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

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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