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Part 3. Consumer Behavior

  1. Michal Herzenstein

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem03011

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Herzenstein, M. 2010. Persuasion. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 3.

Author Information

  1. University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Persuasion is an active attempt to change beliefs, attitudes, preferences, or behaviors. The extent of persuasion is measured by changes to the above (measured before and after the persuasion attempt). This article focuses on various approaches to persuasion. Cognitive approaches suggest that persuasion will take place if cognitive processing, conscious or unconscious, has occurred. Affective approaches, on the other hand, posit that people act on their emotions and they will be motivated to maintain their positive emotion and avoid experiencing negative emotions. Motivational approaches claim that persuasion happens when people wish to be persuaded. For example, most people like to appear consistent in what they think, say, and do, so they will change their attitudes to fit their past behavior. Self-persuasion approaches try to understand how persuasive communications induce people to think more extensively about the brand or advocated position, because such elaboration leads to strong attitudes. Finally, social influence approaches lay down several principles that appeal to deeply rooted human drives and help in changing people's behaviors. In brief, persuasion can be attained in various ways, and choosing the proper appeal is crucial. Communicators wishing to move people in their direction should seek out the right time and place to put the right approach to use with their target audience.


  • attitude change;
  • cognitive approach;
  • affective approach;
  • motivational approach;
  • self-persuasion