880080 :Resistance and Persuasion (BDM)


Voertaal Engels
Werkvorm: Discussion seminars (Collegerooster)
Tentamenvorm: written exam +paper+presentation (Tentamenrooster)
Studielast:6 ECTS credits
Inschrijving:Enrollment via Blackboard before start of lectures
Blackboard informatieLink to Blackboard (Als u de melding 'Guest are not allowed in this course' krijgt, dient u nog bij Blackboard in te loggen)


dr. L. Janssen (coordinator)

Doel van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • Recognize, explain, and differentiate the theoretical accounts of how resistance is effected, and understand how processes of resistance and persuasion are intrinsically related
  • Recognize, explain, compare, and differentiate the multitude of strategies that people use to resist persuasion attempts targeted at them by different influence agents
  • Recognize, explain, compare, and differentiate the specific strategies that influence agents may use to sidestep, address, disrupt, or consume resistance, or deliberately induce resistance in their intended audience
  • Critically reflect on your gained knowledge, connect theoretical accounts to real-world examples, and present this in an understandable way to others, resulting in a fruitful theoretical discussion
  • Critically reflect on your gained knowledge, and apply this knowledge to collect and analyze qualitative data, and use these for designing and presenting an effective communicative intervention in the form of a campaign message

Inhoud van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

Professionals in the domains of persuasive communication (such as advertising, health, and public information) face the challenging task of designing effective campaign messages that induce attitudinal and behavioral change in their intended audiences. However, despite large advertising budgets and well thought-out marketing strategies, the majority of these persuasive messages fail to reach their objectives. For an important part, this can be attributed to message receivers offering resistance to influence. To become a successful influence agent, gaining knowledge of the multitude of strategies that foster attitudinal and behavioral change is therefore not sufficient. When you desire to understand the process of persuasion, you should also seek to understand the nature and operation of its antithesis: resistance.

During this course you will be provided with an in-depth overview of academic research in the fields of marketing- and health communication, consumer behavior, and social- and media psychology studying the process of resistance to persuasion and become acquainted with the relevant concepts in those fields. Specifically, we will discuss several theories on the different psychological processes that may underlie a resistance response (e.g., self-regulation, persuasion knowledge, psychological reactance), the different strategies that people adopt to guard themselves against persuasive influences (e.g., counter arguing, source derogation, unconscious correction), and the strategies that influence professionals may use to overcome resistance (e.g., narrative persuasion, sexual appeals and positive mood). In addition, we will discuss strategies that are specifically designed to help message receivers recognize persuasion attempts and foster resistance, such as sponsorship disclosures.

Bijzonderheden (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

This course consists of seminars with obligatory attendance, since active participation is crucial to the success of this course. You are expected to come to class having carefully read all of the required readings for that day (2/3 academic papers), to be able to contribute to an in-depth discussion. The discussion will be facilitated by discussion leaders, which are different subgroups of students for each seminar.

Each discussion seminar will start with a 15-minute knowledge test (30% of final grade), assessing your knowledge of the assigned literature for that day. After the test, one of the subgroups will provide a lecture in which they explain the key points of the readings for that day, illustrated by ‘real-world’ examples. The subgroup will lead a discussion on the seminar’s theme, guided by a set of propositions. During the lecture as well as the discussion (which can be an integrated whole; 10% of final grade), the subgroup will be supported by the lecturer to make sure that all important concepts are well-explained, and major and minor issues are distinguished.

In subroups, you will also conduct a small qualitative (interview) study, which serves as input for the development of a campaign proposal. This communicative intervention is aimed at persuading a specific target group to change or adopt certain attitudes and/or behaviors toward which they may currently experience resistance. The topic can be promoting helath-, prosocial or pro-environmental behavior, promoting a specific product or service, or promoting specific (e.g., political) ideas. The proposal is to be presented twice during presentation seminars, and to be handed in in written form at the end of the course (30% of final grade).

At the end of the course, your knowledge on the course literature (i.e., all the required readings and discussions) will be tested in a written exam with open-ended questions (30% of final grade).

Verplichte literatuur

  1. A selection of 20-25 academic papers and book chapters, to be announced via Blackboard at the beginning of the course.

Vereiste voorkennis


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