Nice explanation of how propaganda messaging works

Nice explanation of how propaganda messaging works

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This CNBC story is about how Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of disgraced Theranos, was able to fool many people. In effect, she used common methods of propaganda messaging – where we tend to believe the first thing we hear, especially if it matches what we’d like to hear:

Ariely also says human brains are good at remembering general statements or ideas, but they are not so good at remembering where the information came from, or sometimes even whether it is true.

It’s a psychological concept called source monitoring: “When our brain gets a message, we don’t separate very well the statement and where it came from, and we can often get very confused … and not remember,” says Ariely. “It’s why fake news works so well.”

Then, confirmation bias can kick in — people will focus on information and data that supports what they believe or want to be true, says Ariely.

People lie more when it’s for a good cause”

It’s a lot easier to do bad things when you think that you’re doing it for a really good cause,” says Deeter.

Indeed, according to a study Ariely details in “The Inventor,” people actually lie more when it’s for something positive, like charity. And they don’t feel emotionally conflicted about the lie. That’s because they can lie and still think of themselves as a good person, Ariely says in the documentary.

A good cause also makes a lie easier to buy. [emphasis added above and on this line]

Source: HBO’s ‘The Inventor’: How Elizabeth Holmes fooled people about Theranos

On that last sentence, I saw a billboard last week where Feeding America now claims 1 in 5 go to bed hungry every week. This statement is not true but most accept this lie because its for a good cause.

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