How Audiences Decide: A Cognitive Approach to Business Communication, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

How Audiences Decide

A Cognitive Approach to Business Communication, 1st Edition

By Richard O. Young


396 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2010-12-20
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How Audiences Decide: A Cognitive Approach to Business Communication is a comprehensive introduction to persuasive communication in the context of business.   It summarizes relevant theories and findings from the fields of cognitive science, social cognition, leadership, team cognition, psycholinguistics, and behavioral economics.  By illuminating the thought processes of many different audiences, from consumers to Wall Street analysts to CEOs, it helps communicators better understand why audiences make the decisions they make and how to influence them.  The book covers a broad range of communication techniques—including those concerning persuasive speaking and writing, interviews and group meetings, content and style, typography and nonverbal behaviors, charts and images, rational arguments and emotional appeals—and examines the empirical evidence supporting each of them.


"How Audiences Decide is a richly detailed examination of the many factors involved in how audiences receive communication. Young (management communication, Carnegie Mellon Univ. Tepper School of Business) is an expert in the fields of rhetoric and communication, and he has applied his research to the areas of negotiation, consulting, and audience decision making… Young's work is comprehensive, and he supports his remarks thoroughly with an abundance of theory from communications and psychology, including cognitive science, social cognition, and behavioral economics. The author also covers a variety of approaches to communication, including verbal and visual. Highly recommended." -- D. Aron, Dominican University (CHOICE, August 2011)

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Understanding Rational Decision Making 1. Audience Decision-Making Expertise 2. Types of Audience Decisions 3. Cognitive Processes in Audience Decision Making 4. Aids to Audience Decision Making Part 2: Understanding Intuitive Decision Making 5. Heuristics and Biases in Audience Decision Making 6. Person Perception in Audience Decision Making Part 3: Understanding Emotional Decision Making 7. Emotions in Audience Decision Making. Conclusion. References

About the Author

Dr. Richard Young is Associate Teaching Professor of Management Communication at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. A regular presenter at the Management Communication Association’s annual conferences, he received his Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon in 1989.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Communication / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Communication / Meetings & Presentations
PSYCHOLOGY / Industrial & Organizational Psychology