The Hidden Persuaders - 1959 Author:Vance Packard This book is your eye opener, your guide to the Age of Manipulation into which we are fast entering. Here you will learn what the new breed of motivational researchers are learning about you, the normal citizen as they glide through your subconscious, charting your hidden urges, fears, frustrations, and wish fulfillments. What they are learning ... more »about you, your family, and even your children will astonish you. And how they are using this information to engineer your consents to buy, believe in, and even vote for what they want you to, may well give you a slightly chilly feeling along the spine. These new techniques of research and symbol manipulation have become the bases for a multi-million dollar operation. Indeed, wherever two or three men in grey flannel suits are gathered together figuring how to part you from more dollars, the subject of motivational research, and how and whether to apply it to you is never long absent from the discussion.
Vance Packard initiates you into this eerie world of psychology-professors-turned-merchandisers and public-relations-men-turned-psychoanalysts, and tells you how they operate with their word-association and ink-blot tests. In such arresting chapters as "Babes in Consumerland," "Back to the Breast, and Beyond," and many others, you learn why your wife buys 35 per cent more in the supermarket than she intends to, what sort of neighbor will buy a Buick or Fire Chief gasoline, and what brand of cigarettes he will smoke. You will also be introduced to the new kind of politician who thinks in terms of father images. Analytically and dispassionately, but with humor and in nontechnical style, the author weighs the successes and failures of these apostles of the new persuasion and shows you where they are aiming to take you.
The reader will come away from The Hidden Persuaders with new and fascinating knowledge of what goes on in the deeper recesses of his neighbor's mind-and in his own-and with a heightened awareness of the subtle appeals with which he is constantly being undermined. He will have a sound basis to decide whether this is the first step on the way to the world of Big Brother or merely a new and fascinating, but controllable, advance in the art of persuasion.
Vance Packard, a former newspaperman, has been writing articles and books, based largely on new developments in the social sciences, for fifteen years. His articles have been commended by such an authority as Dr. Pendleton Herring, President of the Social Science Research Council. He has also lectured on magazine writing at New York University.« less