Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: The Mind Of The Public

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Mind Of The Public

Shortly after the First World War the big businessmen of America learned a lot about the public mind after puttting together an experiment based on mass persuasion to gain knowledge of the psychology of the public mind. As quoted in Stuart Ewens book P.R.! chapter 7 by Roger Babson a business analyst " The war taught us the power of propaganda"... " Now when we have anything to sell the American people, we know how to sell it." ( Ewen PR! p. 131) However is it really that easy to persuade Americans in such a way? Well I guess, because it dates back to the Freudian era as mentioned by Ivy Lee. He explains his new found attraction to psychoanalysis on mass persuasion. " We must remember that people are guided more by sentiment than mind." ( p.132)

"You must study human emotions and all the factors that move people, that
persuade men in any line of human activity. Psychology, mob psychology, is
one of the important factors that underlay this while business."

Furthermore it is interesting to see the science that goes into the advertising industry. You really need to be a
psychologists to understand the meaning behind mass persuasion because it is key to mastering consumers


Blogger A. Mattson said...

I am not sure what you mean by businessmen "[. . .] putting together an experiment based on mass persuasion." What experiment would that be? And which businessman are you talking about?

Your general point is a good one: PR men were discovering the science of psychology and applying it to their trade.

3/18/2009 12:38 PM  

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