This fully-updated fourth edition introduces readers to the rich tapestry of persuasive technique and scholarship, interweaving perspectives from rhetoric, critical theory, and social science and applying their insights to practical political, social, and business contexts.

This text examines current and classical theory through the lens of contemporary culture, encouraging readers to explore the nature of persuasion and to understand its impact in their lives. Employing a contemporary approach, it draws from popular culture, mass media, social media, advertising, political campaigns, and social movements to help readers become informed creators and consumers of persuasive messages. Case studies show how and why people fall for persuasive messages, demonstrating how persuasion works at a cognitive level. This new edition includes extended treatment of the ethics of persuasion, including opposing views on handling controversial issues in the college classroom; a new chapter on propaganda and ideology; and a greater focus on digital contexts and social media. Discussion questions, exercises, and key terms are provided for each chapter.

This textbook will be a valuable tool for students of communication, media studies, politics, psychology, and business and advertising.

Online resources for instructors include PowerPoint slides and test bank.

part One|98 pages

Understanding Persuasion

chapter 1|19 pages

The Study of Persuasion

chapter 2|26 pages

Globalized View of Persuasion

chapter 3|25 pages

The Psychology of Persuasion

chapter 4|26 pages

The Ethics of Persuasion

part two|116 pages

Approaches to Persuasion

chapter 5|19 pages

Coactive Persuasion

chapter 7|22 pages

Framing Persuasive Messages

chapter 8|22 pages

Argumentation and Persuasion

chapter 9|29 pages

Cognitive Shorthands

part three|140 pages

Contexts of Persuasion

chapter 10|37 pages

Persuasive Campaigns

chapter 11|30 pages

Advertising and Persuasion

chapter 12|26 pages

Political Campaigning

chapter 13|24 pages

Social Movements and Persuasion

chapter 14|21 pages

Conflict and Negotiation