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What are Ethos, Pathos & Logos?

 , updated on August 07, 2023
Ethos, Pathos And Logos are classical approaches to persuasion that were described by Aristotle in the work On Rhetoric, published in the 4th century BC. They have long been considered fundamental techniques of influence and propaganda.


Ethos is an appeal to authority. This is invoked by factors such as reputation, credentials, association with institutions, achievements and industry jargon. For example, a public speaker might mention their link to prestigious institutions such as universities to establish their authority on a topic. Techniques such as using obscure language used by insiders in a particular field or industry may also help to establish authority.


Pathos is an appeal to emotion. It is invocated with framing designed to invoke emotions such as fear, empathy or a sense of justice.


Logos is a logical argument or use of statements that appear to be logical such as the use of numbers.
Overview: Ethos Pathos & Logos
Ethos Definition
Influencing by establishing your authority on a topic.
Pathos Definition
Influencing by appealing to emotion or a sense of justice and values.
Logos Definition
Influencing using arguments that appear to be logical including rational arguments and the use of facts and figures.
Related Concepts
Next: Kairos
More about influencing:
Ambiguity Effect
Active Silence
Anecdotal Evidence
Agree To Disagree
Building Trust
Call To Action
Anticipating Objections
Creative Tension
Charismatic Authority
Cruel Wit
Charm Offensive
Cultural Capital
Choice Architecture
Devils Advocate
Dry Humor
Consensus Building
Expectation Setting
Constructive Criticism
Eye Contact
Heliotropic Effect
Loaded Language
Loaded Question
Door In The Face
Peak-End Rule
Plain Language
Ethos Pathos & Logos
Rhetorical Device
Social Influence
Social Perception
False Dilemma
Social Proof
Foot In The Door
Informal Authority
Weasel Words
Information Cascade
Inside Jokes
Intrinsic Reward
Logical Argument
Managing Up
Name Dropping
Paradox Of Choice
Political Capital
Red Herring
Rhetorical Question
Rule Of Three
Self Monitoring
Small Talk
Social Tension
Straw Man
Touching Base
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