Attitude Change

  • Jacobo A. Varela


Few human activities are older and more widespread than trying to convince someone of something. There are, of course, the professionals of persuasion, a group that includes salesmen, teachers, politicians, clergymen, missionaries, lobbyists, etc. However, all the rest of us indulge in this in one way or another. Ever since Eve persuaded Adam to eat the apple, humans have tried to persuade others to go to a party, take a course, take up a sport, resign from a job, grant a pay raise, take a trip, vote for a given candidate. The persuasion methods used have not varied greatly over the centuries. Except in the hands of a few apparently gifted individuals, such attempts at changing the attitude of others have generally not been very successful. The failure is even more marked when the attempt is directed at getting two persons to stop their bitter quarrel. As Gilbert Chesterton has said, “The full potential of human fury cannot be reached until a friend of both parties tactfully intervenes.”


Attitude Change Successive Approximation Cognitive Dissonance Social Technology Organizational Ability 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacobo A. Varela
    • 1
  1. 1.University of UruguayMontevideoUruguay

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