Attitudes, Belief’s and Behaviors
The previous picture and poem is a clear example of propaganda which is a form of persuasion used to influence people’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. A working definition of propaganda is
the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. While propaganda has been around for almost a thousand years, only recently (last 100 years) with the advent of technologies that allow us to spread information to a mass group has it evolved to a scientific process capable of influencing a whole nation of people. While propaganda is most evident in times of war as in the poster, it is constantly being used as a political and social means in even less obvious ways to influence peoples attitudes. This is currently evident with all the election commercials on TV, where the candidates are using propaganda techniques to elevate themselves above their competitor. Another place propaganda is being exploited is by the use of the media in its portrayal of countries that have nuclear technology.
Modern propaganda uses all the media available to spread its message, including: press, radio, television, film, computers, fax machines, posters, meetings, door-to-door canvassing, handbills,
buttons, billboards, speeches, flags, street names, monuments, coins, stamps, books, plays, comic strips, poetry, music, sporting events, cultural events, company reports, libraries, and awards and
prizes. It is most likely that some of these media uses are surprising, but that only serves to show how easy it is to not even recognize propaganda as such. For the purpose of our paper we will focus on mainly the usage of the press in their tactics of shaping people’s opinions. The press (newspapers and magazines) is important because the most current news and issues are spread every day through them. The Dune affect is a term we coined–after the movie Dune–which explains that those who control and have access to media have access to and potential control of public opinion.