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CAS 497a - Interpersonal Influence

How and why do people get their way?

Because humans live in groups, we must grapple with who is in charge and how we can get along with each other. All social animals have devised various means of answering these basic questions, but humans have the added complexities associated with the use of language and argument.

CAS 497 aims to show how basic problems of sociality play out in common contemporary interactions such as getting help from others, enforcing rules and obligations, providing advice, and changing opinions. It covers theories of message production and theories of message effects.


Understand the role of communication in fundamental questions of social existence. Gain knowledge of specific theories of message production and message effects as they pertain to influence. Practice reading and analyzing social scientific analyses of interpersonal influence. Apply course concepts to real-world settings.