Function of Attitudes and Persuasive Communications

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For this Discussion, you will analyze a fictional show on television or the Internet for elements of influence demonstrated in characters’ traits, actions, and attitudes. As with previous course activities, you will also consider the ethics of the strategies and techniques used by the fictional character(s) to influence others.
To prepare for part one: Analyzing Media

  • Review the Week 3 Learning Resources.
  • If you have not done so already, choose a fictional show that is rated G or PG, such as a situational comedy or a drama.
  • Watch one episode, paying attention to the situational factors, main characters’ traits, and characteristics of their attitudes. Consider who is the chief influencer in the episode and who is the main target of that influence.
  • Also, consider how the characters or theme of the show may influence viewers like you.
  • Consider the influence of culture on the characters (i.e., their own culture or the culture of others on the show) and how your own culture influences how you view the characters and situations.
  • Using a relevant code of ethics (e.g., for a character’s situation or viewing the character through the lens of the profession you are interested in), evaluate the ethics of a main character’s influence on another character or on viewers.

Post responses to the following statements:

  • Identify the show you chose, and summarize the context of the episode. Who was the influencer, and who was being influenced? Include characters on the show and audience members, if relevant. Explain if a character’s behavior changed due to the influence of another and your prediction as to whether that change is temporary or lasting, and why.
  • Explain the cultural dynamic presented within the show, as well as the influence of that cultural dynamic on the show’s characters.
  • Explain how the culture of the show and your own culture influenced you as a viewer and influenced your analysis of the show.
  • Evaluate the persuasive influence of character(s) from an ethical perspective, and note the code of ethics you use.

For this Assignment, you will explore routes to persuasion by applying the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), presented in the text reading this week, to an experience in your life.

To prepare for part two: Elaboration Likelihood Model

  • Review the Week 3 Learning Resources, the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM).
  • Think of a time when you were influenced by someone else to make a substantial change in your life (e.g., enroll in your program at Walden; change jobs; move to another city; or address a habit, such as to stop smoking).
  • Recall the details of the situation, including the person who influenced you.
  • Analyze the situation and how you moved through it in terms of the components of the ELM featured in the graphic on page 192 of the text, paying particular attention to the route(s) to persuasion that you used (e.g., when the routes overlapped for you, if they did, or whether you used the same route throughout the situation).
  • Consider what informed how you engaged with the person(s) who influenced you and other aspects of the situation.
  • Also, consider the ethics of the method(s) of influence, using the code of ethics you consider most appropriate to the situation.

Submit a 3- to 5-page paper that addresses the following:

  • Describe the situation, the change you were influenced to make, who influenced you, and the nature of the influence.
  • Apply the ELM model, and explain the experience for you in terms of the ELM components.
  • Explain the ethics of the influence you experienced and how your relationship with the person(s) who influenced you was impacted.
  • Explain insights you gained from analyzing this experience using the ELM model that you would apply the next time you want to make a change in your life or are encouraged to make a change by others.

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