COMM 140 – Theory of Persuasive Communication

Session C


What comes to mind when you think of persuasion? Presidential candidates trying to get you to vote for them? Websites shamelessly promoting products and companies? Charismatic political and religious leaders trying to get you to see things their way? Lawyers trying to get you to convict–or find their client innocent? Can you think of any time when the media or some attractive communicator changed your mind? Have you ever been convinced to buy something that you didn’t need or even want? Have you ever been talked into an unnecessary car repair? Have you ever been persuaded to loan money to a friend only to discover that she had no intention of paying you back? On the other hand, have you ever been helped by persuasive communication? Have you ever been talked into giving up some bad habit? Have you ever had a conversation with a friend that gave you a new and positive attitude? Have you ever been convinced by someone to look at the world in a new way? Have you ever been persuaded by a teacher that you had potential that you had not known you had? How and why are we persuaded in some instances, but not others? This class examines persuasion through media, interpersonal, psychological, and sociological lenses. It systematically explores the processes, complexities, and subtleties of persuasion in everyday life.

Michael W Suman


Michael Suman

Michael Suman studies mass media effects, media and culture, and new communications technologies. Prior to working for our department, he lectured at various locations and universities throughout Asia, and was the Project Coordinator for UCLA’s Television Violence Monitoring Project and Research Director for UCLA’s Center for Communication Policy. Since 2004, he has also served as Research Director of the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future. He has authored and edited numerous publications related to the impact of computers and the Internet on society. He has also published work on television violence, religion and the media, and advocacy groups and the media.

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