Saturday, August 12, 2017

manipulation

I have a friend very concerned about today's propaganda, most likely because she fears it'll end up like Germany when Hitler began to take control. I think the concern is not really valid as their situation was different on many levels, but the US has been manipulated into going to war, regularly is manipulated into voting for someone-- or not. Ads do it all the time.

It's good to be aware of how it works when our emotions are being tweaked-- especially since politicians regularly employ these techniques. Generally speaking in our ADD era, most politicians don't rely on facts to get you to vote for them. Recognizing when your emotions are being tweaked, it helps to have taken classes in logic. A plus B does not equal C unless there is a direct connection-- even if both A and B are true.

Are you being manipulated? One clue is if you feel an emotional reaction after hearing the argument. You are not listening to the facts once you feel rage or fear. I cannot currently think of a single politician who doesn't  use these techniques, which means don't listen to their speeches (I rarely do). Instead read what they said and see if the arguments are first true, are connected, and lead to the conclusion being claimed.

I went looking for something online and liked this. The writer cleverly stayed away from politics as for many people, as soon as you use a politician or party's name, they're done with logic. Instead, see if your guy is manipulating you and if so, did you lose track of whether he was making a valid point or looking for an emotional response. Pundits, bloggers, and writers are good at it. It does not just happen on one side of the partisan divide. It allows the manipulator to get people to vote against their own best interests for a quality life.

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PROPAGANDA TECHNIQUES

A propaganda technique is an improper appeal to emotion used for the purpose of swaying the opinions of an audience. The following propaganda techniques are common:

1. Bandwagon: This technique involves encouraging people to think or act in some way simply because other people are doing so. For example: "All your neighbors are rushing down to Mistri Motors to take advantage of this year-end sale. You come, too!"

2. Snob appeal: This technique involves making a claim that one should act or think in a certain way because of the high social status associated with the action or thought. For example: "Felson’s Furs – the feeling of luxury, for those who can afford the very best."

3. Vague, undefined terms: This technique involves promoting or challenging an opinion by using words that are so vague or so poorly defined as to be almost meaningless. For example: "Try our new and improved, all-natural product."

4. Loaded words: This technique involves using words with strong positive or negative connotations, or associations. Name-calling is an example of the use of loaded words. So is any use of words that are charged with emotion. For example: "No really intelligent voter would support his candidacy."

5. Transfer: This technique involves making an illogical association between one thing and something else that is generally viewed as positive or negative. For example: " The American pioneers worked hard because they cared about the future. If you can about the future of your family, then see your agent at Pioneer Insurance."

6. Unreliable testimonial: This technique involves having an unqualified person endorse a product, action, or opinion. For example: "Hi, I’m Bart Bearson. As a pro-football quarterback, I have to be concerned about my health. That’s why I take Pro-Ball Vitamin Supplements."

Avoid using propaganda techniques in your own speech and writing, and be on the alert for these techniques in the speech and writing of others. Look for these techniques when watching television or looking a published ads (magazines or newspaper).

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