Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Friday, March 15, 2013

V for Vendetta: A Revolutionary

In this speech V, the masked revolutionary in New London, V persuades the population to rise against the government on the 5th of November. The main persuasive technique used in this speech is guilt, V reminds the people that they chose a dictatorship and they need to rectify this.

Carlsmith and Gross (1969) found that particpants' made to feel guilty would be more likely to comply to a request. In their first experiment participants were made to believe they gave either a high or low status confederate an electric shock in a learning task, regardless of the status of the confederate participants who had administered shocks were more likely to comply to a request given by the confederate (75% vs. 25%). In a second experiment it was determined this effect was due to guilt as opposed to sympathy or restitution, as participants were only more likely to help a participant they themselves had harmed.


Carlsmith, J. M. & Gross, A. E. (1969). Some effects of guilt on compliance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 11(3), 232-239.

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