Adventures in Everyday

The Legitimacy Farm – 5.4/7

Analysis of the IPA techniques of propaganda


When an influential individual, such as an actor, politician, scientist or business owner, publically supports a policy or action, he or she is giving a testimonial. Often this is done appropriately, as in cases where evolutionary biologists speak out in support of the teaching of evolution in public schools. But often it is done inappropriately, as in the case of Barbara Streisand’s recent public endorsement of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (Hillary Clinton for President, 2007). Such testimonials can rouse public support for a cause without appealing to evidence on way or the other, and so one should be critical of celebrity endorsements like Streisand’s. This form of media manipulation is similar to transfer. When an influential member of one’s group declares his or her support for a cause, one may tend to agree. For instance, someone who identifies with women’s rights advocacy groups may also identify with Streisand, who has been such a successful female entertainer and role model. This individual then becomes more likely to support the candidate that Streisand endorses, because Streisand is seen as a member of the individual’s group. Furthermore, depending on the degree of one’s identification with a group, various exonerating cognitions may be employed when the qualification of an outspoken member of the group are challenged, which, as previously discussed, can lead to the increased perceived legitimacy of the outspoken member as well as, implicitly, the causes that the member supports.

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Table of Contents

1 Background

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

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