Response to Practical Ways to Oppose War


Since the end of the second world war, social psychologists and communication scholars have been conducting empirical studies in order to learn more about the effectiveness of fear appeals. Some have criticized the conceptualization of the studies, and others have found fault with the experimental methods, but the general conclusions are worth considering, if not accepting. "All other things being equal, the more frightened a person is by a communication, the more likely her or she is to take positive preventive action."(Pratkanis and Aronson, 1991) Fear appeals will not succeed in altering behavior if the audience feels powerless to change the situation. Fear appeals are more likely to succeed in changing behavior if they contain specific recommendations for reducing the threat that the audience believes are both effective and doable. In summary, there are four elements to a successful fear appeal: 1) a threat, 2) a specific recommendation about how the audience should behave, 3) audience perception that the recommendation will be effective in addressing the threat, and 4) audience perception that they are capable of performing the recommended behavior. (Source: www.propagandacritic.com) ******************************************************************** The Bush gang have employed fear appeals to good effect. We need to beat them at their own game. The difference between our fear appeal and theirs is that ours is real and motivated by a concern for humanity and not by profit and power. So, what specific recommendations can we make to people that they will percieve as effective and feasible?

Created By: maidhc o'cathail