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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

There are many aspects to understanding the effects of persuasion, including the role of factors such as emotions, biases in cognitive processing, and context effects. This chapter, however, is limited to what it labels as “reasoned persuasion,” which we may think of as the “reasoned response” half of dual-process theories of persuasion. The chapter examines the role of beliefs and values primarily from a Bayesian perspective. It presents theoretical expectations derived from this perspective in terms of twenty-five propositions, with particular attention to the updating of beliefs based on new information received and on how persuasion ultimately affects behavior. Because these propositions follow logically from the key idea that choices are primarily, but not exclusively, a function of beliefs and values, these propositions have been labeled as “laws.”

Keywords: Bayes Theorem, Bayesian inference, expected utility, persuasion, belief formation

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