Spotting Persuasion Tricks This Election Season

As election season looms, there are ads and debates everywhere telling us which person is better suited to run our country. Many Americans watch these ads and tune in to the debates, but they don’t really see what is right in front of them. Politicians have been stereotyped as tricksters, and it might not necessarily be untrue. Every politician uses persuasion tricks in one way or another, and it’s important to be able to pick out these instances in order to form a well-rounded opinion. Here are some typical persuasion tricks that politicians use regularly that everyone should keep an eye out for.

Intensifying and downplaying
It makes sense that politicians want to intensify their own good qualities, but they always want to intensify their opponent’s poor qualities. On the flip side, politicians want to downplay their own poor qualities, while at the same time downplaying the good qualities of other politicians.

Emotional appeals
A great example of an emotional appeal is the ASPCA commercial with Sarah Mclachlan. The sad animals in that commercial trigger an emotional response from viewers that ideally causes them to donate to the ASPCA. Politicians prey on people’s emotions in the same way. They might not use cute animals but they use things like guilt, patriotism, and fear to generate certain emotions from voters to make them agree with their political opinion.

Nonverbal persuasion
Every politician uses nonverbal persuasion in a different way. Some politicians change the way they dress depending on their audience. If they want to seem like “one of the people” they might neglect to wear a tie or roll up their sleeves so they seem like any ol’ regular person.

Every politician is an expert at forming an excellent argument. This can be seen especially during a debate. One politician might ask another question after question until their opponent is backed into a corner, unsure of what to say next. This is a perfect example of how politicians twist argumentation to their advantage.

These things might seem insignificant in every day life, but when it comes to politics, it is it is important to be knowledgeable. Every politician uses persuasion tricks, to some degree, but many politicians take it over the top. In order to make a smart choice this election season, watch out for these tricks next time an ad or debate comes on TV.

Have you noticed any of these tricks in politicians lately? What’s your opinion? Let us know!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member London Faust.

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