Weasel Words and Subtleties: The A.R.T. of Persuasion

About the Author

 After receiving his Ph.D. in Social Psychology Dr. Whiteside taught 6 sections of persuasion virtually every year for 35 years at Middle Tennessee State University. His classes were always “sold out” and he regularly runs into some of the thousands of students he instructed. Some are running business like car sales, insurance and real estate. Others are lawyers, business professionals, university employees and one was the minister at his daughter’s wedding. He has given numerous invited talks and consulted on a regular basis. For the last nine years he has been the dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. This pod book contains just a small but important part of the information from his course.

Whether we consciously realize it or not, we are constantly recipients and the source of influence attempts every day. Pop ups on your smart phone, product placements in T.V. and movies, signs along the roadway and so very much more are aimed at us all day long. We try to influence others to our wishes or ways of thinking as well (what show to go see, where to eat, “fall in love with me”). This pod course will give you a winning edge from personal lives through business success. Use or be used.

Weasel Words and Subtleties: The A.R.T. of Persuasion

THE BATTLEFIELD: What do you think is happening when you are trying to influence somebody? After this podcast (along with other information) you should understand what attitudes are and what purposes they serve. Access the podcast here.


What are attitudes?

What purposes do attitudes serve?

Will all attitudes respond to logic? Why?


TACTICS – There are direct and obvious ways that people use to influence others. After this podcast you will understand power and other direct means of influence. Access the podcast here.


What is power?

Who has power over you?

What is referent power?


SUBTLETIES: Here is where you gain an edge. There are many subtleties that can be used to manipulate others. After this podcast you will have an edge in influencing people who are not aware you are doing it. Access the podcast here.


How are we affected by the threat of scarcity?

What is the uninvited debt?

What are reference groups?


THE “WEASEL EFFECT”: Here you learn some really sneaky ways to manipulate and influence others. After this podcast you will be able to recognize (and use) words and phrases which are designed to mislead others. Access the podcast here.


Define a weasel word/phrase.

List two weasel words.

List two weasel phrases.


ADVANCED SUBTLETIES: Now that you know more about influence tactics than most people it’s time for the next level. After this podcast you will have added to you repertoire of persuasion knowledge. Access the podcast here.


How do people feel about perceived inconsistencies?

What is “framing a request”?

What is the problem using fear appeals?


We hope you found this topic as fascinating. Now that you have an edge over virtually (catch that) anyone else remember to be ethical. How do you plan to use this knowledge in your future career?