CMNS 110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Pole And Polar, Social Proof, Consumerism

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Weapons of Persuasion
6 Techniques identified by Robert Cialdini
social proof (cognitive dissonance)
liking (ethos)
“Civilization advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about
them.” - Alfred North Whitehead
Semiotics: making assumptions bc vast majority of the time we are correct
Semiotic shortcuts: the tendency to respond to symbolic behavior without the felt need for critical
used to solve problems
hay sacks, dust etc = western movie
Literary form
Social experience versus Individual experience
social experience explains why semiotic shortcuts are useful and attractive
individual experience explains why they can be dangerous and misleading
Fixed-Action Patterns: Instinctive responses to external stimuli, usually initiating sequences of behavior
(courtship, feeding, etc)
fixed-action patterns are set in motion by specific trigger features
ex) male robins during mating season will destroy anything red
fixed response, no control over it
Do people have fixed-action patterns of behavior?
We do have a number of biological dispositions over which we have limited control, such as appetite,
thirst, sexual arousal, fatigue, emotional responses, and so on.
evidence of humans reacting more biologically than culturally
ex) because. you automatically make a semiotic shortcut when you hear “because”.
“may I go in front of you because _____”
The Contrast Principle
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