A Framework for the Study of Persuasion

James N. Druckman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Persuasion is a vital part of politics mdash who wins elections and policy disputes often depends on which side can persuade more people. Given this centrality, the study of persuasion has a long history with an enormous number of theories and empirical inquiries. However, the literature is fragmented, with few generalizable findings. I unify previously disparate dimensions of this topic by presenting a framework focusing on actors (speakers and receivers), treatments (topics, content, media), outcomes (attitudes, behaviors, emotions, identities), and settings (competition, space, time, process, culture). This Generalizing Persuasion (GP) Framework organizes distinct findings and offers researchers a structure in which to situate their work. I conclude with a discussion of the normative implications of persuasion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-88
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual Review of Political Science
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • attitude change
  • framing
  • persuasion
  • political communication
  • public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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