Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 15 – Q 4. Examine the significance of persuasion as a tool to ensure behavioural change.

4. Examine the significance of persuasion as a tool to ensure behavioural change.   

व्यवहार परिवर्तन सुनिश्चित करने के लिए एक उपकरण के रूप में प्रेरणा के महत्व की जांच करें।  


  • In this question, there are two focus points viz. “Persuasion” and “Behavioural Change”. Relationship between these two is, Persuasion is a means through which we have to achieve behavioural change (end).
  • Thus, in introduction, simply define persuasion and write some points about it. In body of the answer focus should be on how ‘persuasion can change behaviour’.
  • Since ‘examine’ is asked, bring a critical view also, add negative examples of persuasion such as terrorism, radicalization or communalization, etc.


  • Persuasion is a method of changing a person’s cognitions, feelings, behaviours, attitudes toward some object, issue, or person, through some kind of communication.
  • Behaviour in its broader sense includes all types of human activities. It is very much evident from experiences and examples around us that persuasion is a significant tool for behavioural change.


Significance of persuasion in behavioural change:

  • Every day we are bombarded by advertisements of every sort. The goal of these ads is to sell us cars, computers, video games, clothes, and even political candidates.
  • The ads appear on billboards, website popup ads, buses, TV infomercials, etc. It’s been estimated that over $500 billion is spent annually on advertising worldwide
  • These advertisements do change our choices and preference which are part of our behavior.
  • Significance of persuasion is also evident from experience of behavioural change due to TV advertisements on Swachch Barat Abhiyan and Darwaza Band Movement.
  • Frequent advertisement, designed with a humorous message to change people’s behaviour for using toilets did had massive effect on public behaviour.

Persuasion is not limited to formal advertising; we are confronted with it throughout our everyday world. It has been used negatively also.

Negative behavioural change due to persuasion

  • In the name of religion or Sanskriti (tradition), people were and are being radicalised or communalised.
  • Various movements and schemes such as Beti Bachao Beti padhao were and are being launched to empower women and change the behaviour of society towards women, still violence against women, sexual harassment and such other incidences are increasing at an alarming rate.


  • Persuasion is a tool, and tools are amoral. It can work as double-edged sword.
  • Aristotle gave three main tactics to effectively use persuasion as tool for behavioral change. These are ethos (trust worthiness), pathos (emotions) and logos (logic).
  • Keeping in mind these tactics we can use persuasion technique to eradicate many social evils, establish a favourable and positive work culture, and use it as a tool for good governance.

Best Answer: Shilpi

Print Friendly, PDF & Email