Thursday, January 14, 2021

Pro-Liberty PsyOps: Intuition Bias and Semiotics to influence behavior

Dear Readers,  it is a great moment in time to review the concept of semiotics and the deployment of symbols to shift/influence mass behavior.

Of what possible use is this? you may ask.  I put this here today as a reminder to us all that the words, actions and symbols we use can have multiple meanings. You can use these concepts to leverage symbols to better suit your intended message as well.   As symbols gain in popularity or are seen to increase in number/visibility throughout the populace, their ability to influence through "wisdom of the crowd" or "herd mentality" also increases.

Semiotics, from what I recall, is a means to slip concepts, thoughts and emotions into the masses without having to be explicit.  In so doing, a semiotically designed symbol or thing slips past the mental barricades.  It fits in snugly with the "touching the raw amygdala".

I bring this up today to emphasize that the mental phase of combat is well upon us all, and it would be foolish to ignore the opportunity it presents to use tools, images and our intellectual gifts to shortcut our route back to freedom.  This really isn't a "how to" post, but more of a collection of resources, ideas and hopefully inspiration to get you started on your community's journey to positively influencing through messaging and subliminal symbology.

How do symbols influence consumer/mass behavior

Review Ten Rules for Liberty Guerillas

Consider investing and/or borrowing an applicable advertising or integrated marketing textbook to gain some insight on how to "package" and "sell" Liberty ideas and memes.

Click to buy "The Advertising Effect and How to Change Behavior"

Link to purchase "Semiotics - The Basics"

I happened upon an excellent bit of what appear to be class notes from Oregon State University.  I did not save the site, but the content is wholly theirs:


Based on “semiosis,” the relationship between a sign, an object, and a meaning.
The sign represents the object, or referent, in the mind of an interpreter.
“Interpretant” refers to a sign that serves as the representation of an object.
Signs can be verbal (words) or nonverbal.  (from C.S. Pierce, Selected Writings, 1958).

According to C. Morris, people are interpreters of signs.  Signs have three factors that guide interpretation:
The DESIGNATIVE aspect directs to interpreter to a particular object.
The APPRAISIVE aspect highlights object qualities, enabling evaluation.
The PRESCRIPTIVE aspect directs one to respond in specific ways.
-- from C. Morris, Signification and Significance, 1964.

Semiotics - Signs and Meanings
According to Morris, human action involves signs and meanings in three ways:
  • The perception stage - the person becomes aware of a sign.
  • The manipulation stage - the person interprets the sign and decides how to respond to it.
  • The consummation stage - the person responds.
Semiotics - Signs and Values
Three signs ands values connections:
  • Detachment - the person or system maintains autonomy (independence).
  • Dominance - The person or system takes precedence over, controls, or dominates another person or system.
  • Dependence - The person or system needs, is controlled by, or dominated by another person or system.
Actions, Signs, and Values
Action Stages         Sign Dimensions            Value Dimensions Perceptual               Designative              Detachment
Manipulatory            Prescriptive                     Dominance
Consummatory        Appraisive                       Dependence
-- C. Morris, Signification and Significance, 1964.

Langer’s Theory of Symbols
  • S. Langer asserts that symbolism underlies all human knowing and understanding.
  • Prefers the concept of symbol to sign.
  • “Symbols are … vehicles for the conception of objects.”-- Langer, Philosophy in a New Key, 1942.
  • A symbol is “an instrument of thought,” allowing a person to think about something apart from its immediate presence.
Langer’s Theory of Symbols
  • Key relationship: symbol, object, person.
  • Symbols become meaningful in discourse.
  • Symbols can be discursive or non-discursive.
  • Discursive symbolism - language-based thought and meaning
  • Non-discursive symbolism - nonverbal- based emotion and meaning; art, music, dance, etc.
  • Meanings can be found in both non-discursive and discursive symbolism.
Signs, Symbols, Semiotics
  • Every sign has meaning and the potential for multiple meanings.
  • Multiple meanings are socially and culturally influenced.
  • Signs have both denotative and connotative meanings.
Semiotics - What Value?
  • What is the practical relevance of semiotics?
  • What can we learn from semiotics that will help us communicate well?
  • In what situations might semiotics theories apply?
  • Are semiotics theories relevant to both verbal and nonverbal communication situations?

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