Pathos Definition

Learn about the power of pathos in persuasion and communication. Discover examples, case studies, and statistics on the emotional appeal of pathos.

Understanding Pathos

Pathos is one of the three modes of persuasion in rhetoric, alongside logos (logic) and ethos (credibility). It appeals to the emotions and beliefs of an audience to make them feel a certain way or act in a particular manner.

Examples of Pathos

One famous example of pathos is the ASPCA commercials featuring sad animals in need of help. These ads aim to evoke a sense of pity and empathy in viewers to encourage them to donate or adopt a pet. Another example is political speeches that use personal anecdotes to connect with the audience on an emotional level.

Case Studies

In a study conducted by Stanford University, researchers found that messages with a strong emotional appeal were more likely to be shared on social media platforms. This demonstrates the power of pathos in influencing behavior and engaging audiences.

Statistics on Pathos

A survey by Nielsen revealed that 85% of consumers make purchasing decisions based on emotions. This highlights the importance of appealing to the emotional side of consumers through advertising and marketing strategies.


Pathos plays a crucial role in communication and persuasion by tapping into the emotions of an audience. By understanding and using pathos effectively, marketers, advertisers, and public speakers can create powerful messages that resonate with their target audience.

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