Before we begin, consider the following questions. Your instructor may ask you to freewrite about one or more of these questions in your learning journal.
Have you ever changed your mind about something important? How did you change your mind? Did it happen immediately or slowly? What evidence was most important?
Have you ever purchased something because of an advertisement? How did the advertisement persuade you?
If you speak more than one language or have lived in more than one culture, how does persuasion differ across different languages or cultures? Can you provide some examples?
What makes persuasion ethical?
Political organizations and companies that are facing public resistance or a scandal will often hire people to post online pretending to be regular people who support a particular viewpoint. This is called “astroturfing.” The company supplies talking points and the astroturfers rewrite these points in their own voice and post them on the comment sections of news articles an on social media/Reddit. The people reading these messages don’t know that they were paid for by a corporation. Do you think that this form of persuasion is ethical? Why or why not?