Pathos refers to the emotion or passion a writer evokes in a reader. It involves stirring people up enough to get them to do or believe something. Aristotle didn't much like this form of persuasion. "The arousing of prejudice, pity, anger, and similar emotions has nothing to do with the essential facts, but is merely a personal appeal to the [wo]man who is judging the case." Advertisers and politicians often revert to pathos because it is the only way you will get somebody to put down the remote, get up of the coach, and do something.
Advertisers or writers can appeal to higher emotions like our belief in fairness and justice, love, or pity; or they can appeal to our lower emotions like greed, lust, revenge, avarice, and jealousy.
Even if you're not a politician or advertiser, think about how you might use pathos in your everyday career to persuade your boss or coworkers to believe or do something you think is important. When is it appropriate to use emotion in the workplace?
Watch this McDonald's commercial aimed at children--you really don't need to know Spanish to understand the appeal:
How is McDonald's using pathos in this commercial? Think of the baser emotions. Think about going to the grocery store with your mom as a little kid. What were you searching for in a cereal, great taste, or the prize inside the package?
Do you think this is an effective commercial? Why or why not?