We are all exposed to possible psychological manipulation. This type of social influence is an intriguing and often harmful phenomenon that occurs in many human interactions. From a psychological perspective, manipulation involves the deliberate use of subtle or direct tactics to influence other people’s beliefs, emotions, thoughts, or behaviors in order to obtain personal advantages or achieve certain goals.
This process can be carried out consciously or unconsciously, and can occur in various areas of life, such as personal, work, social or political relationships. There are various manipulation techniques that it is important to learn to identify but in order not to fall into their networks and put our critical thinking into practice .
10 manipulation techniques
Psychological manipulation techniques can vary widely, from emotional persuasion to reality distortion, guilt manipulation, or invalidation of another person’s perception of reality. Those who use these techniques often seek to gain power, control, or advantage at the expense of the person being manipulated. Manipulation can erode trust, undermine self-esteem and negatively affect the mental and emotional health of those affected.
Based on a publication by the writer Sylvain Timsit 2002 we are going to expose the 10 media manipulation strategies that political and economic powers make most use of to control citizens.
This technique involves diverting the public’s attention from important issues by flooding it with continuous distractions and information on banal topics. The objective is to keep the public busy with other more superficial topics so that they do not become interested in essential issues of politics, culture, economics or social problems. Does the phrase that football is the opium of the people sound familiar to you? Well that.
Create Problems and Offer Solutions
Being given a solution usually has a huge reinforcing effect and generates trust with the interlocutor who gives it. Therefore, previously generating a problem, which may not have existed before, but for whom you propose a solution usually likes it and brings it to its territory to the one who dictates it. Although that solution wasn’t really necessary either. Therefore, it consists of creating problems or crises to provoke a reaction in the public that accepts or even asks for the solutions that the power wanted to implement from the beginning. For example, creating an economic crisis to justify the reduction of labor rights and the precariousness of public services.
This technique seeks to achieve acceptance of unpopular measures by applying them gradually, over time, even for years. A sudden change is usually understood as much more invasive, but a slower change is normally promoted. The aim is for society to become accustomed to radically new socioeconomic conditions, such as neoliberalism, through privatization and increased precariousness.
Related a little to gradualness, what this tactic is about is presenting those decisions that may be most unpopular as painful but necessary. Once this has been said, its application is postponed to another time so that the future sacrifice is perceived as lighter. In this way, the population becomes accustomed to change.
Speak from a Higher Intellectual Position
In this case, advertising aimed at the public uses infantilized speech , suggesting that the viewer is not mature enough or capable of understanding certain ideas. Arguments, characters and intonations are even used within a speech that tries to make the listener think that they do not have the ability to understand, so it is delegated to that person who makes themselves believe that they do understand more than them to carry them out, trying to give confidence to the decision made.
This strategy is used to deceive the public, who often respond in a childish manner. Yes, politicians treat their general public like fools. That is why people with greater critical thinking or education and training have higher levels of resistance to persuasion .
Appeal to the Emotional Aspect rather than Reflection
Use the emotional side of people to avoid rational analysis and critical thinking, encouraging a more automatic and instinctive response in the public. They normally use the emotions of fear, creating their own fear or hatred. to generate that feeling of need for protection from that person who promises change. Campaigns based more on people’s desires or ideals are also used, playing with those feelings to promote that less rational response.
Keeping the Public Ignorant
It is not usually important that people have the intellectual capacity or critical thinking to confront or refute proposals. Therefore, it is about the public being unable to understand the technologies and methods used for its control. Don’t let them know what we are telling in this article. This can be achieved through cuts in education and promoting ignorance in society. Social networks, sometimes, encourage this type of society that is not capable of deciding for itself and they remain exposed to what reaches them through the networks or media and do not go further.
Make the Public Complacent of Mediocrity
Related to the previous point, it is about promoting the idea that everything is fine as it is and it is “modern” to be vulgar, uneducated or unintellectual. This is reflected in television programming and other media. Even in the world of music, the most popular lyrics are not exactly the most intellectual, and they are responsible for whether or not they touch on more transcendental topics. Go for what is easy, because what is easy is easier to control, pardon the redundancy.
As we were saying, all of the above creates a feeling of guilt about what happens to the person, due to their own misfortune or lack of effort or intelligence. This avoids going against the system, but creates more controllable people. Not to mention the direct impact this has on their own mental health, which sometimes matters little to political elites, who prefer to have people with few coping skills or who need external help from that savior to get them out of that crisis . staff.
Know Individuals Better Than Themselves
To be able to control all these variables, it is essential that the public they refer to be known as best as possible, even better than they know themselves. Biological techniques, neuroscience, psychology and technology are used to have all possible data on these people to adapt the speech and anticipate their own needs, creating gigantic mass control. Literally accepting cookies and sharing our data that will be further processed and sold to incentivize higher control.
Learn to protect yourself from other people’s manipulation
No one likes to be a puppet of the system, but it is very difficult sometimes not to be because of the society and naturalness with which manipulation itself comes to us. We enter a complex system and are invited to leave. Knowing the strategies is the best prevention to identify them and encourage more reflective and autonomous, rather than automatic, thinking.
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