Adventures in Everyday

The Legitimacy Farm


I wrote The Legitimacy Farm for Dr. Katherine Starzyk’s University of Manitoba course The Psychology of Justice and Legitimacy in my final undergraduate year. Dr Starzyk describes the class in her course outline:

This course will provide students with an understanding of cutting edge, as well as historically important, research in the fields of justice and legitimacy. The course will focus on key questions concerning how people react to i­­­njustice and the myriad of ways in which people justify valued groups or systems – the status quo, and the consequences of such tendencies.

The subject area that I selected for my final, 17 page paper turned out to be considerably more open-ended than I had expected. For every issue that I uncovered dozens more surfaced – each fighting for my sole attention. Consequently, I spent weeks “researching” public relations and propaganda without any clear direction. Only after watching the 1949 public service video Propaganda Techniques did I settle on a theme for my paper.

. . .

Table of Contents

1 Background (this page)

2 Abstract

3 Introduction

4 A Psychological Interpretation of the Propaganda Model

5 Analysis of the Institute for Propaganda Analysis Techniques of Propaganda

5.1 Name-Calling

5.2 Glittering Generalities

5.3 Transfer

5.4 Testimonial

5.5 Plain Folks

6 Discussion

7 APA-Style References

. . .

It should be noted that I never considered the paper “finished.” For instance: I only included five real-world uses of the eight IPA-documented techniques of propaganda. If I had had enough time, the paper would likely be twice as long and would include dozens of present day case studies. Such is life.

I have corrected the few APA-Style imperfections that were found in the final draft. I also inserted hyperlinks inside every in-line citation possible for your reading convenience. Aside from these minor tweaks the paper is unaltered.

Propaganda techniques

Brink, W. G. (Educational collaborator). (1949). Propaganda techniques [Motion picture]. United States: Coronet Instructional Films. Retrieved December 1, 2007, from

. . .

My Psychological Orientation

Perhaps I should also explain how I feel about the various schools of thought that psychology is composed of.

First and foremost, I am a behaviorist. That said, because the study of brain and behavior touches on every aspect of life on Earth, including animals, human individuals, and every organizational tier of human society, it is clear that no one psychological orientation is currently able to describe everything with the degree of elegance required by science.

And because every respectable branch of psychology is rooted in science, borrowing certain principles and terminology from other schools of thought is entirely reasonable, when appropriate. That is what I have done in The Legitimacy Farm.

Also, the Psychology of Justice and Legitimacy is not founded on behavioral psychology, and so using too many behavioral terms and perspectives in this paper would have been inappropriate. But the fact that I am an ardent student of the behavioral tradition does not preclude me from a sincere appreciation of certain other psychological disciplines – studies of Justice and Legitimacy in particular.


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Cool Brendan!! Way to learn!! o.k. you have some very intereting information here!! I just don’t really know how to respond to it!! I think you are a very smart person though. (this isn’t getting any better is it?) I did make a comment awhile ago though as you may recall. I was watching this war movie the other day and how it made going to war sound so appealing and then later, it just didn’t seem to appealing, when they were all full of bullit holes and body parts missing etc.. Especially done more in the first and second world war of course.

Comment by Diane

Starzyk is fabulous. If only I was still a psych major. The paper looks fantastic. I’ll read it and let you know what I think next time I see you.

Comment by Erika

Best you could make changes to the blog subject The Legitimacy Farm Adventures in Everyday to more suited for your subject you make. I liked the post even sononetheless.

Comment by Schedule

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