Read Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion by Anthony R. Pratkanis Free Online
Book Title: Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion|
The author of the book: Anthony R. Pratkanis
Edition: W.H. Freeman & Company
Date of issue: October 1st 1991
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 825 KB
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Loaded: 1899 times
Reader ratings: 3.4
ISBN 13: 9780716722113
Read full description of the books:
I bought this book after Ramit Sethi's recommendation on the Tim Ferris podcast. I didn’t know much going in, so it was a surprising read.
This book promises to help you identify all the forms of persuasion and also teach you tactics to respond or counteract various forms of persuasion. Is this promise realized? That is hard to say. The book does a great job of identifying the various forms and persuasion and the 4 persuasion phases: pre-persuasion, communicator credibility, message delivery and emotional appeals. All 4 phases were fascinating in their own way. Frankly, I was not always impressed by the tons of researched shared by the authors, since I had come across them over and over again in other books. For example, using Jim Jones is a terrific albeit overused example of a religious charlatan, especially without a compelling or fresh perspective. I have also heard of the story where subliminal messaging in an movie theater led some patrons to feel hungry and crave coke or popcorn. Sales increased by a huge percentage.
The book closes by sharing ways to avoid malicious types of persuasion:
1. Know the different forms of persuasion and know you if you are susceptible to them. Spoiler alert - you probably are susceptible to various forms of persuasion.
2. Whenever a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is; inquire insistently to confirm your thoughts - positive or otherwise.
3. Regularly look at both sides of the coin. If you had a representative from the other side, what would they say?
4. Teach your children about propaganda, and find ways to further inoculate them. Interesting ways of doing so are helping them understand the key differences between what is advertised and what the product actually offers. Oftentimes there is a discrepancy.
5. Be a staunch supporter of efforts to curtail persuasion towards groups more susceptible to it. Children, are a good example.
6. Avoid getting your information from just one source. For example, do not get all your news from MSNBC, or worse, FOX NEWS. :)
7. News can sometimes be dry and boring. See it as such. Expectations for news programs should be much different from what you get from an action packed thriller with Tom Cruise as the protagonist.
8. Pay attention to the communication style of the people you interact with. It’s often very telling.
9. Demand TV shows that bring together marketers, customers, and businesses to discuss the unfair practices of persuasion pertaining to advertising.
Let me discuss the four phases briefly:
Pre-persuasion: This involves setting the stage for your persuasion; mainly context.
Communicator credibility: This speaks to the manufactured or real credibility of the person delivering the message.
How the message is delivered: This focuses on the different techniques such as packaging, self-selling, repetition, singing (distraction), one-sided vs. two-sided debate.
Emotional appeals: This speaks to how individuals receive the messages. There are several tactics here.
Fear. Used optimally, it could force an individual to change significantly. You must ensure that the fear you instill is not one where the individual feels helpless, or feels they can not do anything about it. The fear induced must be substantial and also provide action items to help one get out of such fear.
Granfallon technique: Association by anything at all. This is where when you meet someone or you are trying to persuade someone, you find as many similarities between you two.
Me: “You went to UVA? “
Me: “OH, so did I.”
Me: “You like collard greens?”
Me: “Who would have thunk it? We have so much in common.”
It is used all the time by sales persons. They start by learning as much from you as they can. And as soon as they can, they use such information against you.
Guilt. Guilt sells! Let someone feel guilty enough about an action, and their guard falls. You are able to persuade them a tad easier.
Reciprocation: Human beings are wired to give back when someone is good to us. That a great way to persuade. When someone does something generous, we feel compelled to do the same for them. It is one way various religions and marketing firms have been able to take advantage of people. The Hare Krishna religion and the Amway direct selling come to mind.
Committed heart: This is another astute way of persuading. Get folks to commit a little bit at a time. When you do the research on cults and other organizations where their followers committed atrocious acts in the name of religion, you realize they did not get there overnight. They slowly committed themselves. The leader’s requests slowly escalates; the current request is usually a tad more ridiculous than the last.
Practice what you preach: Another way to persuade folks is to get them to spread your message, and then turn around and ask them if they applying those principles in their daily lives – booyaaa!
Scarcity: Want to spark interest in something? Tell people it is the only one of its kind.
To wrap this up, I have picked up quite a few techniques. When and if I want to be as persuasive as possible, I need to get a better understanding of the context; situational awareness if you will. I will also have to make sure I am projected in the right light to persuade. Either I am an expert, or I believe passionately in the stance I have taken. Looking the part is key, fit, speaking confidently and becoming an expert in various disciplines.
When it comes to message delivery, this is key as well. The message must be delivered almost as an advert, using the right words, tone, and demeanor. It would also be helpful to repeat key phrases often. Lastly, when it comes to delivery, decide to use the one-sided or two-sided. One-sided works best when the audience is on your side and you could do not wrong. A two-sided argument works best when you are trying to convince folks on the fence. It gives them the impression that you are aware of the arguments against your proposal.
I would also need to agree on which emotion to appeal to: fear, granfallon, guilt, reciprocation, step-by-step commitment, leading by example, or scarcity.
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Read information about the authorAnthony R. Pratkanis earned his Ph.D. in 1984 from the famed social psychology
program at the Ohio State University. His research program has investigated
such topics as the delayed effects of persuasion, attitudes and memory, groupthink,
affirmative action, subliminal persuasion, mass communications, source
credibility, persuasion and democracy, economic fraud, the use of influence in
international conflicts, and a variety of influence tactics such as the pique
technique, phantoms, the projection tactic, the 1-in-5 prize tactic, and altercasting.
He has appeared in the mass media over 500 times as an expert on social
influence processes, has been called as an expert witness in numerous advertising
deceptiveness cases, and served as a consultant to AARP, NASD, and other law
enforcement and civic groups on countering the undue influence used in
fraud crimes and to the United States military on countering the propaganda of
terrorists and dictators.
He is the co-author (with Elliot Aronson) of Age of Propaganda: The Everyday
Use and Abuse of Persuasion and (with Doug Shadel) of Weapons of Fraud: A
Source Book for Fraud Fighters.
Anthony Pratkanis is the founding editor of Social Influence, a new scientific
journal from Psychology Press.