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7 Political Manipulation Techniques – Exposed Part-2

Here we’ll continue exposing 7 most powerful manipulative techniques used in politics. You may check out the techniques #1-3 in the 1st part of this article. {Words ‘1st part’ should be clickable and lead to the 1st part of the article}


Technique #4: Say “We Need to Protect X”

Remember that altruism was made to protect your relatives. Therefore, for the manipulator to activate this mechanism it is very important to use and highlight the word protect.

He/she would say: “We need to protect X (something).” It’s easy to find many things that could possibly be in need of protection. It could be a certain minority, nation, religion, some value etc.

7 Political Manipulation Techniques

Whenever the manipulator says that magical phrase ‘we need to protect X’ that drives something within the people. That makes them willing to serve the interests of this manipulator.


Technique #5: Pretend To Be Relatives

Manipulators make use of words like ‘bro’ and ‘motherland’. As you know, altruism is meant to protect your relatives. Therefore, manipulators pretend to be like your relatives that actually they are not.

7 Political Manipulation Techniques

That is why they start using words that appear to be like your relatives. For example, an individual may tell you something like: “Hey, bro…”. The beginning of the conversation like that has very high chances that this person wants to manipulate you.

When it comes to politicians and larger masses of people they can appeal to motherland. When they use this magical world ‘mother’, they activate your inner instinct of altruism.


Technique #6: Disgrace Your Opponent

Disgrace is a verb full of emotion. It also has biological roots. For thousands of years, human beings lived in unsanitary conditions. Under those conditions, disgrace helped people to stay away from things that could be infectious.

7 Political Manipulation Techniques

There was an interesting research where scientists scanned the brain of people. It established that when the emotion of disgrace appeared, the emotion of compassion decreased.

What does it mean? For instance, most human beings would easily kill the cockroach without feeling any compassion.

7 Political Manipulation Techniques

Historically, it was necessary to stay away from infections.

Nowadays, the manipulators can still use the same emotion for their own benefit. When they come to disgrace all their opponents, they achieve a couple of useful goals for them.

  • People stop feeling compassion for the opponent. They stop considering his/her arguments, and stop really caring about him.
  • People strengthen ties within their existing group. This way a manipulator can consolidate his partisans.
  • People are more willing for altruism – it is what a manipulator dreams about.

Manipulator could easily use fake information to achieve his/her goal. The researchers found out that once formed, the impressions are remarkably perseverant. Even after the evidence for their beliefs has been totally refuted, people fail to make appropriate revisions in those beliefs. {According to NewYorker}

In other words, irrespective of the fact that the information was not trustworthy, still it severely damages the reputation and perception of that opponent.


Technique #7: Scare

Since 1972, the General Social Survey has asked respondents: “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?”

As of 2014, the most recent data, the number of people saying most others can be trusted was at a historic low. {Source: TheAtlantic}

Percentage of Americans Who Say Most People Can Be Trusted

In other words people are becoming more skeptical and they are aware of attempts to manipulate them. They don't want to trust blindly.

So how can a manipulator break through this defensive barrier? It's very simple. What is stronger than logic? It is instincts and emotions! That is how the manipulator appeals to instincts – scaring people – the best way.

7 Political Manipulation Techniques

The manipulator starts by distributing scaring stories that happened or can possibly happen!

The question you might have here is: Would people really spread some potentially scary news, if this is not totally confirmed and trustworthy? Here it's interesting to provide the results of one research in the quote below:

“You spread stories because you know that they’re likely to be a kind of litmus test. The way people react will show whether they’re prepared to side with you or not.

Having social support, from an evolutionary standpoint, is far more important than knowing the truth about some facts that do not directly impinge on your life”. {Source: TheAtlantic}

7 Political Manipulation Techniques

In other words, people are willing to spread the news even if they're not 100% sure about its trustworthiness. Spreading such news helps them to strengthen their ties. It is human nature!

The manipulator can use this human weakness and spread scare. He/she can make use of emotions and instincts, use some sort of breakthrough logic, and then start his manipulative work.



Here are the 7 most powerful manipulative techniques.

  1. Use altruism for your benefit.
  2. Create outside enemy.
  3. Use fear and distrust of that which is perceived to be foreign and strange.
  4. Say ‘we need to protect X’.
  5. Pretend to be relatives. Use words like ‘Bro’, ‘Motherland’.
  6. Disgrace your opponents.
  7. Scare.

If you observe modern politicians, you would find them using these manipulative techniques a number of times.

If you know such examples, share them in comments below.

Reference: a number of facts and researches provided in this article are taken from the video “How to Rule the World Using Altruism, Patriotism and Other Animal Instincts”.

Igor Smirnov

Igor Smirnov

Psychologist, blogger, chess Grandmaster, Internet entrepreneur. Follow Igor on Facebook


I’m Igor Smirnov. To YOUR success.

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