kimberley crofts


an information and communication designer living in London

The Communication-Persuasion Matrix

The Communication-Persuasion Matrix: Input communication variables and output mediational steps that comprose the process of being persuaded

From McGuire (1989) A mediational theory of suscepibility to social influence.


  1. Source (number, unanimity, demographics, attractiveness, credibility, etc)
  2. Message (appeal, inclusion/omission, organization, style, repetitiveness, etc)
  3. Channel (modality, directness, context, etc)
  4. Receiver (demographics, ability, personality, lifestyle, etc)
  5. Destination (immediacy/delay, prevention/cessation, direct/immunization, etc)

OUTPUT PERSUASION STEPS (typically occur sequentially)

  1. Tuning in (exposure to the communication)
  2. Attending to the communication
  3. Liking it, maintaining interest in it
  4. Comprehending its contents (learning what)
  5. Generating related cognitions
  6. Acquiring relevant skills (learning how)
  7. Agreeing with the communicator’s position (attitude change)
  8. Storing this new position in memory
  9. Retrieval of the new position from memory when relevant
  10. Decision to act on the basis of the retrieved position
  11. Acting on it
  12. Post-action cognitive integration of this behavior
  13. Proselytizing others to behave likewise

McGuire says that this is overly simplistic and in fact, multiple paths exist in the process. Sequentiality is not guaranteed. People might jump from say number 7 to number 11 (“when people form their attitudes to justify their behavior”). See also the Health Belief Model.


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