Putting persuasion (back) in its interactional context

B. Humă, E. Stokoe, R.O. Sikveland

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


© 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis.Persuasion is a ubiquitous presence in everyday life, with decades of research from across the social sciences, and, of course, particularly within psychology. Nevertheless, in this paper, we argue that we still know very little about the actual manifestations of persuasive conduct ‘in the wild’. Taking a discursive psychological approach to the study of people in the settings that comprise their everyday lives, we respecify persuasion as a visible, situated, and interactive accomplishment, rather than starting from a conceptualisation of it as an outcome of invisible cognitive processes. Examining a corpus of business-to-business ‘cold’ sales calls we show how salespeople successfully secure meetings with prospective clients, and how these outcomes are tied to specific practices of turn-taking and sequential organisation, rather than being the result of the prior (unknowable) ‘intent’ of the prospect. We conclude that persuasion is not an elusive or mysterious phenomenon, but needs much wider scrutiny to describe and understand it in settings that matter to the participants involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-371
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Putting persuasion (back) in its interactional context'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this