January 1989, the media focused extensively on a national tragedy. Who can
forget the scene brought to America's living rooms via the evening news: Five
children playing in a Stockton, California schoolyard are shot dead. Many
others are wounded. The camera zooms in on the bloody scene, surveying dead
bodies and panic-stricken survivors. Immediately the camera pans to a close-up
of a rifle. The reporters comment forebodingly: "The murder weapon used by
Patrick Purdy was a deadly military assault rifle, a Chinese AK-47”. In the
background are heard wails of grief and mourning.
dramatic tragic event; one that elicits an immediate response of outrage and
sympathy for the victims but does the scene create something more than a gut
reaction? Exactly how do such horrible images impact upon the mind of the
viewer and affect his thinking?
those who relish a good mystery story this article contains all the clues
necessary to piece together the hidden elements working behind the scenes of
much of today's "objective reporting”, especially in relationship to the
issue of gun control. With a little detective work the "who dunnit” as
well as the psychological methods of "capturing" an unwary audience
can be exposed and disarmed.
#1: The famous Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov unearthed an important psychological
truth during his scientific experiments with dogs. At feeding time, Pavlov
noticed that the dogs would salivate in anticipation of the food about to be
received. As an experiment, he rang a bell each time he fed the dogs. He did
this repeatedly. In time Pavlov discovered that when no food was present, just
ringing the bell was enough to cause the dogs to salivate. Amazing, isn't it?
No food, just the tinkle of a bell and the dogs' hunger was awakened
unnaturally, reacting to the bell as though food were really present.
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