Do rhetorical questions make arguments more or less persuasive?


80 undergraduates were exposed to arguments advocating supplemental vitamin use. Ending arguments with rhetorical questions (when compared with statements) resulted in more favorable attitudes towards vitamin use and a more favorable profile of questions generated about the message topic. The question profile, principally reflecting uncertainty concerning personal nutrition, mediated the attitudinal effect.

Source: “Question effects on question generation and the mediation of attitude change.” from Psychol Rep. 1994 Aug;75(1 Pt 1):209-10.

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