Manipulation of Publ,ic Opinion

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Manipulation of Public Opinion

The main emphasis in public opinion research has been upon ways of manipulating public opinion.-Propaganda includes all efforts to persuade people to a point of view upon 'an issue; everything from Sunday school lessons to billboards are propaganda; advertising, sales promotion, and fund-raising drives are prime examples. The usual distinction between education and propaganda is that education seeks to cultivate one's ability to make discriminating judgments, while propaganda seeks to persuade one to the undiscriminating acceptance of a ready-made judgment. In practice, education often includes a good deal of propaganda. Teachers sometimes propagandize for their own opinions; interest groups seek to get their own propaganda, disguised as "educational materials," into the school; society
virtually forces. the school to propagandize for the approved moral and patriotic values. Conservatives wish the schools to propagandize for the status , while Marxists and other radicals insist that teachers should propagandize for the revolution. To draw a clear distinction between education and propaganda is not always possible. And it should be repeated that propaganda is not necessarily "bad"; it is merely a term applied to all its to influence other peoples' opinions uniqueness (name-calling, glittering generality, testimonial, plain folks, card-stacking, bandwagon), first outlined by Lee and Lee [1939],. have been reprinted in countless textbooks, where most students have probably seen them. candidate solelyon basis 01 advertising image." says Asst. Prol. Jack Haberdasher. Brad Tull's is two years old.

LIMITS OF PROPAGANDA. If Ute powers of propaganda were unlimited, the side with the most money and the best public relations agency would always win. Since this, does not always happen, the power of propaganda
must bP. limited in various . 1 Competing propaganda are probably the, greatest limitation. With a monopoly of propaganda, a propagandist can suppress, and manufacture facts, and no effective rebuttal is possible. The mere existence of competing propaganda in a 'democratic state exerts a restraining influence both upon the propagandist and upon.the receiver. -
2 The credibility of the propagandist in the eyes of the receivers limits what they will accept. ' Credibility is reduced where the propagandist has a vested interest, so propaganda is often conducted under the name of a noble-sounding organization (Fundamental Freedoms foundation, Tax Equality Association, Homeowners' Association) which conceals the interests of the propagandists. " 3 The sophistication of the receiver limits the effects of propaganda. In general, those who are well educated or well informed on the issue are  affected by propaganda than the poorly educated and the poorly informed.  4 .The beliefs and values of the recipient limit
the propaganda he ox:she will believe. Most people accept uncritically any propaganda which fits in with their established attitudes and values and usually reject, equally uncritically, any which conflict. Like the, person
who said, "I've read so much about the dangers of smoking that I've decided to give up, reading," one may simply "tune-out" anything which conflicts too sharpie with one's beliefs and desires. 'For treasonous, a  propagandist rarely tries' to change the basic ' attitudes of recipients; instead, he or she tries to get them to accept definition of.the' issue that' will call up those attitudes and . images which support' the propaganda cause. ,5 cultural drifts and trends limit the effectiveness of propaganda. A. cultural drift is not ' stopped by propaganda. "Propaganda Maya; elevate or retard cultural trend, reinforce or weaken a value. But it is doubtful if propaganda in' a democratic society can either  initiate or halt a culturill trend, destroy a well established value, or instill a new value which the society is ,not already developing .