Persuasion is the process of convincing someone to believe or act on something. Dissuasion is the process of convincing someone to not believe or act on something.

The word "persuasion" is usually used in distinction to coercion, which involves the use of violence or other kinds of force, or the threat of such force in order to get someone to act against his will.

Methods of persuasion

By appeal to reason

  • Argument (especially logical argument)
  • Logic
  • Scientific method
  • Proof

By appeal to emotion

  • Advertising
  • Faith
  • Presentation and Imagination
  • Propaganda
  • Seduction
  • Tradition

Aids to persuasion

  • Body language
  • Sales techniques

Other techniques, which may or may not work

  • Deception
  • Hypnosis
  • Subliminal advertising
  • Power (sociology)

Coercive techniques, some of which are highly controversial and/or not scientifically proven to be effective

  • Brainwashing
  • Coercive persuasion
  • Mind control
  • Torture

Ethics and persuasion

The philosopher of ethics, Michael Berumen, requires that one not persuade or coerce another against his will or by making him servile, which, in effect, is to disable his will. Moreover, Berumen says, "the information we provide must not be deceptive, either because of misstated facts or the way facts are presented or arranged. Two, the information must be sufficient in order for a person in a position of trust to make an informed decision. And, three, the information must be provided in accordance with any relevant obligations, including the terms of contracts, pertinent laws, or other duties implied by the circumstance."