two: analyzing how car dealers are able to persuade customers to make purchase, even if the prices are most times exorbitant.
Paper 2: Experiencing Persuasion
Length: 1200 words
Document design: 12 pt. Times New Roman or Calibri font, 1â€ margins
Percentage of final grade: 16%
Corresponding readings: â€œReading: Part 1â€ and â€œReading: Part 2â€ on Canvas and in Module 4
Essay Due to Canvas No Later Than: Sunday, June 11, 2017 11:59 p.m. EST
(This assignment is adapted from the following paper: Levine, Robert V., Nathanael Fast, and Philip Zimbardo. â€œThe Power of Persuasion: A Field Exerciseâ€ The Teaching of Psychology, 31.2. 2004: 136-138.)
There are four steps to this assignmentâ€”you must complete all four in order to receive credit.
__: Identify a situation in which you will encounter persuasion
__: Submit topic on Canvas for approval
__: Expose yourself to the situation and take notes on your experience
__: Write an analytical reflection paper on the experience.
Identify a situation in which you will encounter persuasion:
This assignment requires you to place yourself in a situation where you will be persuaded to do something (buy, believe, etc.). The assignment requires you to set yourself up as a target of a professional salesperson or other persuasion expert and to analyze their experiences using fundamental persuasion, argumentation, and logic concepts.
Submit topic on Canvas for approval:
Please post your topic in the Discussion Board named â€œP2: Topic Approvalâ€ noting where you are going for your fieldwork. I will approve all topics as long as they are safe and cause no potential harm to you.
Expose yourself to the situation and take notes on your experience:
The assignment requires you to set yourself up as a target of a professional salesperson or other persuasion expert. To simulate a realistic experience I will not explicitly instruct you on how to approach the situation (e.g., emotionally detached, strongly resistant). Rather, I simply ask you to behave as naturally as you can.
Examples of the tactics and concepts (these are from the â€œReading: Pt. 1â€ and “Reading: Pt. 2” readings):
- the foot-in-the door
- door-in-the face
- and thatâ€™s-not-all techniques
- slowly escalating commitments
- the illusion of choice
- conformity and social proof
- conveying illusions of authority, honesty, and likeability
- the base-rate fallacy and negativity bias.
Sample persuasion experts and situations:
Car, jewelry, stereo, furniture, and insurance salespeople; timeshare seminars; parties to sell Tupperware, kitchenware, photo albums, and candles; military recruiters; funeral arrangement coordinators; street hustlers; scientology, Moonie, and other religious recruiters; and psychics.
It is important to take precautions against placing yourself in unsafe situations. You must have your topic approved by me before carrying out the assignment. Occasionally, it might be necessary to suggest an alternative scenario if a proposed situation is too risky. Most cults, for example, are excellent illustrations of persuasion but I generally advise you not to subject yourself directly to their influence. Also, in situations where you will likely encounter hard-sell salespeople, use your best judgment about what point to exit the encounter. For example, if you are visiting a visiting car lot, do not to go beyond the test drive.
Write an analytical reflection paper on the experience:
Your reflection paper should provide readers with an overview of the entire persuasive experience. Be sure you include the following three ideas:
- Analyze the tactics, persuasive concepts, and/or logical fallacies that were employed during your experience.
- Reflect on how you responded to the tactics
- Articulate how you (or someone you know) could more effectively resist similar persuasion attempts in the future.
Papers are evaluated based on your ability to draw connections between the persuasion strategies you learned in class and your actual experiences as targets of influence.