The "Poison" Device
Poison is poison though it comes in a golden cup. THOMAS ADAMS
WITH this device the persuader, by applying a "poison" word or bad name or symbol, arouses our feelings of fear to make us reject, shun, avoid, disapprove, or condemn a person, group, policy, product, thing, program or idea. He uses trigger words to conjure up in our minds unpleasant or frightening pictures, anticipating that we'll react automatically against the person, thing, or idea he wants us to disapprove and reject.
If we have been so conditioned that his words are stimuli to set off our reflexes, as the dog dropped the meat when he heard the word "poison," his anticipations will be fulfilled. In the case of the dog, the device operated solely by conditioned reflex. The dog didn't know what was going on, didn't know he was being manipulated. Millions of people are like that dog.
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Publication information: Book title: The Process of Persuasion. Contributors: Clyde R. Miller - Author. Publisher: Crown. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1946. Page number: 168.
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