"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)
Are you also juggling job, homeschooling of children, creative projects, and research? Are your kids constantly coming to you for advice/support/validation/reassurance even though your spouse is also available? And does that drive you mad? Then you can relate. Now, I've racked my brain trying to understand this, until it hit me. It's a communication and … Continue reading What My Kids Have Taught Me About Engagement
To say that words are powerful, that they influence thought and perception, and engender representations is a truism. Their force and importance is uncontested. Sometimes it is the case, however, that a new physical context emerges before we even have a concept for it. And for it to become a psychological reality, a perceptible reality that … Continue reading Ways Out of the Lockdown: 4 Types of Discursive Strategies
So, you are now in your second, third, or possibly even fourth week of social isolation. These times are tough on everyone (but more so on extroverts). On top of that, watching the news is like a bucket of negative emotions being dumped on your head on a daily basis, the future feels uncertain at … Continue reading Social Distancing? 7 Communication Tips for Maintaining Relationships
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?
(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)