PERSUASION STRATEGIES IN THE CLASSROOM: HOW TO ENHANCE THE DETERMINANTS OF INFORMATION PROCESSING IN STUDENTS THROUGH ELM: ELABORATION LIKELIHOOD MODEL
The "good teaching practice" is a set of actions taken by the teacher to make improvements in relationships, processes and activities, all aimed at producing positive results, in our case, the students´s acquisition of basic skills. The Psychology is working the different areas of development within the educational context. In social Psychology and, specifically in the area of persuasion and attitudes change, we know that persuading people depends on different factors, from the receiver (in this case the student), the issuer (the professor), the context (the class) and message itself (the contents), as well as many other variables of each of them. We understand that persuasion is any intentionally change to occur in the attitudes of people as a result of exposure to a persuasive treatment (Petty and Cacioppo, 1986). From this approach, we understand teaching as an effort to persuade the student, not only in attention, engaging, collaborating and performing tasks, but also in being convinced that all these actions are carried out because they want, they like it or even because it is useful. In persuasion, an attitude is defined as the relatively stable global evaluation that people make about any content, context, person or thing (Eagly y Chaiken, 1998; Petty y Cacioppo, 1986; Petty y Wegener, 1998). That is, students need to have not only a favorable attitude, but also a "strong" attitude. The more strong is the attitude, the more resistant, permanent and more predictive of the behavior. But, what determines persuasion? There are three important variables, if people generate positive or negative thoughts toward the information you give them (content), if they generate many or few thoughts about this information (exent), or something relatively new in persuasion, if people think about their own thoughts (metacognition).
Considering persuasion we know that we need to convince students for the contents every single day. Therefore, it is important to use basic strategies of persuasion in each of this contexts.
For decades, it was thought that for convincing, people should understand and remember the information (Hovland, Janis and Kelley, 1953). Now, we know that is more important the cognitive response that people have toward the information they receive (Petty, Ostrom y Brock, 1981). We have to generate favorable cognitive response in the student to the contents of a course, a seminar. There are different tools for having a strong attitude and for predicting better the behavior in the class. But the key is in the processing of information. It is known, students ussually are not motivated to think. In the domain of persuasion, there are two determinants of processing information, motivation and ability. Depending on this determinants, we have to use different strategies. The processing of information is not the same when one wants to hear or pay attention than when not. And neither when people are concentrated or able to think than when not. In other words, people need to be motivated and have the ability to process information for being persuaded. We have to adapt the way with wich transmit the information with the processing level of information that students have. (ELM: Elaboration Likelihood Model; Petty y Cacioppo, 1981, 1986; Petty y Wegener, 1999). For all these reasons, know the processes and variables of persuasion and how to use them depending on the circumstances is determinant for a good teaching practice.