Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Human Nature' keyword pg.1 of 2
30 SEPTEMBER 2014

The now discredited hypodermic needle model of communication

"The Hypodermic Needle Theory is a linear communication theory which suggests that media messages are injected directly into the brains of a passive audience. It suggests that we're all the same and we all respond to media messages in the same way.

This way of thinking about communication and media influence is no longer really accepted. In the 1930s, many researchers realized the limitations of this idea and some dispute whether early media theorists gave the idea any serious attention at all. Nevertheless, The Hypodermic Needle Theory continues to influence the way we talk about the media. People believe that the mass media has a powerful effect. Parents worry about the influence of television and violent video games. News outlets run headlines like 'Is Google making us stupid' and 'Grand Theft Auto led teen to kill'."

(Brett Lamb, 12 April 2013)

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TAGS

1930sArthur Bergerassumptions • attitudinal attributes • behaviour systemsbehaviourism • Bernard Berelson • biologically based theory • communication theoryconceptual model • David Croteau • Dennis Davis • discredited theory • Elihu Katz • Hadley Cantril • Hazel Gaudet • Herta Herzog • human instinct • human nature • hypodermic needle model • hypodermic needle theory • hypodermic-syringe model • infusion • injection • James Tankard • linear communication theory • magic bullet theory • mass communicationmedia • media gun • media influence • mental imagemessagemodel of communication • obsolete theory • passive audience • Paul Lazarsfeld • propaganda • shooting metaphor • sitting duck • situational attributes • Stanley Baran • theory of communication • transmission-belt model • unidirectional flow • uniformly controlled • Werner Severin • William Hoynes

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 JUNE 2013

The Stanford Prison Experiment

"Welcome to the Stanford Prison Experiment web site, which features an extensive slide show and information about this classic psychology experiment, including parallels with the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? These are some of the questions we posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University.

How we went about testing these questions and what we found may astound you. Our planned two–week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended prematurely after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. Please join me on a slide tour describing this experiment and uncovering what it tells us about the nature of human nature."

(Philip G. Zimbardo)

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TAGS

1971Abu Ghraib Prisonauthoritybrutalitycommand responsibility • Cool Hand Luke (1967) • dehumanisationdeindividuationdignitydisciplineethics • guard • guilthuman experimentationhuman naturehuman subjectshuman willhumiliationimprisonmentmoral dignitymoral dilemmamoralitynature of morality • Philip Zimbardo • powerpower corruptsprisonprisonerpsychology • research experiment • research study • self-controlsimulation studysocial experimentssocial responsibility • Stanford Prison Experiment • suffering injustice

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 JANUARY 2013

A theory about the power of persuasive communication

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TAGS

animated presentationauthority • concorde • consensusconsistency • gift-exchange • human naturelegitimating criterialevels of meaninglikedlikes • liking • marketing communicationpatterns of activationpersuasionpersuasive communicationpersuasively suggestivepsychological perceptionreciprocity • Robert Cialdini • scarcity • science of persuasion • scientifically proven • social obligation • Steve Martin • trust and reputationuniversal principles

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 AUGUST 2011

The Republic: justice is a necessity and a requirement for civil society (in spite of the selfish potential of individual gain)

"Now that those who practise justice do so involuntarily and because they have not the power to be unjust will best appear if we imagine something of this kind: having given both to the just and the unjust power to do what they will, let us watch and see whither desire will lead them; then we shall discover in the very act the just and unjust man to be proceeding along the same road, following their interest, which all natures deem to be their good, and are only diverted into the path of justice by the force of law. The liberty which we are supposing may be most completely given to them in the form of such a power as is said to have been possessed by Gyges the ancestor of Croesus the Lydian. According to the tradition, Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the king of Lydia; there was a great storm, and an earthquake made an opening in the earth at the place where he was feeding his flock. Amazed at the sight, he descended into the opening, where, among other marvels, he beheld a hollow brazen horse, having doors, at which he stooping and looking in saw a dead body of stature, as appeared to him, more than human, and having nothing on but a gold ring; this he took from the finger of the dead and reascended. Now the shepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send their monthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly he came having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them he chanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and again touching the ring he turned the collet outwards and reappeared; he made several trials of the ring, and always with the same result–when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, when outwards he reappeared. Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to the court; where as soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king and slew him, and took the kingdom. Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other;,no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men. Then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust; they would both come at last to the same point. And this we may truly affirm to be a great proof that a man is just, not willingly or because he thinks that justice is any good to him individually, but of necessity, for wherever any one thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust. For all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice, and he who argues as I have been supposing, will say that they are right. If you could imagine any one obtaining this power of becoming invisible, and never doing any wrong or touching what was another's, he would be thought by the lookers–on to be a most wretched idiot, although they would praise him to one another's faces, and keep up appearances with one another from a fear that they too might suffer injustice."

(The Republic, Plato, Internet Classics Archive)

[Plato describes a situation which I think is best understood in terms of the choice between individual and collective benefit. Where it serves our individual interests (as members and custodians of our society) to strive towards a collective ambition. In this way the recent mugging in London shows what happens when this ambition is inverted.]

TAGS

2011becoming invisiblechaoschoicecivil disobediencecivil societycivilisation • collet • fearforce of lawfree will • gold ring • Gyges • human actionhuman naturehuman willindividual gainindividualityinjusticeinvisibilityinvisible • involuntary acts • justice • keeping up appearances • lawlegallibertymagic • magic ring • moral dilemmamoralityopportunityownershipparablephilosophypiracyPlatopowerpower corrupts • ring • self-controlselfishness • shepherd • social responsibilitysuffering injusticeThe Republictheftunjustunjust power • virtue

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 JUNE 2011

Victor Frankenstein's horror at infusing life into an inanimate body

"The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room and continued a long time traversing my bed–chamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep. At length lassitude succeeded to the tumult I had before endured, and I threw myself on the bed in my clothes, endeavouring to seek a few moments of forgetfulness. But it was in vain; I slept, indeed, but I was disturbed by the wildest dreams. I thought I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt. Delighted and surprised, I embraced her, but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the grave–worms crawling in the folds of the flannel. I started from my sleep with horror; a cold dew covered my forehead, my teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed; when, by the dim and yellow light of the moon, as it forced its way through the window shutters, I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created. He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixed on me. His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks. He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed downstairs. I took refuge in the courtyard belonging to the house which I inhabited, where I remained during the rest of the night, walking up and down in the greatest agitation, listening attentively, catching and fearing each sound as if it were to announce the approach of the demoniacal corpse to which I had so miserably given life."

(Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley, The Project Gutenberg)

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TAGS

beingbodybreathe life intocomposites • conventional morality • corpsecreation of a new speciescreatorcreature • demon • demoniacal corpse • design responsibilitydiscoveryethicsexperimentationFrankensteinguilthorrorhuman being • human life • human nature • human society • inanimate body • Ingolstadt • lifemankind • Mary Godwin • Mary Shelleymoral dilemmamoral imaginationsnatureProject GutenbergPrometheus (mythology)speciesspeculative fictionspeculative researchVictor Frankenstein • Wollstonecraft

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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