Persuasion & Propaganda
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Persuasion & Propaganda
February 7, 2017Slide2
Nature of Persuasion
We are surrounded by persuasion
Obvious or intentional persuasion
Nonobvious or accidental influence
Persuasion can be positive!
Powerful, positive social force that works to motivate and inspire
Necessary to human interaction
Essential to public health awareness campaigns
Critical for charities and philanthropic organizationsSlide3Slide4Slide5Slide6
Advertising spending in the USA for 2015 is estimated by
at $189 billion (digital & mobile platforms growing, but TV still gets biggest share at about 42%)Slide7
Persuasion is pervasive
Average person exposed to 1,000 commercials per week (Berger, 2004)
Average person exposed to 300-1500 persuasive messages per day from media & advertising (Jones, 2004)
Average of $800 per person is spent on advertising in the U.S. each year (Berger, 2004)Slide8Slide9Slide10
So why study
Instrumental function: Improving one’s own persuasive abilities, commnication competence
Knowledge and awareness function
: How persuasion works, overcoming habitual persuasion
Becoming more savy and discerning, exposing unethical strategies and tacticsSlide11
So now what is
“Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist
.” - Jowett & O’Donnell, 1986,
Propaganda and Persuasion
“ Propaganda is usually a
“Propaganda is typically a label assigned to other’s persuasion.”Slide12
5 Characteristics of Propaganda
Propaganda is in the eye of the beholder
“I’m persuading. The other guy is using propaganda.”
Propaganda has a strong ideological bent
Example: PETA, NRA
Propaganda is institutional in nature. It is practiced by organized groups.
Governements, corporations, social movements, special interest groups
Propaganda relies on mass persuasion
Television, Radio, internet, billboards
Propaganda often relies on ethically suspect methods of influence
Deception, distortion, misrepresentation, or suppression of informationSlide13
Common Propaganda Techniques
Plain Folks Appeal:
“I’m one of you”
“I saw the ailens, sure as I am standing here”
“Everybody’s doing it!”
Presenting only one side of the story
Positive or negative associations, such as guilt by association
: Idealistic or loaded language, such as “Freedom,” “Justice,” “Change,” or “family values”
Name Calling (ad hominem)
: “Racist,” Tree hugger,” “Femi-nazi”Slide14
What is the message?
Who created this message and what is the purpose?
Who is the intended audience?
What techniques are used to attract the viewers attention?
What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented?
How might people interpret this message differently?
What is omitted?Slide15
Propaganda In History
...& the wonders of public discourse without any of our current sense of “political correctness”Slide16Slide17
And of course… the completely ridiculous...Slide24Slide25