Persuasion and Social Influence

Our thoughts and actions are influenced by other people, whether we are passively observing their behavior or actively complying with their requests. Persuasion is a form of social influence in which an audience is intentionally encouraged to adopt an idea, attitude, or course of action by symbolic means. We investigate communication's critical role in persuasion and social influence processes, from the way influential messages are composed to the technologies that disseminate them and the effects they have on various audiences. Recent research in this area has examined personal branding, deceptive appeals in advertising and argumentation, linguistic persuasion devices, media selective exposure, priming in virtual environments, and the effectiveness of advertising placed in video games.

Courses | Publications by faculty members | Dissertations | Faculty and courses in other departments


CMS 332K Theories of Persuasion

CMS 340K Communication and Social Change

CMS 342K Political Communication

CMS 344K Lying and Deception

CMS 367K Advocacy in Applied Settings

CMS 386P Stereotyp/Prej in Interpersonal Communication

CMS 386P Perspective Taking

Publications by faculty members

Berkelaar, B. L., Buzzanell, P. M., Kisselburgh, L. G., Tan, W., Shen, Y. (2011). “First, it’s dirty. Second, it’s dangerous. Third, it’s insulting”: Chinese children talk about dirty work. Communication Monographs.

Buzzanell, P. M., Berkelaar, B. L., & Kisselburgh, L. K. (2011). From the mouths of babes: Exploring families’ career socialization of young children in China, Lebanon, Belgium, and the United States, Journal of Family Communication, 11(2), 148-164. doi:10.1080/15267431.2011.554494

Kisselburgh, L., Berkelaar, B. L., & Buzzanell, P. M. (2009). Discourse, gender, and the meanings of work: Rearticulating science, technology, and engineering careers through communicative lenses. In C. Beck (Ed.), Communication yearbook 33 (pp. 258-299). New York: Routledge.

Daly, J.A. & Enright, S.M. (in press). Personal branding and influencing others. In M. Chisholm -Burns & M. Shepherd (Eds.) Essentials of Pharmacy Management, Leadership, Marketing, and Finance Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

McGlone, M.S., & Knapp, M.L., Jr. (Eds.). (in press). The interplay of truth and deception. New York: Routledge.

McGlone, M.S., Bortfeld, H., & Kobrynowicz, D. (2007). Laying it on thin: Analogical cue frequency in the manipulation of choice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 721-731.

McGlone, M.S., Beck, G.A., & Pfiester, R.A. (2006). Contamination and camouflage in euphemisms. Communication Monographs, 73, 261-282.

McGlone, M.S. (2005). Quoted out of context: Contextomy and its consequences. Journal of Communication, 55, 33-46.

Peña, J., & Hancock, J. T., & Merola, N. A. (in press). Avatar priming effects in virtual settings. Communication Research.

Peña, J., Walther, J. B., & Hancock, J. T. (2007). Effects of geographic distribution on dominance perceptions in computer-mediated groups. Communication Research, 34, 313-331.

Stroud, N. J., & Chernin, A. (2008). Video games and the ERSB: An evaluation of parental beliefs about the rating system. Journal of Children & Media, 2, 1-18.

Stroud, N. J., (2007). Media effects, selective exposure, & Fahrenheit 9/11. Political Communication, 24, 415-432

Faculty Manuscripts in preparation

McGlone, M.S., & Kairns, D.L. (2009). Not in my programming: Exposure to determinism in science news coverage decreases volunteerism.

Yoo, S.-C., & Peña, J. (2009). Does violence in video games impair in-game advertisement effectiveness? The impact of game context on brand recall, brand attitude, and purchase intention.


Anderson, S. (2009). The mind is a muscle: Shaping implicit theories of intelligence via metaphor.

Banas, J. (2005). Is that all? Exploring the cognitive and affective underpinnings of the "that's not all" technique.

Moore, J. (2007). What do you expect? The impact of credibility, verbal aggression, and benefit on compliance and outcome values.

Faculty and Courses in other departments

Department of Psychology

School of Nursing

Department of Advertising

Women in Engineering Program