We generally use the analytical part of our brain. However, when a jarring or shocking piece of information is presented the brain moves into the limbic system. The limbic system structures are involved in many of our emotions and motivations, particularly those that are related to survival such as fear and anger. This mechanism is used in advertising and propaganda to trigger the “sleeper effect”.
These two brain systems store information differently. One stays around (in long-term memory) and the other fades (the emotional part). This process is called the discounting cue. This implies that the brain can be manipulated into remembering false statements by using the ‘discounting cue’, by using emotional triggers to create memory distortions in long-term memory. The sleeper effect has been widely studied since the initial study by Hovland in the 1940s.
Something that Hovland and his team ignored that is important is why over time, the discounting cue becomes less accessible than the message even when both pieces are similarly effective at the onset. To answer this question Greenwald, Pratkanis, and their team implemented a study to identify the conditions by which the sleeper effect does and does not occur. … Pratkanis and his team proposed a modified forgetting hypothesis, which suggested that the sleeper effect occurs because the effect of the message and the cues decay at different rates. Based on this suggestion the message and the cue act like two communications operating in opposite directions. The sleeper effect emerges when the effect of these communications is about equal, promptly following message exposure, but the effect of the cue later decays more rapidly than that of the message.
So, my query is, how does this apply to the current manipulation of the message around the protests and police containment thereof. Just thinking out loud here, if you will. Again, I have more questions than answers.
Sending in troops into Portland was definitely a shock to the world and brought many more people out on the streets. Trumps “message” was that order needed to be restored; that he was trying to help; that Portland was besieged by anarchists and a violent mob.
This “message” has been repeated with each new, mostly peaceful protest. What does the general public remember - peaceful protests or violent mobs? Do they remember the violence of the federal agents? Certainly, Trump’s base believes his "story". How many people outside that base believe it? And without question, a great number of people on the left and in the Black and Brown communities do not and will not because they are using data that is based in reality not in emotion. Which, by the way is the only way that the sleeper effect does not stick.
These kind of shock tactics, verbal and physical, have been escalating. What will the next act be?
Right, and the
political Kriminal K Charade Kontinues.
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