Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills 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

Negative Media Leak Before SU Elections

This video and news article were released just before the Warwick Student's Union (SU) election campaigns, in which Nick Swain was running again for SU president.  Both exaggerate the circumstances in order to  portray the candidate in a negative light, with the purpose of damaging his chances of being re-elected. Maybe the timing was simply a coincidence, but it seems that someone (a rival candidate or not) has used the ‘Control the Flow of Information’ social influence technique to alter public perception of the candidate’s suitability for the role. In particular the video and news article are selected leaks and plants of information in the media, in an attempt to influence the public's perception of the candidate, particularly potential voters'. 

This social influence technique is supported by  Annis and Merier’s study in 1934 in which they found out that planting biased information in college newspapers changed opinions about a political event.  Overall, this article implies that the individual has a lack of responsibility and lack of respect for woman, and therefore may well have been a predominant reason for why the candidate went from gaining a record number of votes in 2012, to coming 4th out of 5 candidates in 2013.

Annis, A.D., & Meir, N.C., (1934). The induction of opinion through suggestion by means of “planted content.” Journal of Social Psychology, 5, 65-81

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