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What is Brainwashing? Does it even exists?
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yea im serious. it's time to crack down on this popular term known as brainwashing. What is it?

1.Intensive, forcible indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at destroying a person's basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs.

2.The application of a concentrated means of persuasion, such as an advertising campaignor repeated suggestion, in order to develop a specific belief or motivation..http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/brainwashing


ok then, now explain how it differs from any advertisement or any taught set of beliefs.

any systematic effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs against a person's will, usually beliefs in conflict with prior beliefs and knowledge. It initially referred to political indoctrination of prisoners of war and political prisoners.
http://www.mercksource.com/pp/us/cns/cns_hl_dorlands_split.jsp?pg=/ppdocs/us/common/dorlands/dorland/two/000014405.htm

(all one link btw)

Now explain how it differs from highschool. Going to highschool was certainly agaisnt my will, and some of the stuff i learned wasnt even proven fact.

http://www.apa.org/monitor/nov02/cults.html more info on brainwashing.

i havnt checked the validity of any of these sources, so feel free to do any independent research you see fit, but its just as i hypothesisized, im not the only one who hasnt gotten a clear definition of what brainwashing is. So far none of my sources has given a clear definition, valid or not. ( you would think the bias sources would give you something to go on, but even wikipedia claims it has serious problems defining brainwashing- and wikipedia is as unvalid and bias as you can get, you'd imagine they would pull something out of thier heads just to make them selves sound intelligent.

This article or section has multiple issues. Please help improve the article or discuss these issues on the talk page.
It needs additional references or sources for verification. Tagged since January 2007.

It may contain original research or unverifiable claims. Tagged since September 2007.

It may not present a worldwide view of the subject. Tagged since November 2007.


basicly, take it with a grain of salt.

Brainwashing (also known as thought reform or re-education) is a general term consisting of any effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs in a person — beliefs sometimes unwelcome or in conflict with the person's prior beliefs and knowledge.[1] Motives for brainwashing may include the aim of affecting that individual's value system and subsequent thought-patterns and behaviors.

There is not a strict scientific definition on what constitutes "brainwashing" (as opposed to extreme propaganda) and in 1987, the American Psychological Association (APA) Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP) defined it as "lack[ing] the scientific rigor" and "does not believe that we have sufficient information available to guide us in taking a position on this issue." The debate amongst APA members on this subject continues
-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwashing

ok, so now tell me how it's different from propaganda.

The Politics of Religious Persecution

Over the last few decades, there have been an increasing number of cruel attacks on sincere people of many faiths and religions, brushing off their dedication and idealism as an apparent symptom of "brainwashing" or mental or spiritual coercion. The notion that religious leaders are controlling the minds of their members has been dramatized in the media, serving to further popularize the concept. As a result, restrictions on religious liberty have been or are presently being enacted in more and more countries around the world, limiting individual religious freedom, even though such legislation is at odds with most of these countries' constitutions. Some anti-religionists have also attempted to present such "mind control" theories in courts of law as established scientific fact, despite the fact that "brainwashing" as a concept has been rejected by most of the international academic community. Such efforts, accompanied by intense lobbying by anti-religious sectors, have enabled the "brainwashing" theory to be found nominally acceptable in varying degrees in Western European governmental reports and legislation, though it remains a nebulous concept without clear definition.

Anti-religious organizations on several continents cultivate and sponsor the few psychologists or academics that espouse the theory of "mind control" for the purpose of attacking the membership of various churches and religious organizations. These "experts" help such organizations cloak religious bigotry under a wrap of scientific- and medical-sounding terms to gain respectability for their unscientific deeds and claims. Such organizations that oppose freedom of religion or freedom of association are commonly referred to as the anti-"cult" movement (ACM), in direct relation to the minority religious groups they attack, which have been popularly labeled by their opponents as cults. The word "cult" as such is not useful, in that it comes laden with prejudice and the intent to denigrate minority religions. Anti-cult organizations have taken upon themselves to determine whether groups merit the status of religion or cultwhich they define as a destructive group, in an attempt to obviate their religious nature. Membership in bona fide religions is an expression of free choice; cults, they contend, employ mind manipulation techniques that control individuals and thus do not allow for individual free choice.

We contend that theories of "robotic brainwashing" and "mind control," as popularized by anti-religious sectors, are unfounded myths with no basis in sound scientific or medical research. Many academics, theologians, sociologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists have actively disavowed and debunked these theories and have published much research on the topic. The remainder of this paper will be largely devoted to presenting some of their most relevant findings.

http://www.thefamily.org/dossier/statements/brainwashing.htm

Is brainwashing a subjective concept then? All of my sources thus far havn't answered my quesion in a clear, logical, and scientific format.

This latest source claims its just a thoery "rejected by most of the international academic community."- or "nebulous concept without clear definition"
http://www.thefamily.org/dossier/statements/brainwashing.htm

Serveral of my sources claim it is not a scientific, or a serious field of study.Even phychologists either dont believe in it, or are still continuing research.

Skim through my latest source (you dont have to skim very far) and pick up key words like "metaphors", "approval", "crude euphemism","no such thing ","dispproval","conversion","reform", "no respectable standing","useless", "untestable","myth", ect.

Experts in serveral fields use these words to describe brainwashing. So whats your thought on all of this? Does it even exists? or is it a biased term that people swap with "learned", so that they can sound morally righteous?
Whats the true definition?
Lets discuss this on 3 different levels- philosophicaly, scientificly (if possible), and phychologicaly. peace over war








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Posted 9/9/09
Brainwashing is different from learning in that it has a negative connotation.
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I've already had this conversation here in another thread. Since I'm too lazy to find that thread or repeat the material, here's a funny article:

http://www.cracked.com/article_16656_6-brainwashing-techniques-theyre-using-on-you-right-now.html
Posted 9/9/09
wow that's some good tldr
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JJT2 wrote:

yea im serious. it's time to crack down on this popular term known as brainwashing. What is it?

1.Intensive, forcible indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at destroying a person's basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs.

2.The application of a concentrated means of persuasion, such as an advertising campaignor repeated suggestion, in order to develop a specific belief or motivation..http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/brainwashing


ok then, now explain how it differs from any advertisement or any taught set of beliefs.


Advertisements don't force you to think a certain way. They can be highly persuasive, but that is not the same as being forceful. As for taught beliefs (I'm assuming you mean the values that our parents instill in us from birth), it cannot be considered destroying or re-formatting our minds because as infants we don't have anything in our minds. Our parents establish a foundation where there once was none, while brainwashing involves removing a previous foundation and replacing it with a different one. Also, young children don't have to accept their parent's values, in fact many rebel later in life and form their own values. Although I doubt an infant or a small child has the mental capacity to reject everything their parents teach them.


any systematic effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs against a person's will, usually beliefs in conflict with prior beliefs and knowledge. It initially referred to political indoctrination of prisoners of war and political prisoners.
http://www.mercksource.com/pp/us/cns/cns_hl_dorlands_split.jsp?pg=/ppdocs/us/common/dorlands/dorland/two/000014405.htm

(all one link btw)

Now explain how it differs from highschool. Going to highschool was certainly agaisnt my will, and some of the stuff i learned wasnt even proven fact.


You were forced to go to high school, but you weren't forced to accept what they were teaching you.





Brainwashing (also known as thought reform or re-education) is a general term consisting of any effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs in a person — beliefs sometimes unwelcome or in conflict with the person's prior beliefs and knowledge.[1] Motives for brainwashing may include the aim of affecting that individual's value system and subsequent thought-patterns and behaviors.

There is not a strict scientific definition on what constitutes "brainwashing" (as opposed to extreme propaganda) and in 1987, the American Psychological Association (APA) Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP) defined it as "lack[ing] the scientific rigor" and "does not believe that we have sufficient information available to guide us in taking a position on this issue." The debate amongst APA members on this subject continues
-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwashing

ok, so now tell me how it's different from propaganda.


Propaganda is influential, not forceful. Propaganda rarely erases a previously held belief and replaces it. Usually it presents something new or strengthens a previously held opinion. When Hitler was in power many people were already anti-semetic, he simply used this already present hatred and amplified it through propaganda to further his own goals. Also, if someone does really have an opinion on war, propaganda may be used to influence them to form an opinion about it, but it is not replacing a previously held belief since they never had one.



Is brainwashing a subjective concept then? All of my sources thus far havn't answered my quesion in a clear, logical, and scientific format.


I guess it is then. But I did see a documentary on cults not too long ago (forget the title but I think it was on the E! Network or something) that had some good examples of it. The one I remember most clearly is some Christian preacher who taught that there is no such thing as hell or sin, and that the number 666 represents vast wisdom. Both of those teachings contradict well-establish Christian beliefs, and many people give up their previous beliefs to follow his. I would consider that to be brainwashing by definition.
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Brainwashing is passing off opinion as fact.
Fact is something possessing undeniable evidence, for example water boils at 100c.
Opinion, while it may be justified in whatever way can not be proven.

It was a bit TL;DR. Haha, but I did read bits and from what I read that the answer you were looking for?
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Posted 9/12/09
Brainwashing is a term made by people who want an excuse for being gullable.

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Religion is one of the most powerful tool to brainwash the masses. They believe every word this bible says giving up their free will, losing their ability to think and coexist without it. Being control by it, it tells dont question it or youll die no matter how ridiculous it sounds. Pushing logic and free will to the side, placed a spell of a imaginary being bound for life.
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What about political brainwashing? Recently in a New Jersey public school they taught children to sing praises to Obama... No one is doing anything against this and they say it's perfectly fine. Note, a line in the song was actually taken from a Christian children's song and replaced for Obama. The line in the Christian song is "Red or yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world." This had been changed to "He said red, yellow, black or white all are equal in his sight (Referring to Obama)"

Here are the song lyrics (there are 2 songs)



They are politically indoctrinating elementary school children to sing praises to Obama... Brainwashing much?
Posted 9/26/09

digs wrote:

What about political brainwashing? Recently in a New Jersey public school they taught children to sing praises to Obama... No one is doing anything against this and they say it's perfectly fine. Note, a line in the song was actually taken from a Christian children's song and replaced for Obama. The line in the Christian song is "Red or yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world." This had been changed to "He said red, yellow, black or white all are equal in his sight (Referring to Obama)"

Here are the song lyrics (there are 2 songs)



They are politically indoctrinating elementary school children to sing praises to Obama... Brainwashing much?


the first song yes i will admit but the second not so much because if it was a republican people wouldn't really care but that's the way i see it anyways.
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CecilTheDarkKnight_234 wrote:


digs wrote:

What about political brainwashing? Recently in a New Jersey public school they taught children to sing praises to Obama... No one is doing anything against this and they say it's perfectly fine. Note, a line in the song was actually taken from a Christian children's song and replaced for Obama. The line in the Christian song is "Red or yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world." This had been changed to "He said red, yellow, black or white all are equal in his sight (Referring to Obama)"

Here are the song lyrics (there are 2 songs)



They are politically indoctrinating elementary school children to sing praises to Obama... Brainwashing much?


the first song yes i will admit but the second not so much because if it was a republican people wouldn't really care but that's the way i see it anyways.


People would care if it was a Republican. Would it be acceptable for a school in Texas to sing a song about the greatness of president Bush and sing his praises? And is it ok to teach this to elementary school-aged children? The government goes waayyyy out of its way to prevent children from any religious exposure at public school. Even to the point that it violates the constitution. Kids can't pray, they can't bring a Bible to school, they can't discuss God, and teachers by no means have the freedom to voice their opinions regarding God. Why is it ok for a teacher to politically indoctrinate children into singing praises to Obama? Under the same logic the schools should be rabidly trying to find who is responsible and have her arrested or punished. The fact is that this school is in a liberal area, and it seems as if there is no consequence for this. The public school system is so corrupt and has double standards (no wonder they are failing). The question is that is this acceptable for a teacher to politically indoctrinate children?
Posted 9/26/09

digs wrote:


CecilTheDarkKnight_234 wrote:


digs wrote:

What about political brainwashing? Recently in a New Jersey public school they taught children to sing praises to Obama... No one is doing anything against this and they say it's perfectly fine. Note, a line in the song was actually taken from a Christian children's song and replaced for Obama. The line in the Christian song is "Red or yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world." This had been changed to "He said red, yellow, black or white all are equal in his sight (Referring to Obama)"

Here are the song lyrics (there are 2 songs)



They are politically indoctrinating elementary school children to sing praises to Obama... Brainwashing much?


the first song yes i will admit but the second not so much because if it was a republican people wouldn't really care but that's the way i see it anyways.


People would care if it was a Republican. Would it be acceptable for a school in Texas to sing a song about the greatness of president Bush and sing his praises? And is it ok to teach this to elementary school-aged children? The government goes waayyyy out of its way to prevent children from any religious exposure at public school. Even to the point that it violates the constitution. Kids can't pray, they can't bring a Bible to school, they can't discuss God, and teachers by no means have the freedom to voice their opinions regarding God. Why is it ok for a teacher to politically indoctrinate children into singing praises to Obama? Under the same logic the schools should be rabidly trying to find who is responsible and have her arrested or punished. The fact is that this school is in a liberal area, and it seems as if there is no consequence for this. The public school system is so corrupt and has double standards (no wonder they are failing). The question is that is this acceptable for a teacher to politically indoctrinate children?


That's why we have private schools for such reasons, religion is freedom in this country . People do not or not required to have any religion at all it's up to the parents to teach kids about religion or their religious values not the schools because not everyone that goes to a public school is a christian so you can't force some one to go to a religion if they don't want to. The reason public schools are failing is because there are no high standards for learning anymore, lets just slide everyone through have good attendance so we can make more money who cares if the kids are ready for college or not , also indoctrinate are u kidding me??? serisoulsy dude lay off of rush please he is such poison for the mind and a entertainer that goes on the air and spouts his opinions not facts. i had a semi liberal political science teacher but even he knew when to draw the line and point out that you need to form your own opinion not follow his.
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Posted 9/26/09

digs wrote:


CecilTheDarkKnight_234 wrote:


digs wrote:

What about political brainwashing? Recently in a New Jersey public school they taught children to sing praises to Obama... No one is doing anything against this and they say it's perfectly fine. Note, a line in the song was actually taken from a Christian children's song and replaced for Obama. The line in the Christian song is "Red or yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world." This had been changed to "He said red, yellow, black or white all are equal in his sight (Referring to Obama)"

Here are the song lyrics (there are 2 songs)



They are politically indoctrinating elementary school children to sing praises to Obama... Brainwashing much?


the first song yes i will admit but the second not so much because if it was a republican people wouldn't really care but that's the way i see it anyways.


People would care if it was a Republican. Would it be acceptable for a school in Texas to sing a song about the greatness of president Bush and sing his praises? And is it ok to teach this to elementary school-aged children? The government goes waayyyy out of its way to prevent children from any religious exposure at public school. Even to the point that it violates the constitution. Kids can't pray, they can't bring a Bible to school, they can't discuss God, and teachers by no means have the freedom to voice their opinions regarding God. Why is it ok for a teacher to politically indoctrinate children into singing praises to Obama? Under the same logic the schools should be rabidly trying to find who is responsible and have her arrested or punished. The fact is that this school is in a liberal area, and it seems as if there is no consequence for this. The public school system is so corrupt and has double standards (no wonder they are failing). The question is that is this acceptable for a teacher to politically indoctrinate children?


The government goes waayyyy out of its way to prevent children from any religious exposure at public school. Even to the point that it violates the constitution. Kids can't pray, they can't bring a Bible to school, they can't discuss God, and teachers by no means have the freedom to voice their opinions regarding God. Why is it ok for a teacher to politically indoctrinate children into singing praises to Obama?

that really depends on what school u go to. But God really isnt in the lesson plan, along with statistics, philosophy, and other schools of though kids need to know about, but they can learn it in college.

Schools are built for the sole purpose of politically indoctrinating kids, how else can u run a country if your kids dont know how to work with the system?

The public school system is so corrupt and has double standards (no wonder they are failing). The question is that is this acceptable for a teacher to politically indoctrinate children?

it has triple standards, quadruple in some circles, a teacher's job is to politically indoctrinate children, u cant have America without brainwashed children working in the system. peace over war
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Posted 9/26/09

CecilTheDarkKnight_234 wrote:


digs wrote:


CecilTheDarkKnight_234 wrote:


digs wrote:

What about political brainwashing? Recently in a New Jersey public school they taught children to sing praises to Obama... No one is doing anything against this and they say it's perfectly fine. Note, a line in the song was actually taken from a Christian children's song and replaced for Obama. The line in the Christian song is "Red or yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world." This had been changed to "He said red, yellow, black or white all are equal in his sight (Referring to Obama)"

Here are the song lyrics (there are 2 songs)



They are politically indoctrinating elementary school children to sing praises to Obama... Brainwashing much?


the first song yes i will admit but the second not so much because if it was a republican people wouldn't really care but that's the way i see it anyways.


People would care if it was a Republican. Would it be acceptable for a school in Texas to sing a song about the greatness of president Bush and sing his praises? And is it ok to teach this to elementary school-aged children? The government goes waayyyy out of its way to prevent children from any religious exposure at public school. Even to the point that it violates the constitution. Kids can't pray, they can't bring a Bible to school, they can't discuss God, and teachers by no means have the freedom to voice their opinions regarding God. Why is it ok for a teacher to politically indoctrinate children into singing praises to Obama? Under the same logic the schools should be rabidly trying to find who is responsible and have her arrested or punished. The fact is that this school is in a liberal area, and it seems as if there is no consequence for this. The public school system is so corrupt and has double standards (no wonder they are failing). The question is that is this acceptable for a teacher to politically indoctrinate children?


That's why we have private schools for such reasons, religion is freedom in this country . People do not or not required to have any religion at all it's up to the parents to teach kids about religion or their religious values not the schools because not everyone that goes to a public school is a christian so you can't force some one to go to a religion if they don't want to. The reason public schools are failing is because there are no high standards for learning anymore, lets just slide everyone through have good attendance so we can make more money who cares if the kids are ready for college or not , also indoctrinate are u kidding me??? serisoulsy dude lay off of rush please he is such poison for the mind and a entertainer that goes on the air and spouts his opinions not facts. i had a semi liberal political science teacher but even he knew when to draw the line and point out that you need to form your own opinion not follow his.


yea, school indoctrinates political beliefs...it has to to keep the system going...peace over war
Posted 9/26/09
On the topic of brainwashing one should also discuss:

Classical Conditioning (associative learning and the like)
Operant Conditioning (using consequences to modify form and occurrence of behaviour)
Cognitive Dissonance
The Stanley Milgram Experiment
The Stanford Prison Experiment
Situational Attribution
Power of Authority

If you don't know the Milgram one, here is a quick explanation:


First of, The Milgram Experiment. A psychologist named Stanely Milgram devised an experiment to answer one question about the Holocaust. "Was there a mutual sense of morality among those involved?". There were 3 people taking part in this experiment. A "scientist", a "teacher" and a "learner". The scientist and the learner were actors. Basically what happened was this. Learner and teacher were introduced and given the rundown of the experiment (a list was word pairs was to be read first, and then on the second run through, the teacher would read the first word and the learner was to respond with the second, failure to do so resulted in a shock, which would be intensified with every mistake). At which point the learner was to go into another room and be "hooked" up to a machine (a test, low power shock was given to both the teacher and learner). The teacher then was lead back out and told to begin. Throughout the experiment, the "learner" responded with screams of pain of varying intensity and at a certain point ceases it all together. If at any time the teacher decided to halt the experiment, they would be given these 4 commands in this order:

Please continue.
The experiment requires that you continue.
It is absolutely essential that you continue.
You have no other choice, you must go on.

The experiment was halted if all 4 verbal prods were unsuccessful, or if the max of 450 volts was used 3 times (when you reached max you would continue using that setting until the 3 times were up). Originally Milgram expected that 1.2% would reach maximum voltage. But 26 out of 40 (or 65%) actually did. ONLY ONE participant in the entire study stopped before the 300 volt mark. After the experment the teacher and learner were reconnciled as to show no real harm was done. They then exitted a different door and the new person came in. And the prcoess started up again. The experiment cannot be replicated as it is seen as morally unethical. But it was meta-analyized and found to be 61 to 66% actually.


He's a quick one for the Standford Prison Experiment:


Second is the Stanford Prison Experiment run by a social psychologist, Philip Zimbardo. The purpose of this experiment was to understand abusive prisons and similar situations. It was schedualed to run 14 days. 24 Students were divided into 2 teams. Prisoners and Guards. The guards were given military esque clothing, wooden batons, and mirrored sunglasses (prevents eye contact). Prisoners, were given badly fitted smocks, and caps aimed to make them uncomfortable. They were bound at the ankle, and had numbers sewn into their smocks (guards were to call them by number, no identities allowed).

To quote Zimbardo, "You can create in the prisoners feelings of boredom, a sense of fear to some degree, you can create a notion of arbitrariness that their life is totally controlled by us, by the system, you, me, and they'll have no privacy… We're going to take away their individuality in various ways. In general what all this leads to is a sense of powerlessness. That is, in this situation we'll have all the power and they'll have none.". But No physical violence was to be allowed. Prisoners were also strip searched, finger printed and had mug shots taken. This was prior to the experiments beginning.

Day one was uneventful, day 2 had a riot. When researchers were away, guards actually attacked prisoners beating them with fire extinguishers. Guards soon after used physical punishment for errors made in things such as attendance checks. Sanitary conditions worsened and some prisoners were not allowed to urinate/defecate. The buckets used for urination/defecation weren't emptied as punishment as well. Mattresses were taken away as punishment as well (forcing prisoners to sleep on the hard concrete). Some prisoners were forced to go nude, and even at the height of the experiment, they were sexually harassed or forced to perform homosexual acts.

As the experiment continued the cruelty rose. When it ended, 1/3rd of the guards exhibited genuine sadistic tendencies, and many were saddened by the early ending.

Prisoner 416, once went on a hunger strike as a form of protest, and was sentenced to solitary confinement and even harsher beatings. The way to get him out was for all the prisoners to give up their mattresses. Only one did.

The experiment, lasted 6 out of the schedualed 14 days. It illustrated situational attribution, cognitive dissonance, and power of authority.
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