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The Frontiers of Society, Science and Technology, 2020, 2(10); doi: 10.25236/FSST.2020.021004.

Analysis of the Persuasive Methods in Barack Obama’s Speeches from the Social Psychology’s Perspectives


Zhang Hongwei

Corresponding Author:
Zhang Hongwei

Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, Shanghai 201620, China


Speech, as a special genre of various literal forms, is not only installing as a basic language application for information transferring, but is putting weights to enhance audience’s cognitive needs and intensify audience’s emotion by properly exhibiting the article’s context, structure and the orator’s behavior which are dedicating to deeply change audience’s attitudes, belief and following actions. For the sake of a more practicable study of persuasive strategies, this thesis will be based on six well-known speeches of President Barack Obama and will be on the grounds of western rhetorical theories and persuasive theories of social psychology to elucidate the most frequently used persuasive strategies as empathy, primacy and recency effects, central and peripheral channels, self-esteem, cognitive heuristics, cognitive dissonance. Besides, this thesis will elucidate the persuasive influential factors as self-personality, social compliance and depersonalization which are based on the social environment to explain the persuasive susceptibility. Then, the thesis concludes the utility of above frequently utilized persuasive strategies as empathy, primacy effect, recency effect and cognitive heuristics. If these persuasive strategies combine with colorful rhetoric functions, these strategies can maximize arousing audiences’ emotions and unconsciously redeploy audiences’ cognition into what orator wants.


Barack obama’s speeches, Persuasive strategies of social psychology, Western rhetorical theories

Cite This Paper

Zhang Hongwei. Analysis of the Persuasive Methods in Barack Obama’s Speeches from the Social Psychology’s Perspectives. The Frontiers of Society, Science and Technology (2020) Vol. 2 Issue 10: 11-16. https://doi.org/10.25236/FSST.2020.021004.


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