ERIC Number: ED167290
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Metapersuasion: The Development of Reasoning About Persuasive Strategies.
Howie-Day, Alison M.
This research explored the development of reasoning about persuasion. First-grade, seventh-grade, and undergraduate subjects were individually presented with a hypothetical persuasive situation in which a young child attempts to obtain a toy from various "targets." Pairs of tape-recorded persuasive appeals were randomly presented to each subject; for each pair, subjects were asked to identify which strategy the "persuader" would select, and to justify this choice. The major results pertained to the subjects' justifications for their strategy choices. As predicted, there were significant increases in the number of reasons provided, in the use of reasons involving inferences about others' psychological states, and in the number of hypothetical, qualifying statements used. In contrast to these age trends, the strategy-choice data revealed that even the youngest subjects selected reasoned, elaborated strategies that took account of the target's internal states. These children also engaged in target differentiation, as did the older subjects. A follow-up study was undertaken; its results in general provided strong support for the above findings. Taken together, results are consistent with theory and previous research findings regarding the relationship of role taking to persuasion development. However, the data also suggest that even young children have a rudimentary understanding of strategic persuasion, despite the fact that their role-taking skills are relatively undeveloped. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Qualitative Differences; Reflective Thinking
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979)