Now in its seventh edition, this essential text continues to provide students with a comprehensive yet accessible overview of the study and practice of persuasive communication.

Attuned to the swift changes in the world of persuasion in the twenty-first century, this book covers how theories and research illuminate and adapt to our present digital era, with continued attention to ethical implications and today’s big topics. This new edition features updated definitions of key terms in the field as they relate to present-day practice; an integration of persuasion theories and the ubiquity of online influence; new examples and cases to illustrate persuasive communication’s approach to health campaigns, attitudes, communicator appeals, dissonance, and ethics; and a thorough reflection of the most current scholarship in the field.

The Dynamics of Persuasion, Seventh Edition provides a solid foundation for undergraduate students in communication studies and psychology to grasp the key concepts and practices of persuasive communication today.

The book is complemented by online resources for both instructors and students, including an instructor’s manual, lecture slides, sample test questions, and links to relevant articles and videos illustrating concepts presented in the text. Please visit www.routledge.com/cw/perloff.

part One|73 pages


chapter Chapter 1|17 pages

Introduction to Persuasion

chapter Chapter 2|31 pages

Foundations of Persuasion

chapter Chapter 3|21 pages

Historical, Scientific, and Ethical Foundations

part Two|128 pages

The Nature of Attitudes

chapter Chapter 4|23 pages


Definition and Structure

chapter Chapter 5|38 pages

The Power of Our Passions

Theory and Research on Strong Attitudes

chapter Chapter 6|36 pages


Functions and Consequences

chapter Chapter 7|28 pages

Attitude Measurement

part Three|195 pages

Changing Attitudes and Behavior

chapter Chapter 8|41 pages

Processing Persuasive Communications

chapter Chapter 9|22 pages

“Who Says It”

Charisma, Authority, and the Controversial Milgram Study

chapter Chapter 10|28 pages

“Who Says It”

Credibility and Social Attractiveness

chapter Chapter 11|41 pages

Fundamentals of the Message

chapter Chapter 12|27 pages

Emotional Message Appeals

Fear and Guilt

chapter Chapter 13|31 pages

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

part Four|125 pages

Persuasive Communication Contexts

chapter Chapter 14|36 pages

Interpersonal Persuasion

chapter Chapter 15|46 pages

Advertising, Marketing, and Persuasion

chapter Chapter 16|41 pages

Health Communication Campaigns