Cognitive and Emotional Persuasion in Advertisement

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Everyday we are bombarded with advertisements all around us; each trying to persuade us to buy their product or agree with their ideals. In order to sway people's thoughts in a particular way, advertisers use many different tactics. These advertising efforts all have the goal of influencing attitudes and perceptions about a given topic or commodity. As consumers, individuals benefit from being aware of such tactics and of the psychological impacts they have on decision making. In order to better understand the consequences of advertising, individuals must understand the basic components of how the brain processes information and draws conclusions. For this we will focus on a cognitive approach to persuasion and an emotional approach to persuasion. I have selected four different advertisements to look at; one commercial and one written ad that takes a cognitive approach, and one commercial and one written ad that takes an emotional approach. Persuasion is defined as an attempt to change a person's attitude (Baumeister, Bushman, 2014, p.281), and attitudes are defined as global evaluations toward some object or issue (p.238). Social psychologists suggest there are two routes to persuasion; either through conscious processing or automatic processing (Baumeister, Bushman, 2014, p.291). When individuals take a conscious or central route to processing it “involves careful and thoughtful consideration of the content of the message” compared to automatic or peripheral route to processing which “involves some simple cue, such as attractiveness of the source” (Baumeister, Bushman, 2014, p.292). There are also two approaches in presenting a persuasive message, appealing to one's emotions or based on logic and reason (Baumeister, Bushman, 2... ... middle of paper ... ...aving this insight gives people an advantage in resisting the effects of persuasive messages. Although one will never be able to be removed from such effects, one can diminish the influence advertisers have in their decision making process. References Roy F. Baumeister, Brad J. Bushman, Social Psychology and Human Nature brief version, 2014, Wadsworth: Cengage Learning, p.24-299. Lumosity commercial, retrieved from http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7get/lumosity-bart. The Guardian, retrieved from http://www.creativebloq.com/graphic-design/us-guardian- campaign-flip-reverses-it-5132594. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, retrieved from http://www.ispot.tv/ad/72mv/aspca-somewhere-in-america. Harvey Nichols, retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news-gallery/advertising- branding/worlds-best-print-ads-2012-13-150758#2-gold-lions-harvey-nichols-5

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