Persuasion, Social Influence, and Compliance Gaining (4th Edition)

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9780205698189: Persuasion, Social Influence, and Compliance Gaining (4th Edition)

Grounded in contemporary scholarship, Persuasion: Social Influence, and Compliance Gaining not only provides a comprehensive of overview of persuasion theory and application, but also engages students in the thoughtful evaluation of the role that persuasive messages play in their own everyday lives.


This Fourth Edition guides students from understanding established theories and models of persuasion, to being able to develop and apply general conclusions about persuasion in real-world settings. The authors present a social-scientific perspective of persuasion that includes in a wide variety of contexts and connects with students by drawing on numerous real-life examples and applications of persuasion.

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From the Back Cover:

Why Buy the 4th Edition of This Book?


Why buy the new edition of this text, the cost-conscious student may reasonably ask. Why not settle for an older, used edition? It’s a fair question that deserves an honest answer. We’ve revised and updated this 4th edition because important developments in persuasion research and practice have taken place since the last edition. In point of fact, the material in every chapter has been updated to reflect current research findings and current practices.


  • Addition of new and emerging media for persuasion: How people go about persuading each other is constantly evolving and changing. As consumers grow more savvy about one form of persuasion, persuaders are busily trying out other forms of persuasion. In this edition, we include research findings on new and emerging media as outlets for persuasion.
  • Discussion of cynicism with traditional media: Younger consumers are cynical of traditional media. They respond to messages they believe to be genuine and authentic. And that is precisely why marketers are gearing their messages toward unpretentious branding, products that support causes, or goods that have a story to tell. Socially responsible marketing is now in vogue. We discuss many of these recent trends in this edition.
  • Exploration of the increasingly visual nature of persuasion: Visual persuasion is becoming more and more prominent. Would it surprise you to learn that 57 percent of Americans have not read a single book in the past year (Jackson, 2008)? Images have become a potent force on the Web, in movies, and on TV. Viral videos can push a brand past the tipping point. A “YouTube moment” can cost a politician an election. In this edition we emphasize the importance of visual persuasion.
  • Inclusion of additional theories: This edition includes a discussion on the theory of planned behavior, which is an extension of the theory of reasoned action. There is also a discussion of the unimodel of persuasion, an alternative to dual process models; as well as a discussion of neurolinguistic programming or NLP as its proponents refer to it. We’ve also added new material on the goals-plans-action model (GPA) of compliance gaining, cultivation theory, and the phenomenon known as psychological reactance.
  • Discussion of additional strategies: From the standpoint of persuasive practices, this edition includes a discussion of segmentation analysis and micromarketing, an examination of message framing, negative social proof, and additional sequential strategies such as legitimizing paltry contributions, the fear-then-relief, and the happiness-then-disappointment tactics. This edition also provides an expanded treatment of viral marketing, tipping points, and buzz marketing.
  • Discussion of additional topics: This edition features the addition of several traditional topics, including a discussion of the types of evidence. There is also an examination of the ways in which social ostracism influences behavior.     

Persuasion is as vital as it has ever been. Much of persuasion functions as it did in Ancient Greece, more than 2,000 years ago when Aristotle wrote, The Rhetoric, one of the earliest treatises on persuasion. Yet much is new about persuasion, such as the role of product placement, the Internet, the blogosphere, texting, Twitter, YouTube, and social networking sites. In this 4th edition we keep the reader informed of both classic and modern approaches to persuasion. We do so by discussing the very latest research and by providing current, practical examples of persuasion in the real world.      

About the Author:

Robert H. Gass, California State University, Fullerton
John S. Seiter, Utah State University

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