Social Psychology 315 Homework: Spin Doctoring Which paths(s) to persuasion is/are present in the global warming case? In the case of Global Warming, Peripheral route to persuasion is being used because high profile people and organizations are unlikely to be denied because of their reputation. There are more chance that people will be persuaded by famous icons like Al Gore. The Mayer Book explains that “Liking: People respond more affirmatively to those they like” (Myers, 2010, p. 237). This means, people are likely to listen and obey those that they like.
Therefore, famous people, that are more popular and liked by others can be used to manipulate people’s minds and persuade them easily. In the case of Global Warming, both central and peripheral routes can be used as a means of persuasion. An example of central route persuasion would be that a group of environmentalists are listening to the Scientist giving a lecture about how pollution produced by factories and cars are triggering global warming. The environmentalists are becoming persuaded by this lecture and are planning on giving a speech at a local public library about what they heard at this conference.
Afterwards, they plan their lecture on Global Warming being triggered by pollution produced by vehicle and factories and emphasize that everyone should try to limit driving, should ride bike instead of driving or carpool as much as possible in order to keep Global Warming from escalating. The audience at the library don’t seem to be persuaded by the topic, instead, they think about how professional the environmentalist looks and he sounds very educated, and they come to be persuaded by his speech. Their attitude can be temporary and be subject to change at any time.
This would be example of a peripheral route. How does the tobacco industry example fit into our understanding of impression management? “We see making a good impression as a way to gain social and material rewards, to feel better about ourselves, even to become more secure in our social identities “(Myers, 2010, p. 141). This is taken from the Mayer book. It explains that the impression management is when someone tries to make a good impression of themselves in order to gain social or material reward or just to feel good about themselves.
The tobacco companies try make a positive impression by sponsoring sports and arts events and giving grants for community development. When customers are aware of such events and contributions made by the tobacco companies, they will have positive picture associated with tobacco companies and think less about negative impact those cigarettes are making on their health. Spin Doctoring is one of the form of Impression management that could have different motivation. The motivation could be for self-image , manipulation and social attraction etc. They use these motivation for Impression management to persuade society.
They have to persuade their customer so they can have at least some positive picture of their products by forgetting or ignoring the negative impact of the product and company. The health departments use Spin Doctoring to educate the public about the dangers of smoking which are communicated through, messages and images such as images of smokers who are currently disabled due to the side effects of cigarettes. Is spin doctoring the same as propaganda or is it fundamentally different? Address the weapons of mass destruction case in your answer.
Spin Doctoring is not propaganda, It’s form of Impression Management, but can be used as a means of propaganda. It can be used to cover up for a mistake, or a lie, as well as to point others’ attention in a different direction than what was intentionally imposed for. For example, the war against Saddam Hussein might have been started intentionally to get rid of the weapons of mass destruction, but it was discovered that no such weapons were possessed by Saddam, and spin doctoring was used to point attention to another direction in order to cover up for a mistake, then it would not be a propaganda.
If the real intention was not the weapons of mass destruction, and it was known from beginning that no such weapons exist in Iraq, it would make this case a propaganda and spin doctoring would be used to cover up for a lie. It all depends on how the situation gets interpreted to whether it’s supporting the topic or imposing it. According to the most of US politician and some public opinion that Spin Doctoring used for Iraq war was to educated our public about a dangerous of chemical weapon and dictator who could do harm to some of his neighbors or may be to US population with his angerous weapons of mass destruction. Then if we would ask the same question from different groups, one of their answers would be that Spin Doctoring for Iraq war was a Propaganda and the reason they got rid of Saddam Husain was for strategic location, personal gain, or oil.
Work Cited: Myers, D. G. (2010). Social Psychology. (10th ed. , p. 141, 237). New York: McGraw-Hill.