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We live in an age of propaganda. Americans consume 57% of the world's advertising while representing only 6% of the population, and half of our waking hours are spent with the mass media. Persuasion has always been integral to the democratic process - it's how we make decisions, elect governments, do business, and resolve disputes, but increasingly, thoughtful discussion is being replaced with simplistic sound bites, manipulative messages, and deceptive propaganda tactics.
An eye-opening analysis of the use and abuse of persuasion in daily life, Age of Propaganda reveals how persuasion influences our behavior, which propaganda strategies are most commonly used today, and why some techniques work better than others. Drawing on the history of propaganda and modern research in social psychology, the authors show how the tactics used by political campaigners, sales agents, advertisers, televangelists, demagogues, and others, often take advantage of our emotions by appealing to our deepest fears and most irrational hopes, creating a distorted vision of the world we live in.
Thoroughly revised and updated, this new edition of Age of Propaganda includes coverage of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, recent election campaigns, the rise of talk radio, teen suicide, U.F.O abductions, the Columbine shootings, and novel propaganda tactics based on hypocrisy and false allegations. Also included is a completely new chapter on how to protect yourself from unwanted propaganda.
An invaluable guide to today's message-laden world, Age of Propaganda provides us with the knowledge we need to understand how manipulative messages work, how to deal with them sensibly, and how to use persuasion wisely and effectively.
1. Our Age of Propaganda
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF EVERYDAY PERSUASION
2. Mysterious Influence
3. Mindless Propaganda, Thoughtful Persuasion
4. The Rationalizing Animal
5. The Four Stratagems of Influence
PRE-PERSUASION: SETTING THE STAGE FOR EFFECTIVE INFLUENCE
6. Words of Influence
7. Pictures in Our Heads
8. Saddam Hussein: The Hitler of Baghdad?
9. A Questionable Persuasion
10. The Power of Decoys
11. The Psychology of Factoids
COMMUNICATOR CREDIBILITY: REAL AND MANUFACTURED
12. The Credible Communicator
13. Breakfast of Champions, Junk Food for the Self
14. How Do You Persuade If Everyone Knows You Are Untrustworthy, Unbelievable, and Disliked?
15. The Manufacture of Credibility
16. Prizefighter Slays 11 with One Look: The Influence of Mass Media Models
THE MESSAGE AND HOW IT IS DELIVERED
19. Naked Attics and Neighborhood War Heroes: On Vividness in Communication
20. Why Do They Keep Repeating the Same Ads?
21. If You Have Nothing to Say — Distract Them
22. If You Want to Gain an Inch, Ask for a Mile — Sometimes!
23. Protagoras' Ideal: One-Sided Puffery versus Two-Sided Debate
EMOTIONAL APPEALS: TOUCH THE HEART, PERSUADE THE MIND
24. The Fear Appeal
25. The Granfalloon Technique
26. Guilt Sells
27. What Is the Influence of One Flower Given?
28. The Committed Heart
29. To Practice What You Preach
30. The Psychology of Scarcity and the Mystique of Phantoms
31. Education or Propaganda?
32. What Is News?
33.On the Ineffectiveness of Information Campaigns
34. Subliminal Sorcery: Who Is Seducing Whom?
35. Persuasion Direct
36. How to Become a Cult Leader
37. Propaganda in the Third Reich: A Case for Uncertainty
COUNTERACTING THE TACTICS OF PROPAGANDA
38. Is Forewarned Forearmed? Or How to Really Resist Propaganda
39. Things We Can Do To Stop Propaganda in Its Tracks
40. Peitho's Children
About the Authors