Persuasion and Argumentation

Persuasion and Argumention

Spring Semester
Sharon Avital
Office Hours: by appointment


Short description:

This class explore the strategies of persuasion and influence people use to manipulate our attitudes and behaviours, and the theories that explain when and why these strategies work.  We will learn about the structure of arguments and the ways in which fallacies are used to manipulate opinion. The third part of the class will be dedicated to advocacy in organizations and the media.


Objectives: By the end of the class you will be able to recognize a variety of psychological and communicative processes involving specific persuasion topics such as message structure, the source, consistency and in a variety of settings such as religious cults, politics, health, old and new media. You will improve your advocacy skills and will learn to frame your message, avoid fallacies and know basic skills of successful presentation. You will also learn how to think independently, systematically, and skeptically about scientific research. The latter goal will require that you take an active role in the learning process



Assessment: 3 quizzes (18% each) – Choose the top 3 of 4- Total 57%

One paper - 33%

Participation 10%

Attendance is mandatory. Students are permitted a maximum of three unexcused absences without penalty. Any additional absences will affect the final grade and may result in failure of the course.

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