Module 08 Reader Benefits
Students probably don’t need to know all the particulars of expectancy theory, but they should
understand that reader benefits address an underlying psychological need. Moreover, they help
readers to see benefits they otherwise might not, as well as the connection between these benefits
and the readers’ needs.
Teaching Tip: Ask students to consider how their behavior as children might have
changed just prior to a holiday or birthday when they expected a gift. If students
altered their behavior, why? How did their behavior change after the holiday or
birthday passed? What did this suggest about motivation?
In-Class Exercise: For 10-15 minutes, let students share what motivates them both
in school and on the job. In terms of school, do they treat classes they see as being
beneficial to their careers as better or worse than others? Have they or will they
choose entry-level jobs that they view(ed) as beneficial to reaching later career
goals? How did those feelings compare to jobs they did “just for the money”?
How do I identify reader benefits? LO 8-2
To generate a list of possible reader benefits, students should use invention techniques, such as
brainstorming (described in Module 4). As PP 8-6 describes, students should brainstorm in two
1. Think of feelings, fears, and needs that may motivate the reader.
2. Identify the objective features of the product or policy.
In-Class Exercise: Figure 8.1 (p. 114)/PP 8-7 shows
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This widely
published model describes human motivation and is adapted
here for a business environment. To help students better
understand the model, have them locate where on the
hierarchy they believe they are. What steps are they taking to
reach the next level? At what level might they see themselves
in two years? Five? Ten? As they climb, what tangible
rewards will they expect, if any? Ask students to share their
findings with the class.
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