I plan to do a research project on persuasion and publish my observations here as I go along. It comes from my general interest in the topic of change. I’d like to learn to be more persuasive. I also want to be more aware of what persuades me and why. It’s a broad topic, I understand, so I’ll tackle it in bits and pieces. Right now, I am developing a roadmap for my project. Here are the categories I have so far:
- Definitions. What is persuasive communication?
- Theories of persuasion
- Persuasive strategies
- Factors that determine the persuasiveness of a message
- Areas where persuasion applies
- Personal accounts related to persuasion
- Resources on persuasion
If you have any thoughts on the topic or suggestions of books, resources or other aspects of persuasion I should look into, I’d love to hear them.
For now, I’ll leave you with a few quotations:
"When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and true maxim that 'a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.' So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the great highroad to his reason, and which, once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing him of the justice of your cause, if indeed that cause is really a good one."
- Abraham Lincoln
"Persuasion is often more effectual than force."
"In order to learn one must change one’s mind."
- Orson Scott Card
"He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that."
- John Stuart Mill
"Let him who would move the world, first move himself."