Course: Theory and Practice of Persuasion (Fall 2016 & Spring 2017)

Purpose: This course is designed to enable students to understand the fundamental principles and underlying mechanisms of persuasive campaigns, and to help students find practical applications of academic concepts in everyday contexts.

Example of activity: Students use case studies and field studies to learn about how to apply persuasive concepts to real-life situations. For instance, the course teaches students persuasion techniques intended to foster compliance. This involves various techniques for gaining compliance that can be used in everyday contexts. For example, students learn under which conditions the door-in-the-face technique (i.e., making a large request first and then making a smaller request) is effective. By learning various aspects of compliance gaining techniques in-depth (i.e., the principles, psychological mechanisms, and when they work or do not work), students not only learn how to alter other’s behavior (as they would do as business professionals), but also learn how to resist such persuasive attempts (as they would do as consumers).