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Quick Hit: Early persuasion changes interpretation of facts.

Political consultants have generally accepted the power of television as a tool for persuasion, but most campaigns deploy TV at the end of the campaign. This makes perfect sense, given limited budgets and a desire to be salient at a time where actual decisions are being made. However, research into

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Quick Hit: The difference between choosing among attractive vs. unattractive options

Most consumer products or purchases have some level of positives and negatives and choices are often made by a weighing of the option’s attributes. There is a concept called the “attraction effect” – which states that when you introduce a third, inferior option into a binary choice as a decoy,

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Should you raise the room temperature at your events?

Room temperature has been a subject in politics since the Nixon/Kennedy debates of 1960. In the first debate, Nixon was famously sweating on camera (supposedly sick), which led to considerable fighting over the thermostat for the second debate.  Of course, just this last year, temperature became an issue in the

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Should you talk more about your opponent’s future than their record?

“Just as the physical immune system wards off maladies, the “ psychological immune system” wards off malaise by marshalling the remarkable human capacities of reconstrual and rationalization” (Gilbert, 2006 ). Daniel Gilbert is a popular Harvard psychologist, researcher, and author who, aside from being the spokesperson for Prudential, has done

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Are we better off asking people to stop a problem from happening or asking them to help reach a goal?

In the previous article related to the “psychological immune response” we posited that people’s tendency to overestimate their future trauma could be useful in constructing political messages. Data from a study by PhD students Sara Pennard of the University of Manitoba and Olya Bullard of the University of Winnipeg seem

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Timing of disclosures and why you might want to open with “I approve this message.”

If you bothered to read the publisher introduction letter above, you may (or may not) have noted that there’s a bit of a disclaimer. In essence, it was the political consultant version of that 1984 Vicks 44 “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV” ad (see it

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Why political consultants need PsyPology.

The vast majority of professional political consultants I’ve met have an innate sense for advertising and marketing strategy, despite not having ever worked in a traditional advertising agency setting.  Some took courses and others were former campaign operatives – managers, field staff, fundraising, etc – prior to becoming consultants. Our

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