Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Discussion Leader: "The Word Lab: The Mad Science Behind What the Candidates Say"

1.      In this article, Luntz advises his candidates to use specific words in certain situations because it will determine how a voter feels about the candidate him/herself as well as their attitudes towards their campaign.  Do you agree with Luntz’s claim?  And if so, why?  Can you think of any examples from political leaders [or advertisements unrelated to politics] that influenced you in a certain way due to specific words they [or the advertisers] used?  


2.      In relation to what we are discussing in lecture, do you think advertising companies ALWAYS strategically go through the process of finding out their target audience’s implicit and underlying attitudes BEFORE creating their advertisement?  If not, do you think they should?  Why or why not? If you think they do, what specific advertisement effectively persuaded its audience?


3.      What did Luntz mean when he said, “perception is more real than reality?” Explain your thoughts.


4.      Do agree with Merton when he states that politicians who use Word Labs are insecure about what voters really want and how to talk to them? Why or why not?


5.      In what other ways can the public’s opinion shape politicians’ opinion?  If you cannot find an answer to this question, can you attest that this is a rather far-fetched statement made by Luntz?   


6.      Overall, do you agree with Luntz’s claim or Merton’s claim? Explain your reasons.

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