Even though I have worked in academia for years and have enjoyed the benefits of helping learning minds to expand their horizons, I have had one gnawing concern. Learning institutions typically help students, at best, to make a living but they fail miserably at teaching how to live life. These areas pertain to the realm of accumulated wisdom. Of course, wisdom presupposes knowledge, that is, the correct and consistent application of knowledge as truth. As a behavioral professional and an academic, I wish institutions would teach practical things such as how media, government, religion, and even academia itself, can indoctrinate the masses. For the purpose of this article I will focus on the media (and a little on academia).
I can very much remember talking to journalism students and perusing their text books. I noticed the emphasis on “objective and balanced reporting.” I always laugh. Having been a student who used “qualitative methods of research” I knew very well how every bit of research made by any human being is always tainted at some level with some bias. I know some will have a cow at this but even quantum physicists tell us the same. In the media, even a well-intentioned journalist is affecting his message in some form.
I would like to focus on how the media can manipulate the masses through their message. You still see journalists reacting, “How dare you question me!” as if they belonged to some privileged priesthood directly connected to a Divine stream of ultimate truth.
I have endeavored to share just some of the tactics of psychological manipulation of mass thinking. Most reading this will easily recognize these. I don’t claim to provide an exhaustive list.