Communication Studies 395-0: Topics in Communication Studies
Section 22: Advanced Theories of Persuasion
Spring 2007



Information and Instructions:


A prerequisite-check examination for this course will be given at class on Wednesday 28 March.


The exam is an in-class closed-book essay exam. No notes, readings, outlines, or other materials can be used during the exam.


At the exam, you will receive a list of five questions. You will have to answer three of these. You will choose which questions to answer from that list of five.


The list of five questions will be drawn from the accompanying list of questions headed “Pool of Possible Questions.” That is, every question that will appear on the exam is given in the pool of possible questions. (The pool of possible questions also includes some questions that will not appear on the exam.)


These questions cover background material to which you will likely have been exposed in Communication Studies 205 (Theories of Persuasion), Communication Studies 201 (Research Methods in Communication), or similar courses. 


The point of this examination is to assess your grasp of relevant background material, and hence in writing your answers your central interest should be to display such grasp. Answers are evaluated on the degree to which they provide accurate and pertinent information, give clear explanations and definitions where called for, and reflectively analyze arguments and evidence as appropriate. There will be no minimum or maximum amount you can write.


Blank examination booklets will be provided at the examination. You will not put your name on your booklets (only your student identification number), so that exams can be blind-scored.


The examination is graded in a binary way, as either an A (4.0) or an F (0.0). This exam is not curved; that is, one’s mark does not depend on one’s performance relative to others. (So, for instance, it is possible that all who take the exam will pass.) The prerequisite-check exam counts as 10% of the course grade.


Examination results will be posted on Blackboard not later than 5:00 p.m. Thursday 29 March.




Pool of Possible Questions:


1.          Describe the theory of planned behavior.


2.          Describe the elaboration likelihood model.


3.          Describe the main research findings concerning the persuasive effects of one-sided and two-sided messages.


4.          Describe the main research findings concerning the effects of fear appeals.


5.          Identify the primary dimensions of source credibility. Describe some factors that influence credibility perceptions. Sketch the effects that credibility variations have on persuasive outcomes.


6.          A study comparing an experimental treatment against a control treatment reports that “the mean score in the experimental condition was statistically significantly higher than the mean score in the control condition (p < .05).” Explain the meaning of “statistically significant.”


7.          Explain an advantage of experimental research designs (over other forms of research) with respect to gathering evidence about causal claims.




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