Home > Strategies and Skill Development > Social Reasoning Strategy Families > Appeal Building > Literature Note - Appeal Building

Appeal building, or the cognitive skills underlying persuasive communication, extend well beyond logic and argumentation, given that they are concerned with the interpersonal aspects that are so critical to persuasion. The subject is a venerable one, going back to such concepts as the three appeals (ethos, pathos, logos) of classical rhetoric. It has been studied extensively from a psychological perspective. Persuasive strategies emerge during childhood and gradually increase in sophistication (Delia, Kline, & Burleson, 1979; Stiff, 2003). As Wilson (2002, p. 15) pointed out, approaches to persuasive communication focus on strategy selection (Seibold & Meyers, 1985) and goal pursuit (Wilson, 1997), though both must be understood in a context of social interaction where the ways in which one person tries to convince another are highly dependent on relationships and social context.

Delia, J. G., Kline, S. L., & Burleson, B. R. (1979). The development of persuasive communication strategies in kindergartners through twelfth-graders. Communication Monographs, 46, 241–256.

Seibold, D. R., & Meyers, R. A. (1985). Communication and influence in decision-making. In R. Y. Hirokawa & M. S. Poole (Eds.), Communication and group decision-making (pp. 133-155). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Stiff, J. B. (2003). Persuasive communication. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Wilson, S. R. (1997). Developing theories of persuasive message production: The next generation. In J. O. Greene (Ed.), Message production: Advances in communication theory (pp. 15–43). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Wilson, S. R. (2002). Seeking and resisting compliance. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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