Observing Persuasion in the New Age
Thesis: The allure of the New Age can be attributed in part to an overall lack of understanding its nature; when its history is taken into consideration and its persuasive element is exposed, we see that, contrary to the assumption that the New Age is a freer alternative to mainstream religion, persuasion is a very present part of the New Age.
II. What is new about it?
A. The New Age is not new.
B. If there is anything really new about it, it is its acceptance in the West.
C. Its adaptation to the Western culture is also new.
III. Persuasive elements defined
C. Foot-in-the-door phenomena
D. Low-ball technique
E. Effects of the Communicator
3. Speaking confidently
F. Range of acceptability
G. Fear of appearing foolish
H. Behaviour changing attitude
IV. Persuasive elements observed
The automatic and first context of an assessment of the New Age, as a ministerial student, is religious. For the purpose of this paper, however, I shall endeavour to limit the assessment of the New Age to the primary context of social psychology.
As this paper is an exposition of the presence of persuasion in the New Age (contrary to its assumed freedom), it is also necessary, in the interest of fairness, to make some fundamental distinctions, with respect to the possibility of illusory correlations being formed from the conclusions of this paper:
1. if the New Age does indeed use elements of persuasion, it is not necessarily cult-like, any more than is the average Christian denomination, whether evangelical or mainstream. Persuasion is basically a human phenomena, and thus it inevitably appears to some degree wherever two or more people interact;
2. the visibly tragic results of some cults do not attend the average New Age participant.... [continues]
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