Social Psychology or Empirical Rhetoric? Cover Image

Psychologia społeczna czy retoryka empiryczna?
Social Psychology or Empirical Rhetoric?

Author(s): Piotr Lewiński
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Psychology
Published by: Oficyna Wydawnicza ATUT – Wrocławskie Wydawnictwo Oświatowe
Keywords: persuasion; social psychology; rhetoric

Summary/Abstract: For Aristotle, rhetoric was simply an applied technique of persuasion (techne rhetoriké), i. e. an aptitude or producing opinions. From today’s vantage point, it comprised not only the art of fine speech, but also the theory of communication, the theory of argumentation and the essentials of psychology and drama. The problem of multi-aspects of persuasion and argumentation was last comprehensively presented by Aristotle, who interrelated rhetoric with logic, the speaker’s ethos (reliability) and the theory of rhetorical affections, which were aimed at influencing the feelings of the listeners (pathos). It was not until the turn of the forties and fifties of the twentieth century that researchers took a new interest in techniques of exerting influence on people. The experimental methods of Carl Hovland, Fritz Heider, Leo Festinger and others have shaped the modern scientific formula of the old affections theory, now called social psychology. It follows that rhetoric and social psychology, the two fields of influencing people, are closely linked, what Aristotle was undoubtedly aware of. The aim of this article is to find an answer to the question about the relationship between the affections theory and social psychology: do we have the right to call it empirical rhetoric?

  • Issue Year: 16/2019
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 77-91
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Polish