Subconscious persuasion is surprisingly very commonly used with some of the world’s biggest leaders. During Hitler’s reign of terror, millions of people were persuaded into believing something evil and wrong was good and right. Currently, Obama is persuading millions of people that he will “change” America forever and take us to the next level. Both Hitler and Obama used an array of different persuasive communication tactics to literally move or shift the mindset upon millions of people.
A common question I get is that persuasive communication is unethical because people like Hitler used it as attempts to take over the world. The thing is persuasive communication, like anything can be used in the wrong way. Let’s say there are two people that are very knowledgeable about bombs. One person uses their knowledge to help diffuse bombs for the police force while the other uses their knowledge on bombs to hurt massive amounts of people. Obviously, from this example, it’s clear that persuasive communication can be used ethically.
An anchor in computer-language is just a place a hyper-link connects to. This is the same idea applied to communication. An anchor is a stimulus that invokes a state of mind that already exists and links it to that preexisting state.
Hitler’s brilliant anchor
Hitler was able to use Anchoring in a way so brilliant yet deceitful. He created a subsonic noise undetectable to the untrained ear that was awfully unique. When turned on, a discrete buzzing noise would fill the stadium. The noise was subconsciously irritating and even caused people to become sick. This noise would be switched ON while the highly anticipated crowd was waiting for Hitler to come on stage and then turned OFF immediately after he stepped in front of the podium. As soon as he appeared on stage, most people subconsciously felt immediate relief. So the crowd was anchored to: feel good, feel relief, and feel comfortable when Hitler is in front of them. Reasons like this anchoring technique was why Hitler rose to power so quickly and so powerfully.
Obama’s brilliant anchor
Now I would NEVER compare Hitler to anyone in the sense that he was an evil and diabolical man. Using Obama is simply to show you that persuasive communication can be linked as good and evil. Arguable, Obama’s techniques may be linked as evil also, but for the sake of this post, let’s link him as good.
Obama also used an array of persuasive communication techniques. For most people, practically every time someone hears the word “change”, Obama was almost instantly the first picture that appeared in their head. He was literally able to embed this anchor in most of our heads, regardless of who you voted for. “Change” was anchored as Obama. “Change” was also anchored as our country changing and evolving into something different (better). As the economy was sliding lower and lower, ‘change’ was being sought after more and more.
Anchoring is just one of the many techniques used in persuasive communication. If your an average schmuck or the leader of the free world, knowing persuasive communication will allow you to make powerful and amazing things happen.
Can you think of any other famous leaders that use anchoring? If so, give an example.