This article throws light upon the top three factors of persuasive communication model. The factors are: 1. Related to The Communication Process 2. Related to Cognitive and Psychological Reaction 3. Related to Effect on the Receiver.

Persuasive Communication Model: Factor # 1. Related to The Communication Process:

These factors include the three main key factors in the communication process which are:

A. Factors Related to the Source:

They include:


Source specialization

Source credibility

Source status

Audience Love to the Source:


The source plays the key role in the persuasive communication process. He can easily transfer his ideas when he is specialized in the topic he is talking about. David Berlo said that the communication skills such as talking, writing, reading, listening, thinking and level of knowledge are variables behind the success of communication process

Source Credibility:

Is the experience and trustworthiness that receivers give to the source. Many communication researches demonstrated that an individual response to new ideas and information depended, at least in part on “who said it”: social scientists, point out the characteristics of a message source enhance his communication effectiveness.

Though Hovland & others calculated that source credibility whether high or low do not affect the amount of information transferred to the audience, yet the high credible source is more effective in changing attitudes than low credibility sources.


Other factors such as the sources demographic characteristics and to what extent do they match the audience, also the audience love to the source affect the process. This why sometimes, actors are chosen for certain persuasive messages.

B. Factors Related to the Message:

Hovland pointed out some factors that must be included in the message in order to be effective. He focused on factors such as; the way ideas, evidence are arranged, the organization of the arguments used in support of the position advocated. In addition to the meaning contained therein, the organization of the message may vary along many dimensions.

Also the message can present the favorable arguments that the source is advocating or it can recognize the opposing positions as well. If both sides are presented, it has to be decided .which argument should precede the other, should a conclusion be presented or should it be left to the receivers to draw their own conclusion, what kind of appeals should be used.


Such questions have generated interesting studies on the role of the message component in changing attitudes. The answers will be discussed in detail in the chapter dealing with written communication.

C. Factors Related to The Audience:

Individuals vary greatly in their personal psychological organization. This will be discussed later, but this model focuses on variables in the audience that affect their readiness to be persuaded. The model figured out personality characteristics and other predisposition factors that enable communicators to predict which type of persons or audience members will respond to new information or emotions appeals.

These characteristics are:


i. An individual’s readiness to accept a favorable or unfavorable position on the particular topic that is being discussed. This category deals with personalities who show anxiety from deviating from accepted norms.

ii. An individual’s susceptibility to particular types of arguments and persuasive appeals. This category refers to the predisposition factor which takes into account that audience are exposed to different types of communication that makes them respond to some’ appeals and neglect others.

An individual’s overall level of susceptibility to any form of persuasion or social influence.

This category includes those personality characteristics of people, who are most resistant to all forms of persuasion, as well as those who are moderately responsive and those who are highly persuasible.


A number of personality factors have been suggested as affecting persuasibility.

(a) Overt Hostility:

People who display overt aggressiveness or overt anti-social behavior are considered very difficult to react to any form of persuasion.

(b) Social Withdrawal:


People under this category have a tendency to remain aloof with a marked preference for seclusive activities. They are considered to be resistant to any form of persuasion.

(c) Richness of Fantasy:

It is believed that people with a rich fantasy tend to be more receptive to persuasive communication.

(d) Self Esteem:

Men with low self-esteem are more responsive to persuasive communication than others. These persons are passive dependent and can adopt at least temporarily, whatever ideas are being promoted.

(e) Other Directness:


This refers to people with others directed. They are likely to be influenced by an educational or promotional campaign designed to change any type of belief or attitude. However, their change is likely to be short lived if exposed to counter propaganda.

(f) Sex Differences:

It is assumed that women in impersonal matters are more persuasible than men. Thus, women are more responsive to attitudes change than men in matters related to political or social issues.

Persuasive Communication Model: Factor # 2. Related to Cognitive and Psychological Reaction:

These set of factors indicates the status of reaction and feedback either in the inner perception or an overt behavior. It is the middle stage that leads to types of effect including attention, understanding and persuasion.

Persuasive Communication Model: Factor # 3. Related to Effect on the Receiver:

These factors are the goal of the persuasive communication. It is what we call the K.A.P. scale where we know to what extent did we affected our audience. Did we reach the “K” goal; “K” refers to knowledge.

This simply notifies that we affected the receiver’s knowledge by giving him information that might help him to form an opinion on the issue we are talking about. The second point on the scale is forming or changing attitudes. This is where the “A” stands. The third on the scale is the “P” that refers to practice which means succeeding in changing the receiver’s behavior and helping him to adopt our desired behavior.

Persuasive Communication Model

Is all communication persuasive, aimed at convincing others to act or think as we wish? Sometimes it seems like it is. At the least, we can say that much of what we communicate has a persuasion component in it.