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Propaganda & Persuasion Persuasion A communication process to influence others Recipient voluntarily adopts new behavior or point of view Mutually satisfying Both persuader & persuadee stand to have needs fulfilled Propaganda

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& Persuasion

  • A communication process to influence others
  • Recipient voluntarily adopts new behavior or point of view
  • Mutually satisfying
  • Both persuader & persuadee stand to have needs fulfilled

Deliberate & systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate congitions & direct behavior

Goal is to further cause of propagandist

No concern for well-being of recipient

Though propagandist may profess concern


Ultimate goal is to control public opinion & manipulate behavior

  • Voting
  • Buying products
  • Joining an organization
  • Fighting for a cause
  • Etc.
propaganda often involves
Propaganda often involves
  • Concealed purpose
  • Concealed identity
  • Control of information flow
propaganda devices
Propaganda devices:
  • Play on emotion
  • Avoid objectivity
  • Discourage examination of evidence
  • Often rely on symbols
  • Are most effective when there is a vacuum of info around an issue
historically effective elements of propaganda
Historically effective elements of propaganda
  • Charismatic figures
  • Heavy symbolism
  • Simple & incessant moral philosophy
  • Understanding of audience needs
  • Reliance on image & emotion
propaganda throughout history
Propaganda throughout history
  • Generally in support of war or religion
  • Architecture & public monuments
    • Prestige & dynastic legitimacy
Alexander the Great
  • Symbolism of marriage

Caesars of Imperial Rome

  • “corporate symbolism”
  • Art, architecture, literature, coinage
religious propaganda
Religious propaganda
  • Often aimed at positive social or political purpose
  • Parables & metaphors
    • Eye of the camel, shepherd & flock
  • Crusades: religion & war
forms of propaganda
Forms of propaganda

White propaganda

  • Source is correctly identified
  • Info is accurate
  • Attempts to build credibility
examples of white propaganda
Examples of white propaganda
  • Voice of America
  • National holidays
  • Olympics
black propaganda
Black Propaganda
  • Credited to a false source
  • Spreads lies, fabrications & deceptions

Examples of black propaganda

  • WWII radio
  • leaflets
gray propaganda
Gray Propaganda
  • Source may or may not be correctly identified
  • Accuracy of info is uncertain
  • Examples of gray propaganda
  • Distorted statistics
  • Unsupported advertising claims

Disinformation(black propaganda)

  • False, incomplete or misleading info fed to targeted individual, group or country
  • News stories designed to weaken adversaries, planted by foreign agent journalists
subpropaganda facilitative communication
Subpropaganda(facilitative communication)
  • Spreading of unfamiliar doctrine to build base of support for future use
  • Builds friendly atmosphere & keeps lines of communication open for eventual use of propaganda tactics
  • Often, though not always, aimed at news media
hate propaganda atrocity stories
Hate propaganda(atrocity stories)

Sometimes true

But often exaggerated and/or fabricated

  • Massacre
  • Mutilation
  • Mistreatment
coercive propaganda
Coercive Propaganda

Brainwashing of prisoners

Integration Propaganda

Maintains the status quo

Agitation Propaganda

Arouse support for a cause

7 common propaganda devices
7 Common Propaganda Devices

Name calling

  • Giving an ideal a bad label

Glittering generality

  • Association with a “virtue” word


  • Of respect & authority
  • Respected or hated person speaks for an issue

Plain Folks

  • “of the people”

Card Stacking

  • Best or worse case

Band Wagon

  • “everybody is doing it”
two more common devices
Two more common devices

Fear Appeals

  • Disaster will ensue


  • “Nice” words
reasons for growth in use of propaganda in 19th 20th centuries
Reasons for growth in use of propaganda in 19th & 20th centuries
  • Development of democratic institutions
  • Improvements in transportation & communication
  • Growth of mass media
    • bypasses traditional socializing institutions
Emergence of mass audience
  • Growth in advertising
    • consumer advertising tactics used to market politics
news media propaganda
News Media & Propaganda
  • Whenever possible, propagandists attempt to control the news media.
  • The role of the news media in propaganda varies according to country and culture.
  • In an open society, the news media are more often channels of propaganda than actual propagandists.
When the state controls the news media, they are often utilized for propaganda purposes.
  • New technologies provide opportunities for propagandists (& counter-propagandists)