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Lilith
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PostSubject: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:34 am

~The ultimate psychological self-defense techniques~
Art of manipulation


Hi everyone!
After reading "Petit cours d'auto-défense intellectuelle" I decided to share you some psychological self-defense techniques. I’m going to tell you the techniques people often use to manipulate you, and how you could manipulate them. Knowing those techniques is essential for our mental security.

First, I need to familiarize you to the important terminology of this lesson. First, we got sophism. A sophism is an argument used in purpose to fool someone. It seems to make sense but they usually are illogical or aren’t based on any real fact. There’s also the paralogism. The paralogism (or fallacy) which, as sophism, is an argument that relies on a illogical or uncorrect concequence. The illogical concept of the fallacy isn’t made on purpose tough. Most of the time, people aren’t even conscious it doesn’t really make sense. During this course, I’ll prefer to use Fallacy or paralogism.

First, there are a lot of different techniques used to manipulate. Some of them are really easy to get caught, but some others can be really hard to be found. Let’s just start with the most frequently used techniques medias and corporations re using for modeling your brain to their Ideas.

I. Vocabulary

The vocabulary used into a text is really important because it influences the feeling and the position of the reader. We can divide vocabulary in two different aspects: Connotation and Slang. Let’s see both.

a) Connotation

Let’s just see few examples of the same scenario:

As they entered in the bus, it began to stink, Literally. They were all dirt and smelt pretty bad. It was just totally disgusting. Those football players just looked so stupid with their clothes full of mud and everything. Nowadays, adolescents are getting worst and worst.

As they entered in the bus, I knew they probably played a long. Lucky it was sunny the whole day. All those guys were looking trained and muscular. They probably were giving a lot of time to their sport! It’s fun to see how adolescents are involved in sports and activities nowadays.


Okay, analysis. You probably noticed that those two texts had exactly the same scenario, But because of the kind of world used, it transmits a totally different feeling. In the first one we think they all look like stinky pigs and the other text make them look like healthy guys. Medias, advertisers, politicians and even parents are using it to convince you their ideas are the best. When used correctly, connotations can twist anything to the advantage of the one who tells it.

b) Slang

The slang regroups all the words related to a specific domain (as Science, Maths, or Environment for example ) which most of the people don’t know of. They usually are long and look complicated but are use to explain really easy things most of the time. Those words give credit to the people that are using them. They look like they know what they are talking about and also seems very intelligent, but actually, what they explain don’t need all those complicated words.

II. Fallacy

A Fallacy is an argument which seems convincing and logical but isnt logically constructed or is based on dubious reflections. There are two kinds of Fallacies: Formal and informal. The formal one relies on a wrong logical structure. The second doesn't relies on a wrong logical reasoning. Let's take a look to the main types of Fallacies.

a) Fallacy of accident

The Fallacy of accident has this form:

All A’s are B
C is a A
Then C is B


It takes the form of a very logical situation.
example:

All men are mortals
Liche is a man
Then Liche is mortal


This logical reasoning makes sense. Now, using the same form, let's use other words.

All members of World Republic are cool
Philip is cool
Then Philip is a member of World Republic.

Some members of World Republic are Communists
Hutin is member of World Republic
Then Hutin is Communist


See. Those 2 sentences are looking logic, but when we take the time to analyze them, we notice they aren’t logic at all. All the members of World Republic are cool doesn't mean all cool people are on World Republic. Same with the second one: the fact SOME people are communist doesn’t mean everyone is. But the logical form stays the pattern than the first one.

b) Affirming the consequence

If P, therefore Q
So Q
Then P


Fallacy exemple:
It rains, therefore, the streets are wet
So because the streets are wet
Then it rains


The reasoning can be okay, but the logic, as the first one, sisn't always true. It's not because something leads to another that this other thing necesserily leads to the first. That's what we call "Affirming the conscequence.

c) Appeal to autority

Appeal to autority consists into using autority to convince people that something is good. For example, the usage of logo is one. We can see it in medias too; when they quote scientists or experts, we believe them because they have the support of researches and we see them as intelligent people that studied a lot.

"This have been proved by experts"

We hear it very frequently at the radio and when watching TV, for example. It's a great technique because it automatically makes the audience think it's trustable. As I said precedently, appeal to autority is also made when using the reputation of a corporation to convince people something is good. Once, I made an oral presentation for my french class and we decided to invent a false petition full of Fallacies. To convince people, we used logo of three corpoations and organisms well known here -in Quebec-. Because of that, more than 90% of the class decided to put their signature. If they accepted, it's mostly because they trusted those organisms or groups (Green Peace, Société Québécoise du Cancer and Le sommet du Millénaire). Even the teacher believed us, even if all the information was invented. The appeal to autority is a really good and effective way to influence people.

d) Ad Hominen

The Ad Hominen consists into a personal attack and is part of the most frequently used and efficient technique. However, it's one of the easiest one to notice. The objective is to divert the attention of the audience by attacking the caracteristical traits of the person instead of the argument or idea itself. This way, the manipulator discredits the arguments of that person to the eyes of the audience.

For example, into a leftist discussion, someone quote a good point about Friedman, a rightist economist. Someone could discredit this argument only because the idea comes from a rightist. (Which doesn't necesserily means thos leftist shouldn't consider it)

However, in certain cases, it's totally legitimate to ignore certain arguments because the person who tells has some caracteristic personnality traits (Let's only take Watermelon for example, we all know everything he says is made to disturb us.)

e) Ad Populum (Appeal to the people)

"Many people think socialism is bad. Therefore, socialism must be bad."

An argument Ad populum is a fallacy argument that concludes proposition to be "true" or good" because many people believe it. "If a lot of people believe so, it must be right". This type of fallacy is committed while trying to convince a person that an idea, a service, a product, a way of living or an ideology is good because many people are thinking its right.

Advertizers use this technique all the time:
"We are the leading brand in America, that' why you should choose us!"
"This is the #1 listened radio!"
In society, most of the people are really influenced by others. Fashion, brands, even anorexia... All those social phenomens are result of this obsession of "being like everyone". No one wants to be appart, because thoe people are juged. Medias show us this image of "everyone looking like that, everyone eats that" . Ads are showing us what we want to see instead of what's real. They manipulate verity to make us think we need their product to feel good.

f) Appeal to fear

The appeal to fear (or Argumentum in terrorem) is committed when fear is created in purpoise to convince an idea is good. It's widely committed in politics and marketing.

I got a very good example of appeal to fear. As I explained before, I made a presentation and we wanted people to sign a false petition. The text was trying to convince the audience that the chemical element Ru (Ruthenium) was dangerous for health:

"This product could be very toxic"
"In contact to certain other types of metal, Ruthenium can explode"
"It could be cancerigen"
"We can find it in many objects we use very often, as pen, CDs, DVDs and High quality Speekers"


It helped to convince people to write their signature because they felt concerned about it. They felt like they were in danger even tough they never heard about exploding pens or other problems concerning Ruthenium. Appeal to fear is hard to detect because it not always explicit. This technique was used by the Catholic Church in purpoise to get money and power (Middle-Age) "If you don't ..., you'll go to hell" "God will punish you if you don't ...". This way, they have been able to manipulate and have total control on millions of people during a very long time. (And they still have a lot of control)

g) Argument ad misericordiam

The Argument ad misericordiam (or appeal to pity) is a fallacy that consists into exploiting his opponent's feeling of pity or guilt.

"Given to what this person has been living, we can easily understand the taken decisions"
"You must have given me a good grade. I studied for weeks and if I fail I'm in trouble!!!"

This type of argument doesn't invalidate the conclusion. There may be other reasons to accept the conclusion but this argument is not one of them.

h) Argument ad ignorantiam

The argument ad ignorantiam (appeal to ignorance) is a fallacy committed when it's claimed that a premise is true only because it's not proven false, or false only because it's not proven true. Let's see examples:

"God isn't real because nothing proved his existance"
"No one proved that God isn't real, therfore it's true"


We can notice the usage of this type of fallacy into justice system. Presumption of innocence or guilt
"This man is claimed guilty because his innocence cannot be proven" or
"This man is claimed innocent since there's nothing proving he's guilty"

Both are logical fallacies.


There's a lot of different types of fallacies used to manipulate you. I only chose a small part of it -the main ones-. I could talk much more longer about that, but i'll end here for now. Maybe I'll had others eventually. If you have any comment, suggestion or question, I'll read it attentively. If you are still very curious it will be a pleaure for meto write about some other types of fallacy or other ways of manipulation. I'll be glad add some Smile

I really hope you enjoyed it and you'll be more careful when you will debate or even watch TV and listen to radio. Don't let others decide what you need. Don't let them manipulate your brain.


Lilith

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Last edited by Lilith on Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:06 pm; edited 9 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:00 pm

that was informative

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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:21 pm

I'll wait for you to finish posting all to start commenting Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:02 am

cheers okay!

I updated it. It's still incomplete, but I modified a lot of things and added other types of Fallacies.

Enjoy!

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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:26 am

You're doing a pretty good job here dear. I'm waiting for you to finish it Wink

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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:06 pm

Nice.

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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:28 pm

Quote :
c) Appeal to autority

Appeal to autority consists into using autority to convince people that something is good. For example, the usage of logo is one. We can see it in medias too; when they quote scientists or experts, we believe them because they have the support of researches and we see them as intelligent people that studied a lot.

"This have been proved by experts"

We hear it very frequently at the radio and when watching TV, for example. It's a great techniques because it automatically make the audience this its trustable. As I said precedently, appeal to autority is also made when using the reputation of a corporation to convince people something is good. Once, I made an oral presentation for my french class and we decided to invent a false petition full of Fallacies. To convince people, we used logo of three compagnies and organisms well known here-in Quebec-. Because of that, more than 90% of the class decided to put their signature. If they accepted, it's mostly because they trusted those organisms or groups (Green Peace, Société Québécoise du Cancer and Le sommet du Millénaire). Even the teacher believed us, even if all the information was invented. The appeal to autority is a really good and effective way to influence people.

This is what everyone needs to be aware of when they flick on the mass-media (especially here in propagandaland), unless the state/business sector has nothing to gain there, in which case they won't go out of their way to misrepresent facts or just plain lie.

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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:58 am

I edited my post again. I'll end it there for the moment, but maybe I'll add some others eventually Wink I wrote about the most important ones to give a good overview. I realy hope you guys are going to like it it Wink Good reading!

Black_Cross wrote:

Lilith wrote:
c) Appeal to autority

Appeal to autority consists into using autority to convince people that something is good. For example, the usage of logo is one. We can see it in medias too; when they quote scientists or experts, we believe them because they have the support of researches and we see them as intelligent people that studied a lot.

"This have been proved by experts"

We hear it very frequently at the radio and when watching TV, for example. It's a great techniques because it automatically make the audience this its trustable. As I said precedently, appeal to autority is also made when using the reputation of a corporation to convince people something is good. Once, I made an oral presentation for my french class and we decided to invent a false petition full of Fallacies. To convince people, we used logo of three compagnies and organisms well known here-in Quebec-. Because of that, more than 90% of the class decided to put their signature. If they accepted, it's mostly because they trusted those organisms or groups (Green Peace, Société Québécoise du Cancer and Le sommet du Millénaire). Even the teacher believed us, even if all the information was invented. The appeal to autority is a really good and effective way to influence people.

This is what everyone needs to be aware of when they flick on the mass-media (especially here in propagandaland), unless the state/business sector has nothing to gain there, in which case they won't go out of their way to misrepresent facts or just plain lie.

Yeah. Sometimes, there are non-lucrative corporations or organisms that use those techniques to encourage us to save energy, protect environement, do sport, support teenagers (As teljeune) for example. They don't do if for their peronnal interest, but either to help people, open our consciousness or change society.

Zealot_Kommunizma wrote:
You're doing a pretty good job here dear.

Thanks Zeal! I hope you'll enjoy the end! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:07 am

Lilith wrote:

Yeah. Sometimes, there are non-lucrative corporations or organisms that use those techniques to encourage us to save energy, protect environement, do sport, support teenagers (As teljeune) for example. They don't do if for their peronnal interest, but either to help people, open our consciousness or change society.

We could do with more of those rather wal-fart and mcvomit and faux news similar parisitical enterprises feeding us nonsense.Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:05 pm

revolution wrote:
Lilith wrote:

Yeah. Sometimes, there are non-lucrative corporations or organisms that use those techniques to encourage us to save energy, protect environement, do sport, support teenagers (As teljeune) for example. They don't do if for their peronnal interest, but either to help people, open our consciousness or change society.

We could do with more of those rather wal-fart and mcvomit and faux news similar parisitical enterprises feeding us nonsense.Smile

Yeah, would be great, but corporations are richer so they have possibility to do it. Small organism usually cannot. Most of this kind of publicity is payed by governement or important organisms.

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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:45 pm

woah nice, Im in the Fallacy example :O

also yes, Fallacy is funny (not like as in a joke but the idea of it)

whales are good swimmers
Steve is a good Swimmer
Steve is a Wale!
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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:00 am

Liche wrote:


whales are good swimmers
Steve is a good Swimmer
Steve is a Wale!

Logic rules Smile.

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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:38 am

Yeah, you could also use the form "Deny the antecedent" (which I didn't explained)

All whales are good swimmer
Steve isn't a whale
Therefore Steve isn't a good swimmer

Even if ALL whales can swim, doesn't mean others animal cannot be good swimmers, but in a big and complicated text, it's harder to notice this Fallacy


And yeah, I used you as example Wink

And yeah CoolkidX, logic rules!

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PostSubject: Re: The utlimate psychological self-defence techniques   Mon May 04, 2009 4:15 am

First of all dear, I want to apologize for this quite belated reply. I have had two really bad weeks... really bad I must say, so I couldn't quite focus in all of the topics of my interest.

So well, let's go on with the debate.

Lilith wrote:


c) Appeal to autority

Appeal to autority consists into using autority to convince people that something is good. For example, the usage of logo is one. We can see it in medias too; when they quote scientists or experts, we believe them because they have the support of researches and we see them as intelligent people that studied a lot.

I think now you're going a it off.

To believe a scientist just because he's a scientist is what you're adressing here. "He's a scientist so he must be right", "He's an expert, so he must be right".

That's the core of the idea you are trying to present, if I'm not mistaken.

However, when the expert provides evidence, arguements, experiments etc. that serve as foundation to his claim, then, there's absolutely no fallacy involved.

Here's where the line between fallacy and valid arguement, to some, could seem blurred.

Lilith wrote:

"This have been proved by experts"

We hear it very frequently at the radio and when watching TV, for example. It's a great technique because it automatically makes the audience think it's trustable. As I said precedently, appeal to autority is also made when using the reputation of a corporation to convince people something is good. Once, I made an oral presentation for my french class and we decided to invent a false petition full of Fallacies. To convince people, we used logo of three corpoations and organisms well known here -in Quebec-. Because of that, more than 90% of the class decided to put their signature. If they accepted, it's mostly because they trusted those organisms or groups (Green Peace, Société Québécoise du Cancer and Le sommet du Millénaire). Even the teacher believed us, even if all the information was invented. The appeal to autority is a really good and effective way to influence people.


Basically this is where lack of information and failure of criteria become very important. Lots of those things could be destroyed by employing radicalism.


Lilith wrote:

d) Ad Hominen

However, in certain cases, it's totally legitimate to ignore certain arguments because the person who tells has some caracteristic personnality traits (Let's only take Watermelon for example, we all know everything he says is made to disturb us.)

Not even here dear. Even watermelon could come up with a valid arguement.

Ad hominem is never ever valid except some trait within the person could be relevant to the arguement in question.

For example:

"Everything that is gay is bad. I'm gay".

"Since you're gay, you're bad".

Or "All healthy black men are efficient runners"
"You're a healthy black man, so you're an efficient runner".

Note, though, that all arguements are refering to characteristics on individuals.

If you say "Quebec should be independent from Canada to preserve its cultural and historical integrity."

Then something like "You're a woman, so you don't know!" would be an example of the most common ad hominem.

Lilith wrote:

e) Ad Populum (Appeal to the people)

"Many people think socialism is bad. Therefore, socialism must be bad."

An argument Ad populum is a fallacy argument that concludes proposition to be "true" or good" because many people believe it. "If a lot of people believe so, it must be right". This type of fallacy is committed while trying to convince a person that an idea, a service, a product, a way of living or an ideology is good because many people are thinking its right.

This, combined with ignorance, is awful. Also this is Diogritor's favorite fallacy in our last argumentative confrontation.



Lilith wrote:

f) Appeal to fear
It helped to convince people to write their signature because they felt concerned about it. They felt like they were in danger even tough they never heard about exploding pens or other problems concerning Ruthenium. Appeal to fear is hard to detect because it not always explicit. This technique was used by the Catholic Church in purpoise to get money and power (Middle-Age) "If you don't ..., you'll go to hell" "God will punish you if you don't ...". This way, they have been able to manipulate and have total control on millions of people during a very long time. (And they still have a lot of control)


This is the foundation of the statist control machinery:

You go against the law (and let me remind you we determine the law) and you got to prison, get beaten, get killed or whatever your "fellony" makes you deserve.

Lilith wrote:

"This man is claimed innocent since there's nothing proving he's guilty"

Both are logical fallacies.

This can be a tricky one.

If there's nothing serving as foundation to the accusation that the defendant is guilty, then, the accusation lacks premises so asserting that "there's nothing proving he's guilty" is far from a fallacy, it's an assertion based on the ammount and kind of evidence which if nil make that assertion true.


Lilith wrote:

There's a lot of different types of fallacies used to manipulate you. I only chose a small part of it -the main ones-. I could talk much more longer about that, but i'll end here for now. Maybe I'll had others eventually. If you have any comment, suggestion or question, I'll read it attentively. If you are still very curious it will be a pleaure for meto write about some other types of fallacy or other ways of manipulation. I'll be glad add some Smile

Please do Smile

Lilith wrote:

I really hope you enjoyed it and you'll be more careful when you will debate or even watch TV and listen to radio. Don't let others decide what you need. Don't let them manipulate your brain.

Unfortunately many think that 1. they have the authority to determine what others need and 2. there are those that believe others have the authority to determine their needs.

And this makes us go back to expertise as authority.

For example, if you have x illness that requires a treatment, a doctor will be the one who determines what kind of treatment you should follow according to your personal chaacteristics if you want to get better. I'd argue though, that all should be based on the principle of knowledge, that is, the doctor should do more than diagnosing and staring the treatment - he should actually explain to you what you have, what the treatment consists of, its implications and the expected results in detail and he should always consider your needs and objectives.

A civilian engineer will know what is required to build a structure with certan functions and parameters for it to preserve its integrity and perform its fucntion correctly. A mechanical engineer will do the same for machines, structures, materials, etc. An electrical engineer has the authority to determine how circuits and electrical systems overall should be built given his knowledge and the laws that rule over nature.

A plane pilot has the authority to fly planes when not anyone can without training and certain experience. Etc.

How not to fall into manipulation by this "intelligentsia"? Be part of it and/or be radical: find the logical basis for all claims, find experiments proving the truthfulness of certain pehnomena.

What has authority are knowledge and truth.

Thanks for your nice post dear. This sure is an enriching topic.

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