Persuasion: The Central Route and Peripheral Route
Persuasion is a topic in social psychology. People may be
persuaded in different ways. In this article, I provide
information about two different ways of being persuaded.
Before providing information on these ways of being persuaded,
I will define persuasion.
What is Persuasion?
There may be a number of possible definitions of persuasion.
Below is one persuasion definition:
Persuasion occurs when one's attitudes, beliefs, or decisions
are influenced in manner consistent with a message.
The Central Route and Peripheral Route to Persuasion
Petty and Cacioppo (1981) suggested that there are two different
ways or routes to persuasion: the central route and the
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 convincing.
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 did. 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.
My book, Finding Meaning (third edition), contains ideas
about finding meaning in life, adversity, and work.