What Can We Learn From Central Route Persuasion

Updated July 11, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Persuasion is a complex issue that has many aspects to it. In this post, we shall discuss persuasion and what central route persuasion is.

What Is Persuasion?

Persuasion is the term used to describe the many types of influences that are available. When you are trying to influence someone, you are trying to make them come to a decision or make a change in their life. Persuasion isn't forceful; it involves you trying to convince someone to change their mind by making a good point, or appealing to one's emotions. Here are some things we try to persuade someone to change.

  • Beliefs. This can range from serious beliefs such as political or religious, or any other belief under the sun. A person's beliefs are usually hard to change unless they are on the fence about them. You need to make a good case to change someone's beliefs or know how that person operates emotionally.
  • Behaviors. There are many undesired behaviors we engage in every day, and they can be a bit troublesome. Changing a bad behavior can require some persuasion and convincing, and someone who is good at persuading, can be just the right person for the job. For example, if you are spending a lot of time on social media, persuading you to cut back on this habit may be by making a point about the adverse effects of this practice.

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  • Intentions. Intentions can drive our actions. Sometimes, you can use persuasion to change those intentions.

These are a few aspects about yourself that can be changed through persuasion. Persuasion works through aspects of decision making, logic, and emotions.

  • Logic and reasoning. Some people make decisions by selecting the option that makes the most sense. Using evidence to support your decision is helpful, however, not always available. In which case, you may be more easily persuaded to take another view, if presented with a new evidence that resonates with you.
  • Emotions. Some people make decisions that are not necessarily based on logic, but because the decision makes them feel good. Some decisions may not be the most logical, but they appeal to the person on an emotional level. Those who make decisions based on emotions can be persuaded through words or imagery that appeal to their emotions.
  • Some people make decisions based on bothlogic and emotions. Someone who is trying to convince this type of person needs to be good at persuading people on various levels.

A person who is trying to persuade another person will need to know a bit about how the person operates. When it comes to something such as sales pitching, a persuasive person may use demographic information to get a feel for that person. Someone close to you, such as a friend, will probably know a few ways to persuade you that others may not.

Here are some tools a person may use to persuade you:

  • Sales pitching. If a person is trying to sell you something, they will need to get you interested in buying the product immediately. This can be tricky. Everyone spends their money differently, and you need to figure out why a person would want to spend their money on something of that nature. One way is to present a common problem that the product can solve.
  • Visual imagery. Advertisements may try to appeal to the emotions by offering visually pleasing images or images that invoke other specific emotions that they may be trying to capitalize on. They may also attempt to appeal to reason by generating thought-provoking content. Billions of dollars are pumped into advertising research in an attempt to figure out what would make people want to buy products.
  • Giving someone a free trial. If someone is trying to persuade you to buy their product, you may feel like there is some risk, and if the product doesn't work, you'll lose money. One way a person can quell your fears is by offering you a risk-free trial.

The motivation behind persuading someone vary. Sometimes, it's done for personal gain. You may want to convince someone to buy your product so that you, in turn, make money. You may want to convince someone to join your political party so that they will vote for your candidate. However, there are times when you try to persuade someone simply because you feel it's the right thing to do. For example, maybe someone you care about is a smoker and you try to convince them to quit because you want them to live a long, healthy life.

These are just a few of the many motives people may have for using persuasion. With that said, some psychologists have divided persuasion into different types. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on central route persuasion.

Persuasion And Types Of People

Let's briefly discuss the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion. This is an advertising model created in the 1980s as a marketing tool that reveals how persuasive an embedded message is within an advertisement. This model offers two different routes people can take in order to figure out how to persuade others. These routes are the central route and the peripheral route. The idea is that, in looking at an advertisement, its message has to get people's attention and make them want to respond to it, ideally by way of purchasing the product or service being offered. This advertisement method is based on the idea that people can be classified as one of four types.

The Four Types Of People

  • The gullible These are people who are easily convinced, either because they are open-minded or like to try new things. The gullible people are the easiest to persuade. All you need to do is figure out what appeals to them. Gullible people often respond well to emotional arguments.
  • The skeptic. These are the people who are harder to convince. They usually have a reason for their beliefs, and it's founded on logic and reason. They can see past a blatant advertisement or an emotional campaign. The skeptics require preparation on your part if you wish to persuade them. They will argue their opinions, for which you'll need to respond by making a counter argument.
  • People who have firm beliefs,but problems communicating those beliefs to others. These people often struggle to articulate their thoughts, and may become overwhelmed when engaged in a conversation with someone who tries to persuade them.
  • The leaders. These are people who are natural born leaders and, if you want to persuade them, you must find a way to take the lead. You must listen to them attentively and try to follow their train of thought as best you can.

Odds are, you know some people who fit into each of these categories, some of whom you may have tried to persuade in past.

With all of the above being said, let’s look a little more closely at the differences between central and peripheral route persuasion.

Central Route

When trying to advertise and persuade someone, central route persuasion is when someone is interested in the content of your advertisement and message. For example, if you want to sell a video game to someone, central route persuasion is when you persuade someone who is already into video games and into the type of video games that you're pitching. They will be interested in the content of the game, as well as how it compares to similar games. This route is based on logic.


This is when the individual is not persuaded by the message itself, but by something else. Perhaps things such as an attractive salesperson or imagery of sad animals, fall under this category. This route is based on emotions.

And, of course, sometimes a person may combine both methods.

Speak To An Expert

Want To Learn More About Healthy Persuasion And Communication?

If you want to learn more about how to persuade people, how persuasion may be used on you, or even to learn how to be less gullible, talking to a mental health professional can help. A therapist knows how the human psyche works and can provide you with tools to be more logical when it comes to receiving a message.

If you are interested in any of the above, connect with a therapist online to see how they can help you. A comprehensive review of literature established that online mental health counseling is just as effective as traditional counseling. BetterHelp sessions can be accomplished via telephone, messaging, chat, video conferencing, and even text. It can’t get much more convenient than that. No commute, the comfort of your own home, and less cost involved when compared to face-to-face sessions – all make online counseling accessible. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from

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