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Propaganda and Persuasion

  • Propaganda
    • Propaganda is material of some kind that is intended to sway your view of something in the intended manner (shaky definition)
    • There are versions of Propaganda that are very direct
    • The real difference is that persuasion uses fact and pure logic while propaganda uses opinion (everything that is not persuasion)
    • Propaganda is intent
    • Types
      • Bandwagon
        • Everyone else is doing it and so you should as well
        • Sometimes it is blatant and sometimes it is subtle
        • This is used a lot in commercials
        • We tend to do what other people in our social circle do
      • Ad Homin Attack
        • Attack the person and not the argument
        • It is used most often on politics when the politicians attack the people as an individual as opposed to their arguments - example of this is when Bill Clinton was attacked for having affairs
      • Ad Nauseum
        • A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth
        • “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction”
  • Propaganda is evident in fads, trends, etc
  • Karl Rove
  • Brilliant
  • He was George W. Bush's propagandist
    • Beautiful people
      • Propaganda technique that plays off physical attractiveness
      • We are more likely to listen to people who are considered to be beautiful
      • This is used in advertising a lot
      • People in fast food commercials bite and then the camera cuts because then they spit it out
      • Three categories of people
      • Beautiful 3-5% of population - high end products
      • People next door - 10-15% of population - television, etc.
      • Rest of the people - used for comic relief, normal people
      • Example of this was the JFK vs Nixon debate because visual people thought that JFK won while the people who only listened said that Nixon won the debate
      • Chelsea Clinton is an example of this because while she was 12-13 she was taken out of photos but when she became 15-16, she was put back into them
    • Black and White
      • Black and white fallacy - a belief that is widely held to be true but it is not
      • This is when you are presented with only two choices and you only have two choices to choose from
      • We really want an us vs them conflict because of human nature
      • We do not want too many choices because then we freeze
      • Democrats and Republicans are a great example of this
      • Coke and Pepsi
      • Kind of like a collaborative duopoly
    • Classical Conditioning
      • Conditioning is the involuntary response to a particular stimulus
      • In advertising, the sound of a soda ???
      • Kit Kat commercial where they snap quite loudly
    • Cognitive Dissonance
      • When someone has a particular belief that is so essential that even when presented with evidence to the contrary, they refuse to change their beliefs
      • The birther movement - Barack Obama was born in Kenya
      • They will twist logic in order to maintain their particular belief structure
      • Some people belief that Elvis is still alive
      • This is also a form of self justification
      • Examples are also in Christianity
    • Plain Folks
      • Used in politics when a candidate attempts to tell the people that I am just like one of you
      • Candidate standing next to a tractor, in a factory, etc.
      • Most of our politicians are upper class but they try to present themselves as middle or lower middle class to get votes
      • When you mess this up, you really mess this up. Example: George H. W. Bush did not know what a super market scanner was and that really messed his whole “middle class” impersonation
      • Gaffe is an unintentional mistake done in the public eye
      • Karl Rove told the president to play up the southern accent to get more voters
    • Door in the face
      • you demand more than what you actually want and then when you get what you want, you act as though it is a compromise
      • car salesman - if something is always on sale then the sale price - that is the price
      • you think you are getting a deal but you are not
    • Cult of Personality
      • It is a person with an idealized persona
      • Generally used in politics and a cult of personality is usually made by the mass media
      • JFK, Stalin, Chavez, Castro, Ronald Regan, etc all had cult of personalities
      • Mass media along with a person creates a Godlike image of the person
      • Kim Jung Il is a great example of this
    • Dictat
      • A dictator dictates dictats
      • There is one thing to do and that is what you will do
      • This is a dangerous thing to do in a western society or in a society that is not governed by a monarchy or a dictatorship because too often people will *try to find a flaw in it *Asia ruling by the right of heaven
    • Foot in the door
      • Comes from salesmen who put their feet in the door
      • We see this in advertising
      • We are going to give you something either free or at a very discounted rate in the hopes that you are going to come back later at full price
      • Buy one get one free
      • Limited time only
      • Groupon
      • Gift cards work this way a lot
      • With a $75 purchase you get some percent off
      • If this works 1/20 times then it more than pays for any costs
    • Disinformation
      • Lying - it can be a straight out lie or twisting facts
      • This is used a lot in wartime
      • The Nazis conquered a lot of people and they were amassing armies in France and they used missiles which was the first time. Britain at this time was all by itself. Nazis were sending spy planes all the time. Britain made a lot of fake army stuff and bought them time.
      • This was also used in D-Day
      • This is also used a lot in advertising
    • Latitudes of Acceptance
      • When are particular stance is put forward and then is gradually change but the people who supported the original stance will then support the final stance because the change was very gradual
      • This happens every election cycle
      • The change is usually from moderate to exchange
      • The political candidates have to pose stances which agree with the nominations (extreme) and then so the candidate has to shift back towards the middle and therefore the candidate who is the most moderate will be the one who will win the general election: Mitt Romney is a good example of this because he shifted a lot but he did so very gradually
      • Going sideways
    • Love Bombing
      • Individual is isolated from their normal social circles and then you cover them with love and affection and then they only stick with you and then they look at you as the only source of love and affection and then the love and affection is withheld as a source of power
      • This is like stockholm syndrome
      • Abusive relationship
      • Guy isolates the woman from her social circles - “We have to spend some time together”
      • He is showering her with affection
      • Then the only source of affection she is getting is from him
      • Once all of her connections to all of her friends and family have been cut, he withholds the love and the affection and then there is nobody else for her to go to
      • Stockholm Syndrome - like this
      • Kind of like social propaganda
      • Could potentially apply to en entire group
    • Straw man argument
      • This is seen in politics a lot
      • This is constructing an argument an attacking the constructed argument rather than the actual argument of my opponent
      • You attack what you think your opponent to believe rather than what your opponent actually believes

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