Central Route and Peripheral Route to Persuasion
Persuasion is a topic in social psychology. People may be
persuaded in different ways. Petty and Cacioppo (1981)
suggested that there are two different ways or routes to
persuasion: the central route and the peripheral route.
The Central Route to Persuasion
The central route to persuasion involves being persuaded by
the arguments or the content of the message. For example, after
hearing a political debate you may decide to vote for a candidate
because you found the candidates views and arguments very
The Peripheral Route to Persuasion
The peripheral route to persuasion involves being persuaded in
a manner that is not based on the arguments or the message
content. For example, after reading a political debate you may
decide to vote for a candidate because you like the sound of the
person's voice, or the person went to the same university as you
The peripheral route can involve using superficial cues such as
the attractiveness of the speaker.
Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1981). Attitudes and
persuasion: Classic and contemporary approaches.
Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Company Publishers.