MLD-343: Advanced Topics in Persuasion: A Workshop in the Theory and Practice of Leadership

Semester: Not Offered

Credit: 1.0

Faculty: Gary Orren


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Persuasion is the key to effective leadership.  It is challenging enough to lead those who agree with us.  But inducing others who are initially skeptical or opposed to our views to follow us—i.e, persuading them—is the greatest challenge facing aspiring leaders.  This course will explore persuasion in two ways.  First, it will provide a forum for the analysis and discussion of critical issues in persuasion, such as:  the challenges of self-persuasion and self-control, the neurobiology of emotions and cognition, analogy as the basis of all thinking, the evolutionary origins of storytelling, the relevance of behavioral economics to persuasion, the role of formal rules of logic and argument, fallacies, and rhetorical devices in persuasion, and manipulation and the standards of ethical persuasion.  Students will explore the behavioral science research literature on one such topic and write a substantial analytical paper.  Second, students will hone their practical skills in persuasion by crafting a strategy that applies what they have learned from their analytical paper to a persuasion project of interest to them.  Prerequisite:  MLD-342 or permission of the instructor. 


Interested students who have not completed MLD-342 are required to submit a statement of interest and C.V./resume to Professor Orren. Not offered in 2013-14.