Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

#5 Achilles and the Myrmidons

This is a scene from the 2004 film Troy in which Achilles motivates and persuades his soldiers to defend the honour of Greece.

Firstly, he uses the pronoun 'we' to include himself amongst his soldiers even though he is their leader. Using 'we' has been found to bring the speaker closer to the audience and therefore increase the speaker's credibility and how engaging they are to the audience (Fuertes-Olivera et al., 2001).

Secondly, he uses a metaphor to describe himself and his warriors as 'lions'. Bowers & Osborn (1966) conducted a study to explore whether metaphors are more effective in persuasive messages at changing attitudes than literal speech. They used persuasive speeches as stimulus materials and participants heard two speeches, one containg metaphors and one completely literal. They were then tested on their attitude change towards each of the speeches as well as describing which one they favored more. The researchers found that participants the metaphorical speech brought about more attitude change (in the direction suggested by the speech) than the literal speech. Participants also favored the metaphorical speech more.

Finally, he calls his warriors 'brothers of sword'. This speaker technique of liking the audience to yourself is the similarity altercast. This allows the audience to positively identify with the speaker thus increasing the speaker's credibility in the eyes of the audience (Hecht, 1984).

Bowers, J., & Osborn, M. (1966). Attitudinal effects of selected types of concluding metaphors in persuasive speeches. Speech Monographs, 33, 147-155.

Fuertes-Olivera, P., Velasco-Sacristán, M., Arribas-Baño, A., & Samaniego-Fernández, E. (2001). Persuasion and advertising in English: Metadiscourse in slogans and headlines. Journal of Pragmatics, 33, 1291-1307.

Hecht, M. (1984). Persuasive efficacy: A study of the relationships among type and degree of change,

Mermidons , My brothers of sword , I would rather fight beside u than the army of thousands Let no Men forget How menacing we are , WE are Lions , U know whats their Waiting Beyond that beach , Immortality take it , ITS YOURS :)

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