Scarlet Pimpernel

Topics: Propaganda techniques, Argumentum ad populum, Propaganda Pages: 5 (1082 words) Published: March 24, 2013
Propaganda is a set of messages made to influence the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to create a certain meaning, or tries to get people to think emotionally rather than logically. The desired result is for the audience to change its opinions or thinking to further a political agenda or sell a product. Your deeper understanding of propaganda devices can:

Save you lots of money.
Assist you in making better political decisions.
Help you distinguish between fact and opinion.
Aid you in persuading others.

Ad hominem
A Latin phrase what has come to mean attacking your opponent, as opposed to attacking their arguments. (Example: “Obama is a liar!”)

Ad nauseam
This argument uses repetition of an idea. An idea, especially a simple slogan, that is repeated enough times, may begin to be taken as the truth. This approach works best when media sources are limited and controlled by the propagator. Example:

Appeal to authority
Appeals to authority cite prominent figures to support a position, idea, argument, or course of action.

Appeal to fear
Appeals to fear seek to build support by creating anxieties and panic in people.

Appeal to prejudice
Using emotional words to attach value or moral goodness to believing the proposition. For example, the phrase: "Any hard-working taxpayer would have to agree that those who do not work, and who do not support the community do not deserve the community's support through social assistance."

"Argumentum ad populum" Bandwagon
Bandwagon and "inevitable-victory" appeals attempt to persuade the target audience to join in and be part of the winning team because "everyone else is." It works because people have a natural desire to be on the winning side.

Black-and-White fallacy
Presenting only two choices, with the product or idea being sold as the better choice. (e.g., "You are either with us, or you are with the enemy")

Beautiful people (Testimonial)
The type of propaganda that deals with "Celebrity" famous people or attractive, happy people. This makes other people think that if they buy a product or follow a certain thinking, they too will be happy or successful. (This is more used in advertising for products, instead of political reasons

Testimonial The reputation, respect, authority or fame of the person talking is used to cause the target audience to identify itself with the authority or to accept the authority's opinions and beliefs as its own.

Common man
The "'plain folks'" or "common man" approach attempts to convince the audience that the propaganda reflects the common sense of the people. It is designed to win the confidence of the audience by communicating in the common manner and style of the target audience. It uses ordinary language and actions to identify with the average person.

Demonizing the enemy
Making individuals from the opposing nation, from a different ethnic group, or those who support the opposing viewpoint appear to be subhuman (e.g., the Vietnam War-era term "gooks" for "Viet Cong" National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam aka Vietcong, (or 'VC') soldiers), worthless, or immoral, through suggestion or false accusations.

Direct order
This technique uses images and words to tell the audience exactly what actions to take, eliminating any other possible choices. Authority figures can be used to give the order, overlapping it with the Appeal to authority technique. The Uncle Sam "I want you" image is an example of this technique.

The use of an event that generates happiness, or using an appealing event to boost morale. Euphoria can be created by declaring a holiday, making luxury items available, or mounting a military parade with marching bands and patriotic messages.

An attempt to justify an action by saying it’s patriotic, or will in some way benefit a group, country, or idea.

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