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Theory and Research

Third Edition

Persuasion | Persuasion

March 2015 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Persuasion: Theory and Research, Third Edition is a comprehensive overview of social-scientific theory and research on persuasion. Written in a clear and accessible style that assumes no special technical background in research methods, the Third Edition has been thoroughly revised to reflect developments in persuasion studies. New discussions of subjects such as reactance and the use of narratives as vehicles for persuasion, revised treatments of the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior, and two new chapters on social judgment theory and stage models provide your students with the most current work on persuasion in a clear, straightforward manner. In this edition, author Daniel J. O'Keefe has given special attention to the importance of adapting (tailoring) messages to audiences to maximize persuasiveness. Each chapter has a set of review questions to guide students through the chapter’s material and quickly master the concepts being introduced. 

Chapter 1: Persuasion, Attitudes, and Actions
The Concept of Persuasion

The Concept of Attitude

Attitude Measurement Techniques

Attitudes and Behaviors

Assessing Persuasive Effects



Chapter 2: Social Judgment Theory
Judgments of Alternative Positions on an Issue

Reactions to Communications

Critical Assessment



Chapter 3: Functional Approaches to Attitude
A Classic Functional Analysis

Subsequent Developments




Chapter 4: Belief-Based Models of Attitude
Summative Model of Attitude

Research Evidence and Commentary



Chapter 5: Cognitive Dissonance Theory
General Theoretical Sketch

Some Research Applications

Revisions of, And Alternatives to, Dissonance Theory



Chapter 6: Reasoned Action Theory
The Reasoned Action Theory Model

Influencing Intentions

Intentions and Behaviors

Adapting Persuasive Messages to Recipients Based on Reasoned Action Theory




Chapter 7: Stage Models
The Transtheoretical Model

The Distinctive Claims of Stage Models

Other Stage Models



Chapter 8: Elaboration Likelihood Model
Variations in the Degree of Elaboration: Central versus Peripheral Routes to Persuasion

Factors Affecting the Degree of Elaboration

Influences on Persuasive Effects under Conditions of High Elaboration: Central Routes to Persuasion

Influences on Persuasive Effects under Conditions of Low Elaboration: Peripheral Routes to Persuasion

Multiple Roles for Persuasion Variables

Adapting Persuasive Messages to Recipients Based on the ELM




Chapter 9: The Study of Persuasive Effects
Experimental Design and Causal Inference

Two General Challenges in Studying Persuasive Effects



Chapter 10: Communicator Factors
Communicator Credibility


Other Communicator Factors



Chapter 11: Message Factors
Message Structure and Format

Message Content

Sequential Request Strategies



Chapter 12: Receiver Factors
Individual Differences

Transient Receiver States

Influencing Susceptibility to Persuasion



Author Index
Subject Index
About the Author


Instructor Site

Password-protected INSTRUCTOR RESOURCES you’ll actually use! 

Save time and ease class preparation with the additional guidance and tools, including:

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course. 
  • Sample course syllabi provide suggested models for structuring your course structure.
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch conversation by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content.
  • Media Links, including carefully selected chapter-by-chapter video and multimedia content which enhance classroom-based explorations of key topics
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter

It was too theory dense for the experiential learning class I am teaching. However, it had good instructor resources to use.

Professor Dawn Sohns
Communication Arts Dept, Suny College At Oneonta
February 17, 2023

Relevant topic. Well-written book.

Mr Peter Karlsson
Psychology , Halmstad University
February 10, 2016
Key features


  • Integrates cutting-edge research throughout the text to ensure students have the most current information in the field
  • New coverage of narrative persuasion helps students see how storytelling can be a tool to persuade and motivate
  • New coverage of reactance discusses negative reactions that persuasive messages can evoke—and how to minimize such resistance
  • A new chapter on stage models of behavior change explores the idea that influencing behavior involves a set of distinct progressive steps
  • A new chapter on social judgment theory describes how receivers with the same position can nevertheless react differently to the same persuasive message
  • Special attention is given throughout this edition to the importance of adapting (tailoring) persuasive messaging to enhance effectiveness
  • New review questions have been added throughout each chapter to help students quickly master the concepts being introduced   


  • A compact summary of key research findings in persuasion is written in an accessible style that assumes no special technical background in research methods
  • A comprehensive overview of different theoretical frameworks provides students with a well-rounded understanding and working knowledge and use of a variety of theories
  • Detailed discussions of important theoretical and methodological questions encourage critical thinking and promote further research for a deeper understanding of the material

Sage College Publishing

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