Persuasion and Influence in American Life:  by Gary C. Woodward, Robert E. Denton, Jr.
219 pages, $38.95 list
1-4786-3612-2
978-1-4786-3612-0
eBook availability
Persuasion and Influence in American Life
Eighth Edition
The eighth edition provides a streamlined, up-to-date presentation of classic and contemporary theories of persuasion. For more than three decades, the authors have guided readers through the cultural, psychological, and sociological forces influencing why, how, and when humans change their minds. Exploring the complexities and subtleties of persuasive attempts from interpersonal interactions to political advertising is essential for making informed judgments about the value of increasingly pervasive messages.

The practice of persuasion is no longer limited to a select few and formal audiences. Online networks with unprecedented reach extend opportunities for multiple persuaders and peer-to-peer influence. Woodward and Denton acknowledge the opportunities and challenges posed by social media and various digital platforms. The final chapter emphasizes visual communication and core strategies for the construction of short messages tailored for digital and commercial media.

Engaging descriptions and multiple examples illustrate the dynamic, interactive nature of persuasion. Short sidebars in every chapter suggest interesting applications of key ideas. Becoming responsible, ethical, and credible persuaders and/or critical consumers of messages is an intriguing, and sometimes surprising, journey.
Table of Contents
1. Persuasion and Influence: Introduction
The Necessity and Challenge of Persuasion / Persuasion Defined / Five Introductory Settings / Persuasion in Everyday Life / Three Types of Communication / Summary

Part I: ORIGINS OF PERSUASIVE PRACTICE

2. The Advocate in an Open Society
Subduing Advocacy in a One-Party State / Weighing the Value of Public Opinion / The Technological Push toward Openness / How Open Is American Society? / Summary

3. The Language of Advocacy
The Nature of Language / The Creation of Reality through Verbal Interaction / Self as a Product of How Others See and Label Us / What Advocates Need to Know about Language Use / Summary

Part II: PERSPECTIVES ON THE NATURE OF PERSUASION

4. Persuasion and Reasoning
Understanding Practical Arguments / Common Forms of Defective Reasoning / How Persuasion and Logical Argumentation Differ / Summary

5. Theories and Models of Source Credibility
The Three Meanings of Credibility / Credibility as Authority / Summary

6. The Mind in Persuasion
The Measures of Persuasion Effectiveness / Essential Theories and Models of Persuasion / Summary

7. Persuasion, Audiences, and Social Learning
A Conceptual Baseline: Social Learning / Audiences: The Generative Forces of Persuasion / The Audience Analysis Process / Advocates, Messages, and Audiences / Summary

Part III: PERSUASION SETTINGS

8. Contexts of Persuasion
Dimensions of Interpersonal Persuasion / Public Persuasion Campaigns / Social Marketing Campaigns / Advertising Campaigns / Political Persuasion / Summary

9. Visual Persuasion in the Design of Social Marketing Messages
What We Learn from Design Guidelines / Strategic Considerations for Nondiscursive Persuasion / Summary