Writer from book Persuasion and Propaganda
By: Hamidulloh Ibda
There are three basic ways to persuade people. The first is by reason. People seek logical conclusion, whether from absolute facts or from strong possibilies; for examples, people can be persuaded to practice more healthful living as the result of medical research. It is necessary, of course, to distinguish between reasonable arguments and unreasonable appeals. To suggest that diet pills will bring about exaggerated weight loos is an unreasonable appeal.
A second mean of persuasion is an appeal to character. We can be persuaded by what another person recommends if we trust that person. Trust come from personal knowledge or the reputation of the person who is trying to persuade. We must always question whether we can believe the persuader. We can believe what scientists say about the danger of nuclear waste, but can we believe what a sports personality says about the effectivenes of a particular shoe?
The third way to persuade people is by appealing to their emotions. Emotional appeals can be as strong as intellectual appeals. We have strong feelings and concern for ourselves and other people and animal. Fear, peer acceptance, and freedom for expression are all strong feelings that influence our opinions and beliefs.
Any of the three types of appeals can be used to try to persuade someone. For example, when a child tries to persuade her parents that her bedtime should ne delayed by 30 minutes, she might argue that neighbors allow their children to stay up later – an appeal to character. It is an appeal to reason when the argument focuses on the amount of sleep an ten year old needs. And when the child announces that she has the earliest bedtime of anyone in her class and it makes her feel like a baby, th appela is to emotion. The same three appeals applye to in school persuasion. To persuade classmates to read a particular book in a book report “commercial”, a student might argue that they should read the book because it is short and interesting (reason); because it is hilarious and they’ll laught (emotin); or because it is the most popular book in the second grade and everyone else is reading it (character).
Children need to learn to become critical consumers of adversisement (Rudasill, 1986: Tutolo, 1981). Advertisers use appeals to reason, character, and emotion just as other persuaders fo to promote products, ideas, and services; homever, advertiser may also use propaganda to influence our beliefs and action. Propaganda suggest some thing shady or underhanded. Like persuasion, propaganda is designed to influence people’s beliefs and actions, but propagandists may use certain techniques to disort, conceal, anda exaggerate. Two of these are deceptive language and propaganda devices.
Deceptive Language. People seeking to influence us often use word that evoke a variety of responses. They claim something is improved, more natural, or 50 % is better – loaded words that are deceotive because they are suggestive. When a product is advertised as, “50 % better for example, consumers need to ask, 50 % better than what?” advertisement rarely answer that question.
Doubleaspleak is another type of deceptive language characterized as evasive euphemistic, confusing, and self-contradictory. Janitor may be called maintenance engineers, and repeats of television shows are termed encore telecasts. Lutz (1984) cited a number of kinds of doublespeak. Elementary students can easily understand two kinds, euphrmisms and inflated language. Other kins of doublespeak, such as jargon spesific to particular groups, overwhelming an audience with word, and language that pretends to cummunicate but does not, are more approprirate for older students.
Euphemisms are words or phrares (for example, passed away) that are used to avoid a harsh or distasteful rality, often out of concern for someone’s feelings rather than to deceive. Inflated languange includes word intended to make the ordinary seem extraordinary – mechanics become automotive internists, and used cars become pre-owned or experienced cars. Examples of deceptive language are listed in Figure 4-6. Children need to learn that people sometimes use words that only pretend to communicate; sometimes they use words to intentionally misrepresent, as when someone advertise a vinly wallet as “genuine imitation leather: or a ring with a glass stone as a “faux diamond”. Children need to be able to interpret deceptive and to avoid using it themsleves.
Propaganda Devices. Advertisers use propaganda devices such as testimonials, the bandwagon effect, adn rewards to sell products. Nine devices that elementary cials to find examples of each propaganda device and discuss the effect the device has on them. They can also investigate to see how the same devices vary in commercials directed toward youngstres, teenagers, and adults. For instance, a snack food commercial with a sticker or toy in the package will appeal to a youngster, and a videotaoe recorder advertisement offering a factory rebate will appeal to an adult. The propaganda device for both ads is the same; areward! Propaganda devices can be used to sell ideas as well as products. Public service announcements about smoking or wearing seat belts, as well as politicial advertisements, endorsements, and speeches, use these devices.
When student locate advertisement and commercials they believe are misleathing or deceptive, they can write letter of complaint to the following watchdog agencies:
Action for children’s Television Federal Trade Comission
46 Austin St Pennylvania Ave. At Sixth St. NW
Newton, MA 02160 Washington, DC 20580
Review Unit Zillions Ad Complaints
Council of Better Bussiness Mt. Vernon, NY 10553
845 Third Ave
New York, NY 1002
Students’ letters should carefully describe the adversisement and explain what brothers them about it. They should also tell where and when they saw or heard the advertisement of commercial.
Best buy longer lasting
Carefree more natural
Discount more powerfull
Bathroom tissue toilet paper
Civil disorder riot
Correctionel facility jail, prison
Dentures false teeth
Encore tetecast re-run
Funeral director undertaker
Genuine imitation leather vinly
Inner city slum, ghetto
or misspeak lie
Memorial park cemetery
Mobile home house trailer
Nervous wetness sweet
Occasional irregularity constipation
Passed away died
People expressway sidewalks
Personal preservation flotaion device life preserver
Pre owned or experienced used
Pupil station student’s desk
Senior citizen old person
Terminal living dying
-specialist cab driver, bus driver
Teaching Critical Listening
The steps in teaching students to be critical listerners are similar to the steps in teaching listening strategies. In this intructional strategy, students view commercials to examine propaganda device and persuasive language. Later they can create their own commercials and advertisements.
1 Introduce commercials. Talk about commercials and ask students about familiar commercials. Videotape some commercials and view them with sdutents. Discuss the purpose of each commercials. Use these questions about commercials to probe student’s thinking about perpuasion and proganda:
-what is the speaker’s purpose?
-what are the speaker’s credentials?
-is there evidence of bias?
-does the speaker use deceptive language?
-does the speaker make sweeping generalizations or unsupported inferences?
-do opinions predominate the talk?
-does the speaker use any propaganda device?
-do you accep the message? (Devine, 1982, pp/ 41-41).
2 Explain deceptive languange. Present the terms persuasion and propaganda. Introduce the propaganda device dan view the commercials again to look for examples of each device. introduce loaded word and doublespeak and view the commercials a third time to look for examples of deceptive language.
3 Analyze deceptive language in commercials. Have students work in small groups to critique a commercials as to the type of persuasion, propaganda devices, deceptive language. Students might also want to test the claim made in the commercials.
4 Review concepts. Review the concepts about persuasion, proganda device and deceptive language introduced in the first three steps. It may be helpful for student to make charts about these concepts.
5 Provide practice. Present a new set of videotape commercials for students fo critique. Ask them to identify persuasion, propaganda device, and deceptive language in the commercials.
6 Create commercials. Have students apply what they have learned about persuasion.