Source Factors and the Structure of Persuasive Messages

Part one: Discussion: Framing and Language Elements

For this Discussion, you will examine the components of product advertising and marketing by choosing a G- or PG-rated commercial, video advertisement, or infomercial that you view on television or the Internet. You will analyze your commercial/ad/infomercial for elements that impact your cognitive and emotional connection to it.

To prepare:

  • Review the Week 4 Learning Resources, paying particular attention to discussions of framing and elements of language.
  • Select your focus commercial, ad, or infomercial. Note the URL, if available.
  • View the commercial/ad/infomercial as many times, as needed, to sufficiently analyze your cognitive and emotional involvement with it. In particular, consider:
  • How does framing of the commercial/ad/infomercial inform your involvement with the material?
  • What elements of language are used, such as speed, power, and intensity?
  • How do those language elements influence your involvement, and which language element stands out most?
  • Evaluate the commercial/ad/ infomercial according to the principles and practices of advertising ethics.

After reading the prepare post for this discussion response to the following three questions:

  • Describe the commercial/ad/infomercial. Provide a link, if available.
  • Summarize your analysis of your cognitive and emotional connection to the commercial/ad/infomercial. In your summary, be sure to explain how the framing and elements of language informed your involvement, including which language element was most salient for you and why.
  • Explain your conclusions about the ethics of the strategies used in the commercial/ad/infomercial.

Part two: Assignment: Characteristics and Influence

For this Assignment, you will explore the characteristics of a communicator and how source factors in persuasion influence your views of a speaker and the person?s words and ideas. You will analyze a national presidential or vice presidential debate for your response to the two candidates, with emphasis on your judgment of their credibility.

To prepare:

  • Select one of the following U.S. presidential or vice-presidential debates as the focus of your assignment:
  • John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon: September 26, 1960
  • George H. W. Bush and Geraldine Ferraro: October 11, 1984
  • Barack Obama and John McCain: September 26, 2008
  • Access the media link related to your chosen presidential or vice-presidential debate to view the debate. (You are not required to watch the entire debate.) Access the associated transcript for reference in citing examples from the debate.
  • Review the Week 4 reading in the text, paying particular attention to the relevant information in Chapter 8. For example, note core characteristics and biases of persuaders.

After reviewing the prepare for this assignment submit a 3- to 5-page paper that addresses the following six questions:

  • Describe examples from the debate that exemplify the core characteristics of the debaters.
  • Explain the role of context in the debate.
  • Describe the debaters? biases.
  • Explain the impact of the debaters? social attractiveness on your analysis.
  • Based on your analysis, rate each participant on a scale of 1?5; 1 for not credible and 5 for highly credible. Support your rating with information from the Week 4 Learning Resources and the specific debate.
  • Evaluate your biases for or against each candidate, and explain how they informed your rating of the person.

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