File - D. Cook Academic

Report
Prepared by Robert Gass & John Seiter
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ETHICAL ISSUES ARE BOUND UP IN THE USE
OF COMMUNICATION
Every interaction involves a “content” and a
“relationship” dimension
 ethical implications are entailed in both
dimensions
Persuasion is goal-directed
 Persuaders must make choices between means
and ends
Richard Weaver maintains that all language is
“sermonic”
 Language is inherently normative, value-laden
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IN GENERAL, IS PERSUASION UNETHICAL?
negative stereotypes
 persuasion as “sophistry,” including
deceit, beguilement, trickery
idealistic view
Note, that all of these views are
persuasive in and of themselves
A person who is attempting to
convince others that persuasion is
unethical is persuading
 persuasion as “manipulation,” getting
others to do our bidding
feminist view
 persuasion as a “masculine,”
“patriarchal” practice
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OUR VIEW OF ETHICS AND PERSUASION
Idealistic views of human communication
are unrealistic, impractical
 communication does break down
 people do have incompatible goals
Persuasion is not a dirty word
 “tool” analogy of persuasion (amoral view)
The motives color the means
 The motives (ends) of the persuader, more
than the strategy used (means), is what
makes persuasion more or less ethical
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THE MOTIVES COLOR THE MEANS
means
“good” motive or end
“bad” motive or end
Use of
deception
Concealing a surprise party for
the person in whose honor the
party is being given
Trying to swindle an elderly
person out of his/her life
savings
Use of fear
appeals
Trying to convince a child
never to accept a ride from a
stranger
Threatening to demote an
employee for resisting a
superior’s sexual advances
Trying to cheer up a friend who Lavishing attention on a dying
Use of
ingratiation is discouraged about a grade relative in hopes of being
on a test
named in the will
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ETHICS OF CENTRAL VS. PERIPHERAL PROCESSING
Central processing is based on:
 thought, reflection, deliberation
 scrutiny of message content
 high level of receiver involvement
Peripheral processing is based on:
Cultural differences
 Individualistic cultures tend to
favor direct strategies
 Collectivistic cultures tend to favor
indirect strategies
 mental shortcuts such as
credibility, images, appearancebased cues
 emotional processing
 low level of receiver involvement
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ETHICAL QUESTIONS THAT CAN’T BE
ANSWERED BY RESEARCH
“Truth” versus “truths”
Issues related to the ends of persuasion
 pro-life versus pro-choice
 same sex marriage
 assisted suicide
 capital punishment
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DIFFERENT FIELDS HAVE DIFFERENT ETHICAL
STANDARDS
The Federal Trade Commission
(FTC)
 regulates truth in advertising
Institute for Advertising Ethics
 http://www.aaf.org/default.asp?i
d=1236
American Association of
Advertising Agencies
American Psychological
Association
 http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/ind
ex.aspx
International Sociological
Association
 http://www.isasociology.org/about/isa_code_of_et
hics.htm
 http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/
index.aspx
Word of Mouth Marketing
Association
 http://www.womma.org/ethics
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CHARACTERISTICS OF ETHICAL INFLUENCE
 Intentionality
 Conscious awareness
 Free choice, free will
 Language-based
 Reliance on central
processing
 Presumptive superiority of
words over images
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PERSUADERS AS LOVERS
Brockriede’s types of arguers
 Seducers
 use charm deception,
flattery, beguilement
 Rapists
 use force, coercion,
threats, ultimatums
 Lovers
 view another as a partner
Characteristics of ethical
influence
 Respect
 Reaffirming the other’s self
worth
 Treating another with dignity
 Equality
 Equal status, shared goals
 Tolerance
 Respecting differences of
opinion
 Remaining open to new ideas
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ROBERT CIALDINI’S ETHICAL APPROACH
Bunglers
 are inept, utilize ineffective strategies, may use unethical strategies
because they don’t know any better
 an inept salesperson, a naïve persuader, an uninformed advocate
Smugglers
 are sneaky, have little or no concern for ethics, will resort to any strategy
to succeed
 con artists, hucksters, high pressure salespeople
Sleuths
 Are knowledgeable about persuasion, employ effective and ethical
strategies, and adapt their message to the listener’s frame of reference
 TED talks speakers, Steve Jobs’ commencement address,
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WHEN IS BANNING PERSUASION ETHICAL?
Should some forms of persuasion be banned?
 Hate speech? (Westboro Baptist Church)
 Speech codes on college campuses?
 Cyber-bullying?
 KKK or Nazi rallies?
 Abortion clinic hecklers?
Is there a right to avoid influence attempts?
 Telemarketing
 Spam
 Webtracking
 Aggressive panhandling
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IS THE USE OF COERCION EVER BE ETHICALLY
JUSTIFIED?
 A child is forced to get a
vaccination by his or her
parents
 a psychotic or delusional
person is forcibly restrained
so he/she won’t harm
him/her self or someone
else
 Enhanced interrogation
techniques: under a ticking
bomb” scenario, is using
torture to save lives
justifiable?
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ETHICAL QUESTIONS REGARDING SOURCE
CREDIBILITY
 Is it unethical for a celebrity
endorser to promote a
product or service he or she
does not actually use, or
about which he or she lacks
expertise?
 Does the use of authority
become an abuse of
authority if receivers place
too much faith or reliance in
a particular source?
 Would a celebrity say the
same thing about a
product if she/he were not
being paid?
 Does “bona fide” user
mean the celebrity uses a
product once per week,
once per year, or once
only?
 Celebrity endorsers must
disclose their relationship
with an advertiser
 They must be a “bona fide”
user of the product
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ETHICAL QUESTIONS RELATING TO CHILDREN
What ethical guidelines should be
followed when attempting to persuade
highly vulnerable audiences?
 Children
 May believe all ads are truthful and
accurate
 May be lured by giveaways (free toy)
 May be exposed to adult advertising
 Children’s Online Privacy Protection
Act (COPPA) limits information that
kids are required to divulge online
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SELLING OVER-SEXED TOYS TO KIDS
Baby Bratz dolls are popular
with girls ages 4-12
The dolls are dressed in
provocative clothing
Accessories include Jacuzzis
and mixed drinks
The American Psychological
Association maintains that Bratz
dolls contributes to the early
sexualization of girls
(APA Task Force on the
Sexualization of Girls, 2004)
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ETHICAL QUESTIONS RELATED TO SENIORS
Elderly
 Are more vulnerable to scams: 80% of fraud victims
are 65 or older (FTC)
 55-80% of telemarketing is aimed at seniors
(National Crime Prevention Council)
 Elderly are more likely to fall for deceptive prize
promotions, sweepstakes, lottery scams, bogus
charities, and bank error scams
 Aging results in damage to the ventromedial
prefrontal cortex which regulates doubt and
skepticism (Rogalsky, Vidal, Li, & Damasio, 2012)
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ETHICAL QUESTIONS RELATED TO AT-RISK
ADULTS
Poor, inner-city residents
 People living in poor, urban environments are subjected to more
billboard ads for alcohol and cigarettes
 Because they often lack education, they are susceptible to
misleading advertising
Immigrants, non-English speakers
 Employers may exploit undocumented workers by denying them
benefits, allowing unsafe working conditions, and threatening to
report workers if they complain
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ALCOHOL ADVERTISING IN THE INNER CITY
 African-American communities are targeted by
the alcohol and tobacco industry
 Billboards: 55%-58% of inner city billboards
carried cigarette and/or alcohol ads compared
to only 34% in more affluent areas
 Magazine ads: Black youths were exposed to
66% more beer and ale ads and 81% more
distilled spirits magazine advertisements in
2002
 Radio ads: Blacks youths heard 12% more beer
advertising and 56% more ads for distilled spirits
than non-African-American youth
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COMMON CRITICISMS OF
ADVERTISERS/MARKETERS
 Advertising sells us dreams and entices us with
romanticized images
 Advertising makes us believe there is a quick fix for
all of life’s problems
 Advertising panders to our desires for things that
are bad for us
 Advertisers manipulate us into wanting things we
don’t really need
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COMMON RESPONSES TO CRITICISMS
 Caveat emptor—let the buyer beware
 Consumer stupidity is not the fault of advertising
 Media literacy movement: can facilitate better
understandings of media
 Economic Darwinism: bad products won’t survive no
matter how good the advertising
 The FCC and other watchdog groups already regulate
advertising
 Advertisers and other groups have their own
professional codes of ethics
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ETHICAL QUESTIONS REGARDING DECEPTION
 Is deception ever justified?
Is honesty always the best
policy?
 Is deception a form of
communication
competence? Should
people practice being better
deceivers?
 Not all lies are self-serving.
 Would you tell the Nazis if
Anne Frank were hiding in your
attic?
 Are parents who tell their
children about Santa Claus or
the Easter Bunny bad parents?
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DOCTOR-PATIENT DECEPTION
Is an M.D.’s use of strategic
ambiguity, equivocation, a lie of
omission, or other type of deception
ever justifiable?
Scenario: A pedestrian, who has
Possible answers:
 “I’ll do everything I can.”
 “It’s too soon to tell.”
 “I’m afraid it doesn’t look good.”
been run over by a car, arrives at the
emergency room
 “There is serious injury to both legs and
damage to your spine.”
The ER physician can tell that the
patients’ legs are crushed and there
is damage to the spine
 “I’ll be honest with you, you’ll probably
live, but you’ll be confined to a wheelchair
the rest of your life.”
The patient asks, “Am I going to be
okay? Am I going to live? Will I be
able to walk again?”
Question: What should the doctor
Is a patient’s right to know tempered by
the need to prevent added stress?
Can a patient who is in a state of shock
make an informed decision?
say?
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ETHICS AND THE USE OF THREATS AND
FEAR APPEALS
Is the use of threats ever
ethically justifiable?
Is the use of fear appeals ever
ethically justifiable and, if so,
under what conditions or
circumstances?
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AMERICA: A CULTURE OF FEAR?
Barry Glassner, a sociology professor at USC,
claims Americans are bombarded with fear
appeals
Fear mongering increases during “sweeps “week
on TV
 Fear of terrorism
 National health insurance and “death panels”
 Fear of immigrants taking jobs, jobs being
outsourced overseas
 Fear of exotic diseases
 Fear of ailments that require prescription drugs
 Fear of crime, violence
 Fear of lack of health care coverage
 Fear of Social Security cuts
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A CULTURE OF FEAR?
Scary diseases
 Swine flue or H1N1
 Mad cow disease
 West Nile virus
 Sars
Yet, many Americans fail to get a
flu shot
Some 10,000 or more people die
per year from the flu!
No one in the U.S.A. has died
from Mad Cow disease (BSE)
 Ebola
 Flesh eating virus
 Avian flu
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PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES AND FEAR
MONGERING
Is the purple pill right for you?
 Pharmaceutical firms claim
they are “empowering
consumers” by running ads
 But are they creating
unnecessary demand?
U.S. drug makers spend 2.5
times as much on
marketing and
administration as they do
on research
75 percent of new drugs
approved by the FDA are
me-too drugs
“no better than drugs
already on the market to
treat the same condition.”
 Marcia Angell, former editor of
the New England Journal of
Medicine
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KEEP THE NUMBERS IN PERSPECTIVE
Mass shootings: There were 16
mass shootings in 2012, that
left 88 people dead
BUT
137 children, ages 15 or
younger drowned in pools and
spas in 2012
Drownings are much more
preventable-all that is required
is adult supervision
Compared to:
 35,000 injuries per year from
nail guns
 Food allergy fatalities 100200 per year
 Bathtubs: 337 fatalities
 Dog bites: 16 fatalities
 Fireworks: 13 fatalities
 Hornets, wasps, and bees:
46 fatalities
 Lightning: 63 fatalities
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ETHICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT EMOTIONAL APPEALS
Is playing on another’s emotions
ethically defensible?
Are some types of emotional
appeals better, or more ethically
defensible than others?
Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a
Dream” speech employed
emotional appeals
Coaches use emotional appeals to
inspire their teams
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ETHICAL QUESTIONS RELATED TO THE USE OF
INGRATIATION?
Is ingratiation an unethical strategy, or an honest
acknowledgement of the way things work?
Research by Ronald Deluga shows ingratiating
employees enjoy a 5% advantage when it comes to
employee performance reviews
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ETHICS AND VISUAL PERSUASION
Lancet reported that aid organizations seek to
raise their own media profile at the expense of
the needy
Philip Morris spends twice as much promoting its
philanthropy as it does on philanthropy itself
Pharmaceutical manufacturers spend twice as
much on marketing as on basic research
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THE CAMERA DOES LIE
The infamous KONY documentary; false and
misleading images
The documentary quality of photographs and
video footage makes people believe photos are
“objective,” “impartial” representations of reality
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ETHICAL OF SUBLIMINAL PERSUASION
Should subliminal messages be allowed
and, if so, should they be regulated by
the government or some other
institution?
Do online subliminal messages pose
any risk?
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