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Bias, Persuasion, and Propaganda From: http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/bsndev-415604-recognizing-bias-propaganda-education-ppt-powerpoint/ http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/MasterFoust-400700-recognizing-bias-education-ppt-powerpoint/
What is Bias? Bias: (noun) a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice
How do you recognize bias? Look for ▫Opinions ▫Loaded Words ▫Faulty Reasoning
Opinions Everyone has an opinion. Look for evidence that supports a point of view or an agenda. ▫Agenda: hidden motive, secret plan, secret intention, hidden ploy, ulterior motive. ▫What is the author’s opinion? It is likely that he or she is trying to make YOU agree with him or her by persuading you.
Loaded Words Denotation ▫The dictionary definition of the word. Connotation ▫The emotions and images associated with a word Skilled authors and speakers will always choose their words for the greatest emotional impact and clearest possible meaning.
Word Choice (Diction) Matters ThinEmaciated Two words can have the same denotative meaning, but call up very different images
Word Choice Indicates Bias Freedom FighterTerrorist
Word Choice Indicates Bias Terrorist?Freedom Fighter?
Faulty Reasoning Also called logical fallacies Indicate that something just isn’t right Some common examples ▫Begging the Question ▫Ad Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc ▫Non Sequitor
Begging the Question This is a fallacy in which the author states that something is true as a proof of itself. X is true because X is true ▫George W. Bush was the worst president because there was no president who was worse than him.
Ad Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc “After this therefore because of this” Implies that one thing caused another simply because of their chronology Confuses Cause Effect relationships “Things went bad after Mr. Smith became CEO, therefore it was his fault things went bad!”
Non Sequitur “It does not follow” The conclusion has no connection whatsoever to the argument. “You should elect me as your leader because I make the best ice cream sundaes!”
Propaganda and Persuasive Techniques People use propaganda to make what they say or write more convincing. Propaganda appeals to emotion. Propaganda is not always logical.
Propaganda and Persuasive Techniques Bandwagon: Everyone else is doing it, so I should too. Testimonial: A famous person is used to try and influence you to do or buy something.
Propaganda and Persuasive Techniques Glittering Generalities: Uses words that are patriotic, attractive, or catchy, but don't really say anything
Propaganda and Persuasive Techniques Loaded Words: Using emotionally charged words to produce strong positive or negative feelings. ▫Politicians are lowdown and dishonest people. Stereotype: Uses commonly held, but oversimplified or unfair images of a group to make a point which isn't true. ▫All English teachers read Shakespeare in their spare time; they have no fun.
Propaganda and Persuasive Techniques Broad Generalization: Making a broad statement that something is true about all members of a group. ▫Everyone says that no one in America watches soccer. Guilt by Association: Rejecting an argument or claim because the person proposing it likes someone whom is disliked by another. ▫Hitler liked dogs. Therefore, dogs are bad.
Propaganda and Persuasive Techniques New and different: The mistaken assumption that an idea is good just because it is new. Cause and effect: Assuming that the effect is related to a cause because the events occur together. ▫When the rooster crows, the sun rises. Therefore, the rooster causes the sun to rise.
Propaganda and Persuasive Techniques Appeal to tradition: Trying to get someone to accept something because it has been done or believed for a long time. ▫ This is the way we've always done it. Therefore, it is the right way. Statistics: The attempt to support an idea with math that may be tough to prove. ▫“Our product is 25% better than the national leading brand.”
Questions to Ask Yourself… Purpose ▫Why is the author writing? What do they want me to believe? Who is the author’s intended audience? Tone and Style ▫How do they convey their message differently than some other author might? Bias ▫What preferences or prejudices does this author have? Propaganda and Persuasive Techniques ▫Is the author trying to persuade you by using some of the techniques we’ve reviewed?