PRK 3508 Persuasion and Influence in Society - RE-SIT EXAMINATION

PRK 3508 Persuasion and Influence in Society - RE-SIT EXAMINATION

Course code: 
PRK 3508
Communication and Culture
Course coordinator: 
Tor Bang
Course name in Norwegian: 
Påvirkning og overtalelse - KONTINUASJONSEKSAMEN
Product category: 
Bachelor of Communication Management - Programme Course
2022 Spring
Active status: 
Re-sit exam
Level of study: 
Resit exam semesters: 
2021 Autumn
2022 Spring
Resit exam info

Kurset er faset ut men det tilbys kontinuasjonseksamen høsten 2021 og siste gang våren 2022.

Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

Building on previous exposure to consumer theory, students will learn how to craft a persuasive message aimed at the wider stakeholder arena. The course is first and foremost theory-based, in that students will gain in-depth knowledge into theories of social psychology and cognition, as well as audience information processing and decision-making. We will adapt these theoretical underpinnings to the communications of stakeholders such as political and social organizations and movements, as well as activists and non-governmental organizations, to both better understand their sense-making and adequate forms of addressing them. The course is thus intended to extend student’s prior knowledge in consumer behavior, to both expose them to further theoretical depth as well as to show and discuss further, stakeholder-oriented applications of these theories.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • Students will obtain an understanding of the role of theory in persuading stakeholders, and will get acquainted with up-to-date research and methodology to plan and frame political and social communication strategies.
  • Participants will gain an understanding of theories of social psychology as well as of stakeholder perception and decision-making, ranging from both classical theoretical insights to ways of engaging audiences with modern means such as storytelling and new media.
  • To this end, strong emphasis will be laid on methodological concerns and a fundamental understanding of the nature of human cognition and group decision-making –combined with the discussion of engagement strategies and campaign elements.
  • On completing the course, students should be able to understand the main concepts and models of influence and persuasion, as well as the sometimes unconscious processes underlying persuasion. Additionally, they should understand the ethical dilemmas of persuasion.
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • On completing the course, students should be able to apply small and mass media persuasion techniques to their communication strategies and be able to add value in public affairs roles
General Competence
  • On completing the course, students should understand the objectives of persuasion, and be able to raise critical questions about social and political influence and persuasion.
Course content

1. Introduction
Introduction into persuasion and the course, as well as communalities to the practice of consumer behavior. A definition of persuasive communication as well as several examples of persuasion, which will all be elaborated upon in more detail in the upcoming lectures, will be provided.

2. Information Processing
Essentials of human perception, bounded rationality and mental models. Discussion how schemata and heuristics are used to process information, and the link to what this means to political and social persuasion.

3. Attitudes
Why attitudes help explain social decision-making, and their embeddedness in associations. Means of measuring attitudes and opinions, and thoughts on the consistency of attitudes and the desire to achieve cognitive balance.

4. Models of Behavior
Theories of decision-making, ranging from the Theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior to the Elaboration –Likelihood Model and other approaches to explain how stakeholders examine persuasive messages.

5. Conformity and Influence in Groups
On the difference between coercion and persuasion, group dynamics that lead to often-unintended decision making processes, and how group pressure might force people into action.

6. Source Factors
How the social attractiveness of a persuader influences message effectiveness, how to put communicator characteristics to use and how to use endorsements to persuade.

7. Audience Factors
How, depending on who listens to a message, the persuasive effect might be different (depending on variables such as need for cognition, self-monitoring, etc.). Ways of conceptualizing stakeholder audiences and identifying pathways for engagement.

8. Message Factors
Choosing the contents of a persuasive message, especially with regards to the use of language in persuasion and order effects to make arguments the most persuasive.

9. Interpersonal Influence
Discussion of a collection of techniques that are used in dyadic encounters to persuade better and to gain influence – also in regards to campaigning strategies.

10. Nonverbal Persuasion
How body-language, visuals, music, architecture and other techniques are used to influence audiences in politics.

Teaching and learning activities

The course is implemented as classroom teaching, as well as weekly online tests.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Higher Education Entrance Qualification


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal examiner with external supervisor
Examination every semester
100Yes4 Hour(s)
  • No support materials
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • No support materials
Duration:4 Hour(s)
Exam code: PRK35081
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination every semester
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
65 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
95 Hour(s)
4 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.