Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Future of Persuasion 

This may be the future of persuasion -- brain studies. If so, science will put a biological foundation beneath millennia of study that yielded rules of rhetoric. It's interesting to think that future communications textbooks may have illustrations of brain scans to go with rules for unpaid persuasion. I can see it now. "Five ways to light up the nucleus accumbens."

On the other hand, even if we know the machinery behind the brain's response to persuasion, will it make much difference in how we approach rhetorical principles? Practically speaking, I don't think it will. The craft of persuasion is so old and so deeply explored that a biological explanation is one more expansion of what is known.

Still, it's an area to investigate and think about in one's work.


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