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Some Psychological Lessons From Leaflet Propaganda in World War II

Martin F. Herz
The Public Opinion Quarterly
Vol. 13, No. 3 (Autumn, 1949), pp. 471-486
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2745724
Page Count: 20
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Some Psychological Lessons From Leaflet Propaganda in World War II
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Abstract

All those who attempt to influence opinion through the media of information are faced with the problem of evaluating the effects of their communications. The wartime propagandist is in a particularly difficult position, since his audience is usually inaccessible to him. On the basis of experience in the past war, however, certain generalizations can be made regarding principles which should guide the combat psychological warrior: his material must be credible as well as truthful; he must learn how to address potential waverers on the enemy side; he must concentrate his fire; he must not try to export domestic propaganda; he must find some limited area of agreement with his audience; and he must determine which activities would benefit both his audience and his own cause. Certain implications for peacetime propaganda can also be drawn from wartime experience.

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