The Dynamics of Persuasion


A video recording of this program is now available on the Explore Content section of this website.

We are surrounded by persuasive messaging. It has been estimated that we are exposed to up to 10,000 advertisements and branded messages every day. But how many of these messages actually reach or resonate with us—and what is it, exactly, that makes them effective? 

Persuasion is a process that harnesses a range of media, from posters and social media to body language, speech and sloganeering. It plays out in politics, propaganda, advertising, and activism. Whichever media is used, all these acts rely on the theories and dynamics of persuasion. 

Join this discussion on how messages use the language, psychology, and theories of persuasion to affect their target audience. The discussion will be moderated by Susan Dun, associate professor at Northwestern Qatar.     

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    Susan Dun

    Susan Dun is an associate professor at Northwestern Qatar, where she teaches research methods in communication, persuasion and influence, and health communication. Dun’s central area of interest is health communication, especially the design of message interventions to encourage healthy behavior. She is currently involved with a research project developing messages targeting unsafe driving behaviors in young male drivers. Dun received her PhD in communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Tim Borchers

    Timothy Borchers is the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska, USA. Previously he served as the Dean of Arts, Media and Communication at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he was also a faculty member and department chair. Borchers holds an MA and PhD in Communication from Wayne State University, Michigan. He is the author of two books, Persuasion in the Media Age (2012) and Rhetorical Theory: An Introduction (with co-author, 2018). His research interests center on media, political campaign communication, and student retention and success.