The Power of Visual Material: Persuasion, Emotion and Identification

Diogenes 55 (1):84-93 (2008)
This paper integrates literature from the social sciences and humanities concerning the persuasive impact of visual material, highlighting issues of emotion and identification. Visuals are used not only to illustrate news and feature genres but also in advertising and campaigns that attempt to persuade their target audiences to change attitudes and behaviours. These include health, safety and charity campaigns, that attempt to socially engineer change in people’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. With the increasing presence of such visuals comes a more emotive media environment with which people are forced to engage, and, under certain circumstances, disengage
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