After completing this course:
- You know about theories and research on the determinants of behavior
- You can apply this knowledge on cases and problems in persuasive communication
- You can explain communication from a persuasion perspective
Communication often aims at persuading people. Making customers buy your product, convincing voters to choose you, or explaining travelers that they need a vaccine - in all these cases the sender of the message does not only want to be understood, but also to persuade. To that end, his or her message has to be as effective as possible.|
Before an effective message can be designed, however, is it essential to understand what happens inside the heads of the audience. How do people decide how to behave and to whom they want to listen? What are the determinants of human behavior in general, why do people do what they do? Only if you know how human behaviour works you can try to influence it through communication.
This course focusses on the (social) psychological theories of what people think and do. We will discuss fundamental theories on human behaviour, and on how communication can have an effect on behaviour. The knowledge from this course can be applied to various topics in communication: no matter where and how people communicate, psychological processes take place and affect that communication and its effects. In paper advertisements, in twitter posts, or in the president's speech - persuasion will only work if it taps into the right processes in the audience's head.
Type of instructions
Lectures (10 weeks), seminars (3 weeks)
Type of exams
Midterm exam + Final exam + group assignment
The midterm exam (30%) will take place halfway through the course, and tests your knowledge and understanding of all lectures and literature up to that point. (open-ended questions)
The final exam (40%) will take place at the end of the course, and tests your knowledge and understanding of all course lectures and literature. (open-ended questions)
Group assignment (30%)
To pass the course, the weighted average of the exam part (70%) and the assignment part (30%) needs to be at minimum a 6, and the weighted average of the midterm exam (30%) and the final exam (40%) needs to be at minimum a 6. If you do not pass the course, the exam part can be retaken. Please note that the score on the re-exam replaces the score on the midterm and the final exam. The midterm on its own cannot be retaken.