Summary of the Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard Essay

5071 Words Jun 5th, 2013 21 Pages
| Book Summary and Critique: The Hidden Persuaders Summary of THE HIDDEN PERSUADERS by Vance Packard 1. The Depth Approach. This book is about the large-scale -- and sometimes impressively successful -- efforts to use insights from psychiatry and the social sciences (and provided all too willingly by cooperative psychologists and social scientists) to channel our unthinking habits, our purchasing decisions, and our thought processes. The use of mass psychoanalysis to guide campaigns of persuasion has become the basis of a multimillion dollar industry. Some of the attempted manipulation is simply amusing. Some of it is disquieting, particularly when viewed us a portent of more intensive and effective efforts that may lie ahead. …show more content…
Excitement about MR reached a crescendo in 1953 and '54, as marketers began recruiting social scientists by the hundreds to conduct depth studies. 4. And the Hooks are Lowered. By 1957, a great many marketers were using MR. Two of the more common techniques are: Depth interview. The investigator tries, patiently but casually, to get the consumer into a reverie of talking and musing absent-mindedly about the pleasures, joys, enthusiasms, agonies, nightmares, deceptions, [and] apprehensions the product recalls to him/her. Projective tests. The subject is asked to interpret a symmetrical ink-blot, or to tell a story about a picture, or to make up captions for a cartoon, or (the "Szondi test") to pick out, from a group of pictures, the person he/she would like take a trip with (the subject doesn't know that each person suffers from a different mental illness). Some MR investigators also use lie detectors, word-association and sentence-completion tests, hypnosis, or subthreshold (subliminal) stimulation. 5. Self-Images for Everybody. The growing sameness of products (and the complexity of their ingredients), had made it very hard for either marketers or consumers to make reasonable distinctions among products in the same

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