LEARNING THEORY APPROACHES TO PERSUASION

Judee K Burgoon, MICHAEL BURGOON, GERALD R. MILLER, MICHAEL SUNNAFRANK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This review synthesizes relevant research dealing with the processes of learning and suggests its applications to compliance gaining. The two major issues addressed are: (1) to what degree can learning theories explain the acquisition of new attitudes and behaviors, and (2) to what degree are attitudinal and behavioral changes governed by learning theory principles? The learning theories discussed are grouped into three categories: stimulus‐response or connectionist approaches; cognitive approaches; and stochastic, mathematical, and cybernetic approaches. The stimulus‐response models, which encompass most of the research examined in this paper, are further broken down into four types: (1) classical conditioning, (2) contiguity models, (3) instrumental (or operant) conditioning and (4) models including drive and drive reduction. Principles and major research evidence from numerous learning theories are reviewed and analyzed, and suggestions are made as to how this evidence may aid in the construction of more complete theories of persuasion and attitude change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-179
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Burgoon, J. K., BURGOON, MICHAEL., MILLER, GERALD. R., & SUNNAFRANK, MICHAEL. (1981). LEARNING THEORY APPROACHES TO PERSUASION. Human Communication Research, 7(2), 161-179. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.1981.tb00567.x