Tok Persuasion

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1. Persuasion through images.(IV)
Images are often not appealing to reason, but to emotions. This is not to say that a lot of thought does not go into graphical expression, but that the images are all ways aimed at moving the viewer visually. For example a form of visual theatre, burlesque will often attack something by representing it so as to look inane. In this case there is an interpreting process going on, but the audience must necessarily have an emotional response to what they see. Expression through images may have some interpreting process that the audience must make, but the final appeal will rely on our emotions. Another good example is political cartoons. Because political cartoons are able to make some aspect of an event look inane, they appeal to the audiences emotions so that they will adopt a certain political view. In this it relies on the audiences reason to interpret the relationship and consequences represented in the cartoon, but the final result it aims for is a emotional response. But some photos will appeal only to are straight visceral response. For example, the photos asking for charity will usually feature children, which we will naturally feel pity for. In this case the photograph is appealing straight to our pity and natural sympathy towards children. In other cases the appeal may be anger. And beyond that this emotion is often manipulated through association. For example there are, in my opinion, a bit too many images portraying Obama aside Stalin, or other prominent figures in the USSR. This is not reason, but an attempt to stir up a visceral response of hatred and distrust. 2.Persuasion through language.

Language is our prime source of communication. We our so adept at communicating things through language that we may be able to change the meaning something has through the slightest change in words. This is because humans create connotations of words that can sometimes drift apart from people’s reaction towards the literal meaning of the word. In other words, people build an emotional reaction towards the words themselves. Using this, people that have the intention of manipulating other’s emotions may do so, through charging their language with words that will stir emotions. For example, when making a moving speech, people will often use phrases such as “ our liberty and freedom” , “a mans right”. Because these words are positively charged. On the converse of that, people may charge their language very negatively, in order to associate their opponent with those negative reactions. For example, when you compare someone to Hitler, that is usually not an appeal to reason, but a very strong statement associating the opponent with something that is abominated. The argument made through negative association may take the form of logic, ie a comparison, but is not an appeal to logic but to emotion. In other cases governments may introduce neutrally charged words to take the stead of the words that people appall. For example the government will call killing people neutralizing, because the word “kill” is completely saturated with the social abhorrence of murder. In other cases people may use language in a lawyerly fashion to make something sound like something without exactly saying such a thing. For example when a Politician represents his opponent he may often use ambiguous language which doesn’t quite state what is referred to, but makes the listener assume a particular thing, like when people talk of president Obama’s “dubious past” people are let to assume anything they want from him being an immigrant to him being involved in crime, while the speaker does not have to commit himself to making an explicit accusation. Sometimes assumptions people make based on language can be used to trick them in to assuming you’re innocents. For example if someone was to borrow a gun from a friend to kill another man, and that someone is asked if he killed a man, that someone...
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