PSY560 - Propaganda and Persuasion

Outline info
Last revision date Sep 30, 2019 12:23:03 AM
Last review date Dec 2, 2019 12:15:13 AM

Subject Title
Propaganda and Persuasion

Subject Description
Retailers, marketers, advertisers, the broadcasting industry, the military, pubic speakers and educators have long understood the principles of social influence. As that knowledge, along with communication technology, has increased, so has the amount of influence that screams for our attention daily. This subject will outline the major tools and theories of social influence by demonstrating how the theories actually work in real life. It will also help us see beyond persuasion strategies in order to make more objective decisions and assert greater control over our own behaviour.
Co-requisite: EAC149 or equivalent.

Credit Status
One General Education elective credit in the Sciences & Social Sciences category

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. recognize and describe how the principles of persuasion affect the increasing complexity of the actions and choices we make every day.
2. Analyze how our basic human needs are met, supported, and manipulated by the social groups and institutions we contact daily.
3. Explain how our nervous, learning, perceptual, cognitive, memory and emotional systems affect social influence.
4. Predict how most human beings, ourselves included, will act in a variety of social situations.
5. Differentiate experimental research from correlational and descriptive methodologies..
6. Discuss and describe the ethics of social deception in research, and the ethics of persuasion/propaganda.
7. Explain the connection between personality and social influence, and recognize his or her own susceptibility to social influence.
8. Recognize persuasion, avoid its abuses in our personal lives, and use its' effects to enhance self-presentation, and change unhealthy or disenfranchising attitudes in our society.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

EAC149, EAP500 or equivalent

Topic Outline
See professor's addendum.

Mode of Instruction
To ensure that students are engaged as much as possible in the communication process, professors will use a variety of appropriate teaching modes and techniques, such as the following: lectures, question and answer, tutorials, classroom discussion, group work, individual or group oral presentations, computer-added instruction, computer conferencing, independent-learning printed or electronically recorded or transmitted materials, distance-education materials, and consultation.

Prescribed Texts
You will receive the title(s) of required text(s) from your instructor.

Reference Material
See professor’s addendum

Required Supplies
See professor’s addendum 

Student Progression and Promotion Policy
To be successful in this subject, you must achieve an overall grade of 50% or higher.

Grading Policy

A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.(

Modes of Evaluation
75%     Term Work
25%     Final Assessment

Academic Support and Expectations
Missed Tests / Presentations / In-Class Assignments
Students who miss scheduled tests, presentations, or in-class or online assignments will receive a grade of zero.  If there are valid reasons for missing the test, presentation, or in-class assignment, the student MUST:
a)       Contact the professor or student advisor by email prior to the start time of the test, presentation, or in-class or online assignment, and
b)       Provide documentation where appropriate.
At the professor’s discretion, a make-up test/in-class assignment or new date for the presentation may be granted or the value of the test may be added to a subsequent test or final exam. 
Participation in Online Courses
Consistent online access is important for success in this subject. You are responsible for all online material and assignments; in addition, you need to be checking your Seneca e-mail on a daily basis for updates and other related information. While weekly updates and related e-mails will be provided, it is your responsibility to keep up with the content and maintain an active online presence.
Considerate online conduct, adequate preparation, and constructive online participation will be expected from each student and will enhance your academic experience and that of your fellow students. In particular, you are asked to be prompt, courteous, responsible, and collaborative, where relevant.
Learning Centre
The Learning Centre offers academic support to all Seneca students in the form of one-on-one tutoring, small group tutoring, and workshops and can be located at either the Newnham, Markham, York, or King campus.  Students can visit The Learning Centre in person to book an appointment or watch a tutorial on booking a tutoring appointment online at  
Dropping a Subject
There are two deadlines for dropping this subject.  If you drop by Day 10 of the semester, the subject will not appear on your transcript.  If you drop by the last drop date, the subject will appear on your transcript with a grade of DNC.  To drop, please notify your professor, complete a “Timetable Change Form,” and return it to Registration by the deadline.  Discuss any possible negative consequences of dropping the subject with your academic coordinator or student advisor.                                                

Approved by: John Stilla