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Discuss the idea that persuasion is a process of manipulation, exploitation and misinformation; thus its use in public relations can never be justified.
The first 200 words of this essay...
Anna-Louise Whitaker - BAPR2 - Persuasion and Influence Assignment - November 2003
Question B: Discuss the idea that persuasion is a process of manipulation, exploitation and misinformation; thus its use in public relations can never be justified
Persuasive messages are part of people's everyday lives. These messages take shape in many forms, ranging from small persuasive messages such as the way a product is packaged, to the highly persuasive nature of cults or a powerful and influential speaker. A US magazine 'Advertising Age' estimates the average American is exposed to over five thousand persuasive messages a day (Larson 1998, p.5). Are we being manipulated, exploited and misinformed by these messages? Persuasion is defined as "a transactional process among two or more persons whereby the management of symbolic meaning reconstructs reality, resulting in voluntary change in beliefs, attitudes, and/or behaviours." by Johnston (1994, p.7). Levitt (1974 cited Johannesen 1996 p.41) suggests "the human audience demands symbolic interpretation of everything it sees and knows". Symbolic interpretation could involve manipulation, misinformation and exploitation because it might mean not telling things exactly as they are; yet according to Levitt, people not only accept this but expect this. This essay will focus on
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