Emotional Appeals Persuade Skeptics

Critical thinkers are still influenced by ads, a new study reports. Skepticism is an effective deterrent to the influence of factual ads, but not to emotional ads. Even with the skeptic views emotional appeals as manipulative, he or she is still likely to be won over with the use of emotion.

Otherwise critical consumers fall prey to snake oil sales when they are desperate for a cure. Emotional appeals are the ultimate persuasion tool for salespeople, and it’s scary to think that skepticism isn’t always an ally. Although the article doesn’t specifically address stories from traditional media, the same principles could apply. So now we also have to watch out for ads, articles or information that surreptitiously tug at our heartstrings.