#1

What characteristics do you think make someone a good parent? Explain why these characteristics are important to you.

#2

Some students prefer to work on class assignments by themselves. Others believe it is better to work in a group. Which do you prefer? Explain why.

# 3

Hot Breakfasts Eliminated

Beginning next month, Dining Services will no longer serve hot breakfast foods at university dining halls. Instead, students will be offered a wide assortment of cold breakfast items in the morning. These cold breakfast foods, such as breads, fruit, and yogurt, are healthier than many of the hot breakfast items that we will stop serving; so health-conscious students should welcome this change. Students will benefit in another way as well, because limiting the breakfast selection to cold food items will save money and allow us to keep our meal plans affordable.

The woman expresses her opinion of the change that has been announced. State her opinion and explain her reasons for holding that opinion.

W: Do you believe any of this? It’s ridiculous.

M: What do you mean? Well, isn’t it important to eat healthy foods?

W: Sure, it is. But they are saying yogurts better for you than an omelet or than hot cereal? I mean, whether something is hot or cold, that shouldn’t be the issue. ** maybe on a really cold morning, in that case, which is going to be better for you, a roll of cold cereal or a nice warm omelet? It’s obvious. There is no question.

M: Uh, I am not goona argue with you there.

W: And this whole thing about saving money.

M: What about it?

W: Well, they are actually going to make things worse for us, not better coz if they start cutting back and we can’t get what we want right here on campus. Well, we’re going to be going off campus and pay off-campus prices. And you know what? That’ll be expensive. Even if it’s only two or three mornings a week, they can add up.

# 4

Cognitive Dissonance

Individuals sometimes experience a contradiction between their actions and their beliefsbetween what they are doing and what they believe they should be doing. These contradictions can cause a kind of mental discomfort known as cognitive dissonance. People experiencing cognitive dissonance often do not want to change the way they are acting, so they resolve the contradictory situation in another way, they change their interpretation of the situation in a way that minimizes the contradiction between what they are doing and what they believe should be doing.

Using the example discussed by the professor, explain what cognitive dissonance is and how people often deal with it.

# 5

The speakers discuss two possible solutions to the woman’s problem. Briefly summarize the problem. Then state which of the solutions you recommend and explain why.

M: Hey, Monee, what’s wrong?

W: Oh, I’m just struggling about what to do. I won an award from the creative writing institute for a story I wrote. And…

M: That doesn’t sound like anything is wrong.

W: Well, it’s a huge honor to win and there is an award ceremony they’ve invited me to attend which I’m so excited about. But, and here is what’s frustrating. I’ve got a biology exam that scheduled for the same time.

M: Uh-oh. Well, have you talked to your professor about this?

W: Yeah, she said I could write a five-page paper instead. And I have lots of ideas and know I could do a good job. But…

M: But what?

W: Well, writing a paper would take up so much time, a lot more time than studying for and taking the exam. I have lots of other school work to deal with.

M: Oh. Or you can have someone else receive the award for you. I mean, go in your place accept it on your behalf.

W: Maybe, I still get the award and the money that way.

M: Woo, you won money too?

W: Yeah, pretty cool, uh? But anyways, my parents were really looking forward to coming and seeing me on stage, shaking hands with the institute’s president and aloo. I hate to disappoint them.

M: True. I’m sure they are really proud.

W: Like I said, I’m still struggling about what to do.

# 6

Using the examples from the talk, explain how persuasive strategies are used in advertising.

In advertising, various strategies are used to persuade people to buy products. In order to sell more products, advertisers will often try to make us believe that a product will meet our needs or desires perfectly. Even if it’s not true, the strategies they use can be subtle or friendly forms of persuasion that are sometimes hard to recognize.

In a lot of ads, repetition is a key strategy. Research shows that repeated exposure to a message, even something meaningless or untrue, is enough to make people accept it or see it in a positive light. You’ve all seen the car commercials on TV, like the one that refers to its roomy cars over and over again. You know which one I mean. This guy is driving around and he keeps stopping to pick up different people. He picks up three or four people. And each time, the narrator says, “Plenty of room for friends! Plenty of room for family! Plenty of room for everybody!” This same message is repeated several times in the course of the commercial. Now the car…the car…actually looks kind of small. It’s not a very big call at all, but you get the sense that it’s pretty spacious. You think that the viewer would reach the logical conclusion that the slogan misrepresents the product. Instead, what usually happens is that when the statement “plenty of room” is repeated often enough people are actually convinced it’s true.

Another strategy that they use is to get a celebrity to advertise a product. It turns out that we are more likely to accept an advertising claim made by somebody famous, a person we admire and find appealing. We tend to think they’re trustworthy. So you might have a car commercial that features a well-known racecar driver. Now it may not be a very fast car. It could even be an inexpensive vehicle with a low performance rating. But if a popular racecar driver shown driving it and saying, “I like my cars fast!” Then people will believe the car is impressive for its speed.