People Innovation Excellence

What You Need to Know About : Inoculation Theory

Persuasion research in the 1950s found that providing two sides of an issue seemed to create greater resistance to later arguments. To explain this phenomenon, William McGuire and his colleagues a decade later began to explore ways in which messages might inoculate recipients against belief attacks. By 1964, he proposed the original inoculation theory. This theory says that persuasive message recipients become resistant to attitudinal attacks in the same way that bodies become immunized from viral attacks. A weak dose of the virus activates the immune system. Likewise, challenges to attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors make them more resistant to change if the exposure to counterviews is given in weakened, small doses. The theory is relevant because unchallenged beliefs can be swayed if the holder is not used to defending them. A weak dose of a counterargument will cause the belief to become more resistant. In the medical venue, the approach has been more effective than the supportive treatment in producing resistance. In the persuasive venue, presenting arguments supporting beliefs is less effective than exposing the receiver to a weak attack on the belief.

Littlejohn, Stephen W and Karen A.Floss. (2009). Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.USA:SAGE.654

Penanggungjawab naskah :

Gayes Mahestu
Edwina Ayu Kustiawan


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