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Dr. Petroski
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The Only Thing to Fear is Fear

on Thu May 24, 2018 9:23 pm
One of the most difficult aspects of the persuasion process is capturing an individual’s attention. Many individuals are resistant to persuasion when they recognize it, and as has been discussed already, it can be difficult for individuals to overcome their own heuristics in order to process a message carefully (of course, not all persuasion requires careful processing).

To combat this and attract attention, many advertisers and campaign managers have turned to using fear appeals to grab individuals’ attention. The logic behind fear appeals suggests that frightening people should get them to play attention to a message so that they can better protect themselves, as fear is a particularly strong motivator for human response.

But is fear enough? Communication and persuasion scholar Kim Witte developed the Extended Parallel Processing Model to suggest that merely scaring audiences is not in itself enough to suggest behavioral change. After all, fear might get us to pay attention to a message, but if a message scares us too much, we are just as likely to go into a state of fear control where we work to manage our emotions, for example, by discrediting the message or being repulsed by and then ignoring it. Such a campaign might be a memorable one, but likely does little to persuade us toward any sort of action.

How can we use fear effectively? Considering the discussion of fear in Ch. 11 of the textbook, what are your thoughts about using fear to raise issues with audiences? Based on the book, does it seem like fear can be used in a positive way? Do you agree?

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connollya3
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Fear as a tool

on Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:54 pm
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Fear can be a good tool, when used the right way. In order for it to be effective I feel that you must do it in a sensitive way, not throwing out to many overwhelming statistics, but just enough to scare them like shouting boo at a child, but not chasing them with a dangerous object. Too much fear becomes like chasing a child with a dangerous object causing them to shut down and miss the message. I think using fear can be a positive thing, for example consider the anti-smoking ads, they instill some fear in viewers because of their frightening facts, this makes people not want to smoke, but does not scare them too much. It gets the message across in a way that works. It can be used in a positive way like that when it is thoughtfully planned out, and the book backs that up, providing insight that those who interpret it as percieved efficacy accept the message and can use it in a positive way.
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Is fear good?

on Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:37 pm
Fear is a very good tool to use, when it comes to raising awareness on a subject; especially a medical one. I remember in elementary and middle school having being presented with the D.A.R.E programs and in health class learning all the side effects of drugs and alcohol abuse. That was a scare tactic; it was a way for the department of education and another program to show us (students) the downfall and consequences that these vices brought to a lot of people. I also remember when the organization TRUTH ran Ads on TV in protest of tobacco companies and their deception and the ban on smoking. They ran Ads that were scary and shocking for children to watch and big eye openers for adults who smoked. Those Ads ran day and night and they pushed their message, that smoking was bad and that you could die or suffer other consequences. That is what I would call the Terror management theory because it played well into the morality salience that smokers have seeing those images and what would eventually happen to do. I think fear can get the job done, pass on the message and shake the audience to its core and create behavioral change, fear has a strong power over us humans.
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Re: The Only Thing to Fear is Fear

on Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:57 pm
As a former campaign manager and political operative its really easy for me to see the ways fear can be used effectively to drive home a message or craft a strategy. But after 2016 I’ve become super sour to those kind of tactics I used to embrace. But that doesn’t mean fear cant be used for good. I think when a state is trying to get a certain outcome like in public health its important to use a heavy handed approach to get the preferred result. An effective campaign may be continued coverage of disease outbreaks to try and get through to the dense Anti-vaxing areas of the country to try and convince them to vaccinate their kids. More recently their was a dangerous e coli strand that was causing kidney failure across the north east and it was fear tactics that got stores to throw out romaine lettuce and consumers to think before they ordered a salad . This may have saved lives. I know for me I was eating a salad as I first read the news alert and spent the next week paranoid every stomach cramp was me dying.
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Fear Being Used Positively

on Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:36 pm
Fear can be used effectively through propaganda and a lot of times promotion campaigns. For me I think using fear to raise issues is a very smart idea but how issue is raised to the audience is what's important. often times government officials are masters of persuasion because of how they are able to use the right amount of fear to influence their audiences. Personally I do feel that fear can indeed be used in a positive way. The use of fear is prevalent in health campaigns where audiences are influenced by scary but often true evidence of diseases that motivate them to take care of their bodies.
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FEAR

on Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:32 pm
Many people think of fear as a weakness and I was one of those people who thought the same until I knew better. Fear is simply defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous” it does not necessarily mean that it is but that’s the way our brain operates. I think that fear is just a way that our body is warned of danger and we must protect ourselves by using the “fight or flight” mechanism. When we allow fear to impede our thinking and our existence we restrict ourselves from being the best that we can be. I think fear is a good thing to a certain extent and if it does not cause daily anxieties, it’s a part of life. Some people enjoy fear because they have a love for horror movies. Fear preserves us from bad things because it allows us to react in a way we wouldn’t otherwise do had we not be in fear for our lives.
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“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself" then we are Stunned

on Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:57 am
I agree with my fellow classmates that fear can raise awareness to health issues like tainted meat, fish or vegetables that you should be thrown away immediately. Also, if there is a recall of a baby products, child’s toy, or car parts that all of sudden don’t work, these announcements are necessary to advise the public that a person could become very sick, seriously hurt or die if they don’t act immediately, these announcements result in saved lives.

The campaign that seems to be on a 24hr loop seen night and day is the campaign used to get people to stop smoking. As smoking is on the decline, this fear tactic is working and continues with these TV commercials where people are seen with holes in their throat and the oxygen tube running throughout the house. The fear that if you continue to smoke you could end up holding an electrolarynx device to the hole in your throat should scare people into quitting.

During the presidential campaign, using the fear of than Trump having the access to the button to deploy nuclear weapons on a supposed enemy was a scary fear. Hillary used that fear and it was a good one. The Red States ignored that fear among others. Now that he is president there are more pertinent, relevant and important issues in our country, his tweets on our country’s major issues is always a divisive one. When FDR said “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” was a good slogan for 1932. My fear from the 2016 election has turned to stunned, and I continued to be stunned every time he speaks or tweets.
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halls19@southernct.edu
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Fear

on Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:01 pm
Many people think of fear as a weakness and I was one of those people who thought the same until I knew better. Fear is simply defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous” it does not necessarily mean that it is but that’s the way our brain operates. I think that fear is just a way that our body is warned of danger and we must protect ourselves by using the “fight or flight” mechanism. When we allow fear to impede our thinking and our existence we restrict ourselves from being the best that we can be. I think fear is a good thing to a certain extent and if it does not cause daily anxieties, it’s a part of life. Some people enjoy fear because they have a love for horror movies. Fear preserves us from bad things because it allows us to react in a way we wouldn’t otherwise do had we not be in fear for our lives.
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Fear is a good motivational tool

on Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:13 pm
I feel like fear is a good tool to motivate people. Ever since we were kids our parents would use fear to prevent us from doing things. Tobacco ads and several forms of propaganda in the first films in America were to promote fear. If you put the right images in the media people will be motivated by fear.
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Fear

on Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:31 pm
How can we use fear effectively? Considering the discussion of fear in Ch. 11 of the textbook, what are your thoughts about using fear to raise issues with audiences? Based on the book, does it seem like fear can be used in a positive way? Do you agree

Fear can be used effectively by bringing awareness to self and against prey. I personally do not agree with using fear to raise issues with audiences. For example, during WW1 media abused their ability of persuasion and propaganda to manipulate and control people. Fear can be used positively by teaching lessons, mind sets and important things that may not be expressed without instilling fear. Using fear to raise awareness to issues aren't always the right answer though, for instance with the idea of immigration and saying that the immigrants are thugs and a harm to our country is not the right answer. I personally feel like fear is taught, like growing up our parents always used fear to teach us like knowing right from wrong and such.
Ryan Shalagan
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The Only Thing to Fear is Fear

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:23 am
When talking about using fear as a persuasion technique I tend to think of car mechanics. Most of the time these car mechanics make a commission off of the services they provide to your car. Therefore they are always trying to persuade you into a costly repair on your car that you do not necessarily need at that moment. Whenever you bring your car into a repair shop for one small fix the mechanic almost always comes back and suggests you get other repairs done as well. One of the most common examples of this would be that you go in for an oil change and the mechanic notices that your breaks are at an “unsafe” level of wear. The mechanic will then try and persuade you using fear tactics such as your car is “unsafe” to drive to due to heavily worn out break pads and or rotors and could cause you to have break failure which “could” result in a crash. Granted the mechanic cannot force a repair on you, but since they brought up to possibility of getting into a car crash you tend to start agree with their “professional” option. On the other hand, I do agree that fear can be used in a positive way such as when a doctor begins listing all of the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle and wants you to begin to change the way you eat or exercise in order to live a healthy lifestyle. However, I do not agree with using fear as a way to make money as described in the car mechanic example stated above.

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Fear

on Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:31 pm
Fear for me is not the first thing that should be used for persuasion. I just can't wrap my head around the idea of instilling fear into someone to get their attention. But when I really think about how fear can be used to promote something positive .

For example, fear can be used to make sure an idea or whatever you're trying to sell sticks into someones head so they do not forget about it. Also fear can be used to promote positive outcomes; For example, Everyday I see ads about what is going to happen to our planet if we do not take care of it. They use fear by saying how our fish supply will run out and that we will run our of clean air and water. So that is a way fear can be used in a positive way.
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Re: The Only Thing to Fear is Fear

on Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:14 pm
Fear can be used effectively by scaring someone into thinking that what s/he is doing is wrong or it will hurt someone else in the process. There can be statistics provided to fit the cause and there can be witnesses or people to come forward and speak on the manner. My thoughts about using fear to raise issues with audiences is that it can be a good tactic. For example, this is being used for cigarette adds, to get people to recycle, etc. We even have ordinary people talking to others on a daily basis trying to get people to go to college or learn a trade by using fear tactics. It works, so I definitely agree that fear can be used in a positive way. Many times, people will not budge or change their mindset on views unless there is fear instilled in the process. Once this happens, and people have the chance to go off to their self and think about it, they can change their mind. Too much fear, however, may totally deter the person. So a good balance is necessary.
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Re: The Only Thing to Fear is Fear

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