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This entry discusses the identification of propaganda and the measurement of its existence and extent. Persuasion refers to a subset of communication involving the intent to support or change people’s beliefs and behaviors. While intent is not a requisite in defining communication, it is required in defining persuasion so that measures of persuasive effect may be constructed. In its most common current usage, propaganda refers to a form of persuasion usually distinguished by a mass persuasion campaign, often one-sided and fear-based, designed at least in part as an emotional appeal, which attempts to subvert rational processes in creating desired opinions, often by hiding relevant information, which may occur by lying or intentional deception. It also refers to individual messages employed in such a campaign. This ...

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