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Persuasive communication is any message that is intended to shape, reinforce, or change the responses of another or others.1 Such responses are modified by symbolic transactions (messages) which are sometimes, but not always, linked with coercive force (indirectly coercive) and which appeal to the reason and emotions of the target. Generally, persuasion refers to such communicative activities that are mediated. Those that are face-to-face are called compliance-gaining.2 Persuasive communication can be targeted at • Cognition. Persuasion can be used to change individuals’ beliefs about an object or an issue, which includes attributes, interpretation, definition, outcome, etc. • Attitude. Persuasion can be used to change individuals’ attitude toward an object or an issue, which refers to the categorization of an object or an issue along an evaluative dimension (from negative to positive). • Behavior. Persuasion can be used to change individuals’ behavior, which is the overt actions regarding an object or an issue. Persuasion vs. Propaganda Propaganda is the communication of a point of view with the ultimate goal of having the recipient come to “voluntarily” accept the position as if it were his or her own.3 In addition to the pejorative flavor, propaganda has some essential and distinctive features:4 • Propaganda has a strong ideological bent. • Propaganda is institutional in nature. • Propaganda involves mass persuasion. • Propaganda tends to rely on ethically suspect methods of influence. Persuasion vs. Manipulation There are elements of manipulation and coercion implied in persuasion. However, persuasion is ethically neutral. • It is the motives of the persuader that determine if a given persuasive attempt is good or bad. • Persuasion also serves a defensive, anti-manipulation function.