Information and Persuasion: 3 Features of Conspiracy Theories (reloaded)

"Most people reason dramatically, not quantitatively" (O.W. Holmes) In light of the recent anti-Corona demonstrations (Stichwort #Aluhut), I feel almost compelled to post an older article I wrote about communication and the psychology of conspiracy theories. CRISES AND INGREDIENTS In times of crisis and upheaval conspiracy theories abound. When people experience unease and doubt, when old … Continue reading Information and Persuasion: 3 Features of Conspiracy Theories (reloaded)

Language and Thought: How Interconnected Are They?

Motto: "The problem with words is you don't know whose mouths they've been in." (Dennis Potter) Ever since Aristotle, and probably way before that, our world has been both aware of and fascinated by the hypnotic power of words. Our word choices and how we put them together to create context and meaning, social representations … Continue reading Language and Thought: How Interconnected Are They?

Language Quote of the Day

"How can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them, while you (...) must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself."                   … Continue reading Language Quote of the Day

Weathering the Shitstorm: 7 Key Elements of Reputation Management

According to communications consultancy Ketchum, effective leadership in times of crisis is centered around transparency, honesty, empathy and respect. Communicating openly, admitting mistakes, collaborating in finding solutions, caring for those directly and indirectly affected, showing respect for different cultures and keeping your word are essential for managing reputation risk. The number one thing you have … Continue reading Weathering the Shitstorm: 7 Key Elements of Reputation Management

Language in Politics

Most of you language buffs out there must have heard about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistic determinism, or, in its weaker form, linguistic relativity. (If not, look it up, it's rather cool!) While the stronger version (linguistic determinism) seems implausible, there is an accruing body of evidence to buttress linguistic relativity. What that means in … Continue reading Language in Politics

Sociolinguistcs – Spoken Discourse Reveals Its Secrets

Do you speak the same when you're talking to your mother in the kitchen or when you're addressing the CEO of your company during a business meeting? Do you use the same words, sentence structures, or even the same language with your childhood pals as with your insurance consultant? Of course you don't. None of … Continue reading Sociolinguistcs – Spoken Discourse Reveals Its Secrets

How To Achieve Win-Win. Cooperative vs. Competitive Communication

As social creatures, we humans are dependent on communication with others about the most diverse topics. We have the cognitive and psychological ability to see the world from a variety of standpoints and to reach cooperative end results. Empathy allows us to evaluate, understand, and even adopt another person's point of view.  We are able … Continue reading How To Achieve Win-Win. Cooperative vs. Competitive Communication

Perception and Communication

We've all been fooled by our senses. Put your hand in lukewarm water after it's been in a bowl of ice, and you'll find it hot. Or look at an optical illusion. It's all it takes to make us less sure of how infallible our brains really are. And yet. We're dead sure that our … Continue reading Perception and Communication

Games People Play in Communication – Test Yourself!

Another exciting communication model is Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis. The basic idea behind this theory is that people can have (and react out of) different ego-states, such as Parent (normative or caring), Adult (objective, solutions-oriented) and Child (spontaneous, intuitive, feelings-oriented, rebel/obedient). Communication and interaction thus happen between different ego-states of the communication partners and can lead … Continue reading Games People Play in Communication – Test Yourself!

Language and Logic: Deconstructing Political Discourse (II)

(Read the initial article here.) An interesting ramification of communication and persuasion science is the line of study concerned with manipulation strategies and manufacturing consent. The study of media manipulation, persuasion, and propaganda has several theorists, of which Noam Chomsky - the great MIT linguist - is perhaps the best known. Media manipulation often uses a … Continue reading Language and Logic: Deconstructing Political Discourse (II)