Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Concept blog again

Andrew Maddux

Concept Blog

Subject: Structuring and ordering persuasive messages: implicit and explicit conclusions


Sunshine, the world is illuminated by its pleasant rays every morning, and you are no exception. Your eyes open slowly and your vision begins to clear from its lack of sight from the overnight journey. Slowly you rise and stare at what clothes to put on; every action you make is because of perception, the perception which formed from where you grew up, your love ones, but mostly your peers. Companies and Governments prey on these known insecurities, and persuade you to follow certain rules, make you feel that the name brand is superior to the store brand, and insist that by buying expensive clothes you’ll be the most popular person in the room. Most of those are implicit conclusions structured to be ingrained in you by a very young age, and brings us to the topic of this report.

 Within this small report insight to the structuring and ordering of persuasive messages and the two subtypes of conclusions implicit and explicit conclusions will be gained. Relevant to you, should be after all the first paragraph in this paper was structured to make you feel uneasy enough, to read the rest. In spite of the examples of implicit conclusions used so far, by telling you the 1st paragraph intent it is now an explicit conclusions used to openly persuade.  Hopefully by examining both will not only allow you to identify when they are used on you, but also encourage you to decipher the message being put forth by the persuader.

Before starting off on our exploration it’s necessary to know the difference between implicit and explicit conclusions. An implicit conclusion is, “one in which members of an audience are allowed to draw their own conclusion from the argument and audience.” An explicit conclusion, “was defined as one stated by the speaker during the course of communication.”(Tubbs, 1968)  That is not the only arguable difference between the two, from the same source. The Arthur of the article, “Explicit Versus Implicit Conclusions and Audience Commitment,” Stewart Tubbs argues that less-intelligent people and intelligent people prefer different types of conclusions, and respond to them differently.

Stewart sets out to show this by devising an experiment in which there are two groups of college students of equal intelligence who are suppose to record their reaction to the persuasiveness of a speech. The speech was set-up to be identical in all ways except one had an explicit conclusion (Group A), and the other an implicit conclusion (Group B). The findings of the speech point to that in this case the college students in Group A found that the speech’s message was persuasive due to how it was structured and straightforward in its intent. The college students in Group B responded to the implicit conclusion less favorably, and had significantly lower reaction to the persuasive message then Group A. So in conclusion in regards to this study Tubbs did show that what form of conclusion one used did have a big impact on the overall effectiveness of the message.(Tubbs,1968)

Now moving forward we look at the article, “Examining the Use of Forceful Language When Designing Exercise Persuasive Messages for Adults: A Test of Conceptualizing Reactance Arousal a two-step processes” by Brian Quick. The article shows how the “Physiological Reactance Theory” which states that when, “there are more than one attractive options, and an individual is stripped of their right to choose among the options will experience reactance.”(Quick,2008) The study shows that when adults or any demographic for that mattered are told to exercise because they are unhealthy, reactance occurs. So in our case this would be the explicit message however, when the health department used implicit messages, through the idea of maintance more adults were persuaded to exercise. (Quick,2008)  This is only points out how important it is for the persuader to choose the right conclusion for his or her intended audience, because an incorrect judgment will lead to the complete failure of the message.

The finale of our trip resides in the article, “Effects of Literal and Metaphorical Persuasive Messages”, by Jan Bosman and Louk Hagendoorn. The interesting aspect about this study is how it shows what roles gender and what type of brain you are plays in the overall effectiveness of both conclusions. The participants were college students majoring in Law & Psychology so are much more knowledgeable on the overall topic then most individuals. The results of the study which intent was to deal with politics, and how each reacted the literal, or metaphorical messages put forth by two made up parties. The study’s results pointed to the fact that left-brained individuals and women tended to be more convinced by metaphorical messages, while right-brained individuals were more likely to favor the literal message. Showing that once again the importance of how one presented a message was just as important as the message itself.(Bosman, 1991)

From the beginning to the end of this paper, a portrait has been drawn one that to the persuader may be as confusing as a work by Picasso is to me. The simple conclusion is that both conclusions are important for reaching different demographics, and to the success of the intended message. Hopefully by the time the sun sets tonight, that tomorrow you will open your eyes not only to sunlight, but also to the illumination of your mind!








Bosman, J., & Hagendoorn, L. (1991, December). Effects of Literal and Metaphorical Persuasive Messages. Metaphor & Symbolic Activity, 6(4), 271. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.


Quick, B., & Considine, J. (2008, September). Examining the Use of Forceful Language When Designing Exercise Persuasive Messages for Adults: A Test of Conceptualizing Reactance Arousal as a Two-Step Process. Health Communication,23(5), 483-491. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from E-Journals database.


Tubbs, S. (1968, March). EXPLICIT VERSUS IMPLICIT CONCLUSIONS AND AUDIENCE COMMITMENT. Speech Monographs,35(1), 14. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.




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