Just recently I listened to a podcast by Sam Harris and Zeynep Tufecki. The topics covered in this podcast ranged from online behavior tracking to the ethics of persuasion and control of the consumer. The podcast discusses a lot of issues, but I’m only going to talk about one topic and that is persuasion.
Ethics of Persuasion.
This podcast made me think about the ethics of persuading people to do things they might not want to do. Which is funny because I am a student in Advertising and Marketing Communications.
The fact that I could persuade somebody to do anything kind of excites me, but at the same time it terrifies me.
It excites me in a way because it gives me a sense of power. If I can convince someone to do exactly as I say by using my own wit and personality, then I get a boost of confidence. This boost of confidence makes me feel like I can do anything with the power of persuasion.
Could I persuade that woman I find attractive to go out with me? Could I persuade one of my friends to give me one of his french fries? All these scenarios are possible through the power of persuasion.
What terrifies me about persuasion is how it has been used in past to commit horrible acts. Persuasion convinced generations of people to go to war and kill innocent people.
Have you listened to the podcast? If so what did you think of it? If you have an opinion on some of the topics brought up in the podcast or in this blog post please leave a comment below.