Sample Essay on:
Communications: source credibility

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

A paper which looks at source credibility in relation to television audience, with reference to the origins of the concept in Aristotle's rhetoric and the relevance of expertise and trustworthiness. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

Page Count:

3 pages (~225 words per page)

File: JL5_JLsrccred.rtf

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

trustworthy. This may refer to the sources degree of expertise on a topic, or to their ability to offer an objective and rational viewpoint. The concept originates with Aristotles three essential elements of rhetoric: ethos, pathos and logos. Ethos refers to the good character and credibility of the speaker; this may be something which is already known to the audience, or something which becomes apparent in the course of the speech. The essential element is the trust the audience will place in the speakers words, based on their confidence in him as being an ethical individual, and therefore one who will demonstrate credibility and authority. According to Aristotle, the speakers ethical superiority might already be established in the mind of the audience (a well-known and respected political figure such as Nelson Mandela, for example) or it could be demonstrated in the course of the individuals address by their spoken commitment to shared moral and ethical principles. In modern communications theory, source credibility is essential to the process of internalisation, through which the audience establishes a perspective on an issue which is considered to be objectively or morally correct. The main elements of source credibility are expertise and trustworthiness. As Lancaster (2005) notes, if the audience considers that the source is speaking from an objective standpoint or from motives of altruism, then they will be more likely to accept the sources views. However, if it is felt that the source has some underlying motive such as personal gain, then credibility will be reduced. For instance, a marketer might use a well-known sportsperson to endorse a product, but their credibility will be reduced if the audience suspects that the sportsperson is making the endorsement for pay, rather ...

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