Chapter 12: Overcoming rational will:


One method of effective propaganda is to overcome rational will. This method is best done by arousing emotions more than reason, usually by creating the illusion of rational decisions. This concept is achieved by a method known as one-sided reasons. In the study participants were asked to choose to assign custody of a child to one parent. Parent A had an average income, average relationship with the child, and average health. Parent B had higher income but traveled a lot for work. A strong relationship with the child, but also a very active social life and poor health.


The overall choice of the students was then determined by the question asked, not the information given. If the participants were asked “Which parent should get custody” the majority of participants chose parent B for the reasons listed. If the students were asked “Which parent should not get custody” the majority of participants also chose B for the reasons listed.

It became clear that people make choices for a reason, as seen in the experiment the first option was bland, there was no reason to choose it or not to choose it, thus when people need a reason to choose or not choose a parent they always chose the same one. There was an illusion of rationality, and choice all established by the producer of the propaganda. The Nazi propaganda gave infinite reasons to distrust and hate the Jews, and when the people needed to make choices, they did so based on the reasons they had been given.