MGMT 552

Course: MGMT 552 Communication and Psychology of Persuasion
Instructor: Lemi Baruh, Department of Media and Visual Arts
Office: SOS226, Phone: 1133
Email: lbaruh[at]
Office Hours: By appointment


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: Communication campaigns project. Details to be announced in the first week of class.

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 assignments, exams or papers are serious offenses 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 acknowledgment 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.
Students are required to follow updates through this page.

Week 1
  • 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.

Week 2
  • 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.

Week 3
  • Visual Language and Persuasion
  • Source and Receiver Characteristics in Persuasion
  • Final Projects Presentation 



  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)

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