Mutual interaction is required in influencing how parties think in persuasive interviews using fair methods to avoid unethical instances. This could be achieved by using approaches such as identification, psychological reactance, inoculation, and balance theory. Psychological reactance is useful when one responds to impositions and regulations. It happens when one feels an obligation towards the adoption of a particular opinion. For example, it includes phrases such as “any reasonable person would agree….”, which convince a person to adopt a specific way of thinking or opinion (De Graaf, Hoekan, Sanders & Beentjes, 2002). It could also be useful to people with self-doubt, therefore, promoting self-talk of motivation. However, psychological reactance could be considered as coercion thus unethical since it forces decisions indirectly for example deciding to do something just because others think it is right.
In the theory of identification, persuasion is achieved by a speaker familiarizing with an audience through speech, image, attitude, gestures, and ideas, which are familiar to the audience. This method allows one to establish a common ground with the audience, creating a feeling of equality (De Graaf, Hoekan, Sanders & Beentjes, 2002). The disadvantage of this strategy is the fact that it would only work on the people that like the ideas of the speaker, which creates room for manipulation. For instance, politicians may persuade people to vote for them by establishing a common ground with them despite the wealth gap between them.
The balanced theory states that people’s opinions could be the same or differ whereby, people strive to create a balance (Petty, Ostrom, Brocke 2014). Unbalanced structures of opinion cause discomfort thus a negative feeling which leads them to aim for a balanced structure. Additionally, the theory creates a mental association between a speaker and their audience, which is a balanced pattern that is easier to follow for example, a speaker who likes the same thing as the audience would easily persuade them. However, this theory is limited by the fact that even the negative attributes such as hateful speech would be passed along.
Petty, R., Ostrom, T. M., & Brock, T. C. (Eds.). (2014). Cognitive responses in persuasion. Psychology Press.
De Graaf, A., Hoeken, H., Sanders, J., & Beentjes, J. W. (2012). Identification as a mechanism of narrative persuasion. Communication Research, 39(6), 802-823.