MGMT 552

Course: MGMT 552 Communication and Psychology of Persuasion, Summer 2016
Instructor: Lemi Baruh, Department of Media and Visual Arts
Office: SOS204, Phone: 1133
Email: lbaruh[at]
Office Hours: By appointment

Class Hours and Location
August 12-14, 2016 (09:00 – 13:00), CAS Z27
September 02-04, 2016 (09:00 – 13:00), CAS Z27
September 23-25, 2016 (09:00 – 13:00), CAS Z27


The purpose of this course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of issues related to persuasive effects of communications. The course will have two modules. The first module will investigate major models related to decision making, attitudes and consumer behavior. Specifically, the module will focus on steps that individuals go through while making decisions, the relationship between beliefs goals, attitudes and behavior. Building on the information gained in the first module, the second module will focus on persuasive messages. Using applied examples and relevant theory, this module will investigate the role that content characteristics such as argument quality, sidedness, evidence, narratives, and  may play in construction of persuasive communications. Also, we will discuss issues related to source characteristics, such as likeability and credibility of sources, as factors that may have an impact on persuasion. Both modules will provide applied examples from marketing, health and political communication and discuss implications for communication campaigns.


By the end of the semester, students should have

  • Proficiency in theoretical models related to attitude formation, change and persuasion
  • A well developed understanding of the application of the models in marketing, political and health communication contexts
  • The ability to critically evaluate how different message, sender and receiver characteristics may influence the persuasive impact of a message.


Readings: There will be reading assignments for each week. The required readings for the course will be distributed electronically to students. Time in class will be given to careful scrutiny of the readings. You should come to class having read the assigned readings.

Final Project: In the final project, you will be expected to develop a marketing campaign for an “illegal” or an “unethical” product or service. You can work in groups of two or individually for the project.

  1. You will have to develop a detailed plan for the marketing strategy and marketing mix for the product/service (product, distribution, pricing and promotions). To do so, you will also need to do an analysis regarding the potential target market and competition for the product. This would entail using secondary data (from market and related goods) to make estimates and projections (regarding size of the market, the extent to which the product would benefit from first comer advantage etc.).
  2. Once you are done with the marketing strategy component, you will be required to produce the communication materials for the product. This would include branding (e.g., logo, tag-line), print advertisements, online presence, a concept (e.g., the scenario and/or the storyboard) for an advertising film, in-store promotions, viral campaign idea. Important:
    • You should determine the communication materials you will produce based on your analysis in step one
    • You will not be graded on the aesthetic qualities of the communication materials. You will be graded based on the “concept” and the fit between the analysis you do in step one and the “concept” you developed. This means that you should pay more attention to developing the ideas than to figuring out how to use production software.

Deliverables for the final project:

  • A maximum 15 minute presentation to be delivered in the last day of classes
  • A detailed report containing the analysis (step 1) and proposal (step 2) for the campaign two weeks after the last day of classes. This report should also take into consideration feedback received during the presentations and revise the campaign accordingly.
  • The detailed report is due October 16, 2016.

Grading: The project will be graded as follows:

20% – Participation and attendance
35% – Final Report Presentation (half of the grade will come from peer evaluations)
45% – Final Report 

Grading Scale: The letter grade for the class will be based on the grading scale below.

97+        A+
90+        A
87+        A-
83+        B+
80+        B
77+        B-
73+        C+
70+        C
67+        C-
64+        D+
60+        D
0-59       F


Assignments and papers delivered after a specified deadline (including hour) will be considered late. Late assignments and papers will be penalized 10% for each business day it is late. Any paper that is overdue for more than five business days will be automatically deducted 50% until the end of the semester and can be turned in at any time during the semester but before the final exam.


Cheating, plagiarism or collusion in assigments, exams or papers are serious offences that will result in a failing grade and more severe disciplinary action. There are no exceptions to this rule.

According to the Student Code of Conduct at Koc University, academic dishonesty includes and is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, multiple submissions, and collusion:

  • Cheating includes, but is not limited to, copying from a classmate or providing answers or information, either written or oral to others, in an examination or in the preparation of material subject to academic evaluation.
  • Plagiarism is borrowing or using someone else’s writing or ideas without giving written acknowledgement to the author. This includes copying from a fellow student?s paper or from a text or internet site without properly citing the source.
  • Multiple submission includes resubmission of the same work previously used in another course or project, without the permission of the instructor for both courses.
  • Collusion is getting unauthorized help from another person such as having someone else write one?s assignment, or having someone else take an exam with false identification. Impersonating a student in an examination is also considered a grave act of dishonesty.
  • Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, knowingly helping another student commit an act of academic misconduct (e.g., cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, multiple submissions) 


Weekly readings and schedule of topics may change due to instructor or student needs.
Students are required to follow updates through this page.

August 12-14, 2016
  • Course Introduction and Overview
  • History of Consumer Psychology
  • Consumer Decision Making
  • Foundation on Attitudes: Definition, Structure, Applied Implications
  • The influence of attitudes on behavior (Theory of Planned Behavior, MODE Model)
  • The influence of behavior on attitudes (Dissonance Theory, Self Perception Theory)
  • Beliefs and Attitudes


  1. Ajzen, I. (2008). Consumer attitudes and behavior. In C. P. Haugtvedt, P. M. Herr & F. R. Cardes (Eds.), Handbook of consumer psychology (pp. 525- 548). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  2. Stone, J., & Fernandez, N. C. (2008). How behavior shapes attitudes: Cognitive dissonance processes. In W. D. Crano & R. Prislin (eds.) Attitudes and attitude change (pp. 313-336). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Lecture Notes

September 2-4, 2016
  • Cognitive Models & Message Processing
    • Cognitive Models of Persuasion (Elaboration Likelihood Model, Heuristic Model, Unimodel etc.)
    • Attitude Accessibility and Influence (Priming Effects, Framing Effects)
  • Message Characteristics: Rational Appeals
  • Message Characteristics: Emotional Appeals


  1. Petty, R. E., Brinol, P. & Priester, J.R. (2009). Mass media and attitude change: Implications of the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion. In J. Bryant & M. B. Oliver (eds.) Media effects: Advances in theory and research (pp.125-164). New York: Routledge.
  2. Stiff J. B. & Mongeau P. A. (2003). Persuasive communication. New York: The Guilford Press. (Chapter 6)
  3. Stiff J. B. & Mongeau P. A. (2003). Persuasive communication. New York: The Guilford Press. (Chapter 7)
  4. Edell, J., & Burke, M. (1987). The power of feelings in understanding advertising effects. Journal of Consumer Research, 14(3), 421–433.

Lecture Notes

September 23-25, 2016
  • Visual Language and Persuasion
  • Source and Receiver Characteristics in Persuasion
  • Final Projects Presentation 

Lecture Notes


  1. Perloff, R. (2010). The Dynamics of Persuasion: Communication and Attitudes in the 21st Century. New York: Routledge. (Chapter 6)
  2. Perloff, R. (2010). The Dynamics of Persuasion: Communication and Attitudes in the 21st Century. New York: Routledge. (Chapter 8)