As I’ve said before, for me to teach Communication Studies – in MY opinion – is to produce well-rounded human beings who can better understand the world around us and to improve our relationships with each other, and to be understood. To that end, understanding persuasion allows us to know where people are coming from when they seem incredibly passionate yet to us, potentially misguided in their thinking, and to find some common ground. Understanding persuasion also allows us to better understand why societies or governments make decisions the way they do, why certain people vote into office the types of personalities we’ve seen, even when we don’t agree. Ultimately, studying persuasion allows us to make better decisions, to be understood, to compel others to a more desirable outcome without sacrificing the relationships themselves. For some of us, understanding persuasion helps us achieve goals with extrinsic value, such as improving the bottom line and selling goods by tapping into the psychological aspects of consumer behavior.

What about you? What are you taking away from this class after this semester?

Consider the readings, the discussions, your classmates’ feedback, the lectures, our Zoom chats — what are some key ideas that you think you’ll remember or put into practice? 

What is persuasion to you now that you’ve gained more insight?

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