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CHILDS Associate Professor of Politics Princeton University New York: JOHN WILEY & SONS. & Inc.PUBLIC OPINION BY HARWOOD L. Limited . London: CHAPMAN 1940 HALL.

INC. J.C. S. Childs All Rights Reserved This book or any part thereof must not he reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. N. 1940 BY Harwood L. Printed in the U. CAMDEN. THE HADDON CRAFTSMEN. 2. Copyright. A. .

Oregon. to some extent. and to appraise the role of certain institutions and practices in the public-opinion arena. If Humpty Dumpty could make words satisfaction that 134826 . the academic student of public opinion soon discovers that those most realistically concerned with his field of study are men and a women seeking to solve public-relations problems. Nevertheless. and the impact of suggestions are a foreign propaganda on offered for tlie American scene. even though the comes from meticulous refinement of statement is. Stanford University. and propaganda. political leaders. (2) to clarify the meaning of such terms as public relations. public opinion. by their very nature. lish the it may be of value to pub- papers substantially as they were delivered. The purpose of these lectures is twofold: (i) to present a theory of public opinion which will serve as a officials. and the University of Washington in Seattle. Portland.PREFACE is the outgrowth of a series of lectures constituting two weeks' course on public relations organized by the American Council on Public Relations and presented to groups of business men at Reed College. 1940. Starting with the practical problems of public relations I have tried to show how knowledge of public opinion will aid in their solution and what an understanding of public opinion involves. Moreover. THIS volume a part of a Public-relations problems are essentially public-opinion problems. public-opinion re- search. sacrificed. business executives. Definitions and philosophies are. current attempts to analyze propaganda. Limitations of the lecture platform precluded a detailed elaboration of the theses presented. labor leaders. They were also included in the short course offered by the Council in Milwaukee in February. Some improving the functioning of public opinion in democracy. public interest. during the summer of 1939. Special attention is given to public-opinion polls. personal matters. frame of reference for public and group leaders generally who are today at grips with public-relations prob- lems.

and suggestions I that came from those enrolled in the Council's short courses. the Institute for for Company Company. Crofts and lications as indicated in the text. President of the American Council on Public Relations." The National Council Studies and the Atlantic Monthly have been similarly gracious in permitting me to draw upon some material from previously published articles of mine in the lectures on Public-Opinion Polls and Public Opinion and Social Control. William Morrow and Propaganda Analysis. and the Macmillan permission to quote various passages from their pubS. we want them George Cornewall Lewis once stated: on the same subject. The publishers of the Dictionary of American History. Childs .vi Preface to mean what he wanted them our philosophies mean what is mean. me to test my thinking in the fire of comment. and to. 1940 L." I wish to express my gratitude to Professor Rex F. Company. Charles ted Scribner's Sons. Harwood Princeton University March i. they should be aware that they as so can we make The important thing "Where all people talk are not agreed. have generously permitI me to make use of material prepared for them in the lecture on for the Social The Concept "Propagafida. they should be agreed about the vocabulary with which they discuss it: or. the Public Opinion Quarterly^ F. so can we. at any rate. wish also to acknowledge my in- debtedness to the publishers of Vortune magazine. for the opportunity afforded criticism. Harlow of Stan- ford University.

PAGE

What Are
The

Public Relations?

i

Basic Problem of Public Relations
Is

13

What
What

the Public Interest?

Is

Public Opinion?
49^
61

Public-Opinion Polls

Formation of Opinion

The Concept "Propaganda"

{^5

)

The Art

of

Propaganda

(.'"89^'
103

Propaganda and Dictatorship

Propaganda and Democracy
Public Opinion

up
129
143 145

and

Social Control

Notes
Selected References

Name

Index

147
149

Subfeet Index

What Are Public Relations?
recent INa Adiscussion
this statement:
article in the

magazine Fortune, the author introduces of the subject, "The Public Is Not Damned," with

year 1938 may go down in the annals of industry as the season in which the concept of public relations suddenly struck

The

whole generation of businessmen, much comes mistily and overpoweringly to the adolescent. Indeed, during 1938 there was scarcely a convention that did not feature an address on public relations, scarcely a trade magazine that did not devote some space to the subject, scarcely a board of directors that did not deliberate weightily on the powers of the new goddess. And they found that the sphere of this Mona Lisa was all of industry and that she presided over its most bewildering and least tangible aspects.^

home

to the hearts of a

as first love

matched only by widespread disagreement and confusion regarding its meaning. In order to discuss intelligently the backgrounds of public relations we must have a meeting of minds so far as the concept itself is concerned. And right at the outset I wish to stress a note of warning.
Current interest in the subject of public relations
is

If there are

some who subsequently come
is

to feel that
I

my

conception

of this vitally important subject
I

too idealistic,

can only say that

am

not primarily concerned with public relations as they are, but
as they

with public relations
for

should be. Furthermore,

I

hold no brief

much

that

is

labeled public-relations

work

the antics, stunts,

and devices by which individuals and corporations often seem to obtain good will without actually trying to remove the real causes of ill will. I am not particularly interested in any one thousand ways to win friends and influence people. For me the subject of public relations goes much deeper than many current treatises on profestricks,

sional
^

and corporate

etiquette

would

suggest. In

my

opinion the

Superior numbers refer to numbered notes beginning on page 143.
1

" were among the first to feel the necessity of redefining economic freedom in terms of growing social responsibilities. Frequent references are made." And it is worthy of note that public utilities were among the first. for it epitomizes one of the fundamental problems of our times. In defining public relations as "tliose^aspectspf_piir personal and corporate behavior which have a social rather than a purely private aware that I may be taking liberties with a concept that has different meanings for many students of the subject. All that we can reasonably attempt to do is to draw the line as to draw the line of today. for example. because the Telephone System. as well as railroads and other economic units "affected with the public interest.^ And this is not surprising. Bell to the early efforts of the Bell Telephone System in the public-relations field. In order today. apparendy. To define public relations is to define private relations. to draw a line between personal freedom and social responsibility. vital phase of our social. Public relations may be defined as_those_ aspects of our personal and corporate behavior which have a social rather than a purely private and personal significance. livered I have in my possession an address de- by an executive of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1906 on the subject "The Public Relations Problem of the Railroads. Such a line can never be static. Personal freedom is rapidly assuming a new meaning in the face of widespread technological and cultural transformations. The origin of the term is shrouded in mystery. The officials of the Bell Telephone System realized. We cannot see far into the future. however. It certainly was employed in somewhat its current connotation during the early and personal significance" I am years of the present century. and economic life. It is a moving line that must be redrawn continually as conditions change.2 An Introduction to Public Opinion prevailing interest in public relations will continue and increase. even at a time when some prominent officials in steel and other manufacturing industries were pursuing a policy of "the public be damned. The increasing importance of public relations is due primarily to the increasing number of personal and corporate activities which do have this social and public significance. it will be useful to take stock of the immediate past to find out why this problem of public relations has become such an important." that the social effects of their business operations made it . to give attention to the problem. political.

One writer has defined public relations as "the planned presentation of your point of view in terms that will create public understanding and win public acceptance.""" Each of these definitions misses. mutually profitable relations between a business. Before reviewing the important developments of the recent past that have given rise to current interest in the subject of public rela- few definitions of the term in order to underscore the nature of the problem as I see it. not the tempering mental attitudes. if they are contrary to the public interest.What Are impossible for Public Relations? 3 them to define their own personal freedom in such language. so that its position with the public shall be impregnable. Public tions I shall comment on a relations as such art of is not the presentation of a point of view."*^ an- other as "a fundamental attitude of mind ment —which deliberately and with enlightened selfishness places the first —a philosophy of manage- broad interest of the customer in every decision affecting the operation of the business."^ or again "the development of cordial. industry. Another author has defined public gives to its relations as "the name and business still recognition of itself as a political entity.simply a name for activities which have a social significance. The public-relations executive is not primarily a press agent or a propa- gandist. But public relations is more than a new philosophy of management. an essential point. I believe. a to new ism that will serve as an antidote Communism or Fascism. what social effects they have. He is a student of the social effects of personal and cor- porate conduct who undertakes to use his knowledge so as to minimize the harmful consequences of such conduct and to maximize the beneficial effects."^ Of a similar character are these definitions: "By public relations is meant the art of tempering the mental attitude of humanity in general towards a company.is. nor the development of cordial and profitable relations. Public relations simply refers to those . or organization and the public it serves. and. J[t. equitable and."^ These definitions display a broader and deeper philosophical insight. It is not the label for a new technique of propaganda that will necessarily bring fame and fortune to those who use it. Our problem in each corporation or industry is to find "^oilt wliarthese activities are. therefore. to find ways and means for modifying them so that they will serve the public interest.

that have a social significance. what social effects they have. propose to deal with stress the at some length later. is Our conclusion. certain types of activities. not. owing to the change. however. Some have defined public relations as simply the relations of a acts.4 An Introduction to Public Opinion relations or activities of ours It is which have a general. the multiplication of social consequences porate from personal and corThese acts are the subject matter of public relations. for example."** If. whether these effects are contrary to the public interest. For the present is merely wish to point that public relations is it not a new technique of propaganda. Public relations tion for not the name for a new ideology. are of affected with the public interest. business or corporation with the public "judged by the common we mean concept of sound relations human conduct. if whether these are in the public interest. The starting point in our thinking about public relations logically begins. The farmer. often re- ferred to as our staunchest individualist. I know that many and I will ask: I What is the public interest? This it a crucial question. the function of public-relations counsel to find out what these relations are. To insist. therefore. farming operations as he jolly well thought . nor some novel panacea or philosophy to be foisted on business. social significance. nor the designa- an esoteric art of propaganda. The student of public relations wishes to know effects what they are. this: Public relations is simply a name for those activities relations of ours which are public. and. but It is simply the name for many of which were once of personal dynamics of social now. what is social effects they have. therefore. and what modifications in them may is be necessary to bring them in line with the public interest. An outstanding phenomenon recent times has been the increasing scope of these public relations. with a consideration of the more important reasons is why so many of our personal relations have suddenly been trans- formed into public relations. by this definition. what can and should be done. significance. objective character of the expression. activities It is simply the name for a class of personal and group whose changing dimensions affect the lives of all of us. For decades he free to conduct his was quite best. that the term be restricted solely to relations or generally regarded as sound is activities to prescribe ethical limita- tions which ignore the and neutral. having a public or social significance I raise no objection.

. straw.What Are Public Relations? cattle. look deeper to the very elements of social change themselves The forces fact of the matter is. raised mended worries. fire escapes had to be built. Purefood laws were passed. to the party in power. Out of this environment emerged a philosophy of public relations that was essentially a dogma of personal freedom. teachers had to undergo specified types of training before they could enter the classroom. to radicals surreptitiously befouling the minds of the masses. fences. 5 He tilled the soil. but their effects were often minimized. They attributed the change to the grasping. with an abundance of natural resources. having a centripetal tendency to draw indi- viduals together into ever larger. One tions indication or measure of the increasing scope of public relalegislation. to all sorts — of personal devils. doctors and lawyers had to be certified by the state before they could practice their profession. was the adoption of the prohibition amendment. milk had to be tested. These forces were everywhere at work in society. The situation of the farmer was not exceptional. How may we account for these transformations of would-be despoilers ? Shall we attribute this broadening scope of definition to legislative maliciousness or the perfidious activities ? Or must we ? it. then with accelerating tempo conditions changed. Laws were passed regulating the practices of railroads and utilities. harvested crops. Slowly at first. especially in a country such as the United States. Whatever he did or failed to do affected only slightly the welfare of his neighbors and even less the welfare of the community generally. Legislative bodies was began to pass laws regulating the hours and conditions of work of women and children. His public relations were the least among his apples. raised picked and educated his children about as he chose. cut lumber. sociological were at work. selfish aims of individuals and groups. ever closer. Men tried to identify the evil genius. The doctor and the lawyer. the number of persons affected by what they did was small. At first blush it seemed as though some evil spirit motivated the change. the teacher and the business man lived their lives in comparative isolation at least. planted seed. in the The final minds of many. interdependent units. to labor. a measure which brought the drinking habits of the American people within the scope of public relations. as I see that impersonal.

With it went an increasing urbanization of the population. The adoption of direct primary laws and the increase in tive number of elections. historical point of view population growth brought about westward expansion. Corpora- and groups generally were compelled to recognize the political well as the financial implications of what they were doing. Democratic government. But the quality of the population. extended. State after state adopted written constitutions. The nineteenth century.6 An Introduction to Public Opinion forces. From the national. added The tions as opinions of the masses became politically significant. but formal responsibilities likewise expanded. the opening up of new areas. its composition. experienced a slow and written and uncertain expansion until the end of the eighteenth century. the enlargement of the electorate.wa*-population Onsjoitht most obvious of these sociological grow. Even then the suffrage was narrowly restricted and mass opinion as a factor in government was largely ignored. . and attitudes exert a influence power upon the scope and nature as of public relations. mores. Personal and economic freedom in sparsely settled communities has a very different connotation from what it has in metropolitan areas or in a country with a high degree of population density.th. witnessed a rapid and continuous development from these early beginnings. however. The suffrage was progressively of popularly elected officials. After the passing of the frontier. and the end of the nineteenth century the rate of population growth declined. Students of population tell us that this rate is likely to constable tinue its downward tendency until we have a much more relation between population and natural resources. constitutions. and the ever-changing character of its customs. No student of public relations may ignore the implications of this great sociological force. It has affected and will continue to affect the social character of our activities. Not only did the proportion of the population officially participating in public affairs steadily increase. in the sense representative assemblies. I have mentioned some of the implications of population growth in quantitative terms. and referendum. as well as the spread of the initiato the civic responsibilities of citizens. however. the interrelations of different nationalities within it. Of equal importance relations are political an explanation of the growth of public changes. and expanding dimensions of publics and markets.

however. The significant thing so far as the is student of public relations is concerned that the spread of educaincreases the tional facilities raises the expectations citizens.What Are Public Relations? 7 Another reason for the increasing significance of public relations the spread of educational facilities with the accompanying increase niiitefacy. and one out of seven of college age. an increasing proportion of the population visualizes new ideals and expects turned out by our and freedom. It is know that they have a higher standard of living than the Russians or the Orientals. and demands of In many cases it aggravates discontent with existing condi- tions. the social implications of our activities assume a new meaning. remedy them. and even more important. are in a secondary school or college. Democratic government not only assigns a large proportion of its but also seeks to citizens increasing responsibilities in the determination of public policies. whether the increase there be such. and makes public opinion a Masses of illiterates and so the uneducated persons of happiness may be contemptuously ignored in our pursuit growing numbers of people The social and public consequences of our actions may remain the same. multiplies efforts to more volatile. higher standards of living. articulate factor in state life. the size of the population and its composition may remain unaltered. are ques- tions of far-reaching importance. The public support of schools and colleges. and Discontent arises because of the gap between not enough for American citizens to expectations realities. and statutory is rules affecting child labor made the three R's the general rather than It is the exceptional equipment of the population. make its citizens competent to deal with is them. even our form of government may remain unchanged. the introduction of compulsory school-attendance requirements. estimated that more than two and ally for three-fourths billions of dollars are spent annu- education in this country. Whether the competence of public opinion ing. The full sweep of the changes accompanying this development is only partially suggested by the fact that nearly one-fourth of the population of the directly or indirectly United States is engaged in educational activities. . Not mammoth educational systems. keeps pace with increasing responsibilities. not those of other peoples. They evaluate conditions in terms of their own ideals. if actually increasin competence. and that one out of every two persons of secondary-school age. If.

The foul air. the clangor.8 An Introduction to Public Opinion shuttle trains For many years the subway system of New York has operated between Times Square and the Grand Central Station. Today the situation has changed. but owing especially to the fact that people have come to expect more from transportation agencies than simply a piece of rolling stock that rolls between two terminals. financing. and distribution. "Watch your step. to the fact that people in New York have become more articulate politically. perhaps. No doubt when the shuttle was constructed people using this mode of transportation were more or less satisfied." as you leap from platform to train. For figures were extremely modest. it The subway was a purely private undertaking. it was not until the last few decades of the nineteenth century that newspapers with a daily circulation of over a million copies were possible. and jamming are almost unbelievable. printing. consequences or public The management had no public-relations problem. the dust. as they have done for decades. Guards shout. noise. typesetting. Although journalism in a crude state came to this country with the early colonists. social and the company atti- need assume no responsibility for tudes. Only the pressure of steam or forced air could possibly close the doors. These trains operate today much as they operated when the system was built. They have been educated to demand more. At any rate. sion The development and improvement of may also be cited as a reason for the agencies of mass impresincreasing significance of public relations. At times the congestion at both terminals is indescribable. The situation has become a public-relations problem. Radio communication prior to the spite of . owing in part to the growth in population. In improved methods of news-gathering. This is only one instance which illustrates the interaction of forces bringing about a changing concept of personal freedom and public relations. from the or leave operating company's point of view passengers could take it. the Revolution that a daily paper many years thereafter circulation it was not until after the close of was published in this country. You hold your breath and squeeze into the train on the general theory that there is always room for one more. The advent of motion pictures and radio broadcasting is largely the story of the last twenty years. the poorly constructed platforms. to an increase in the number of people using this supposed "convenience".

Today nearly three-fourths of the families in the United States sets. the growth of radio was phenomenal. We have to do not only with larger. It after the was not World War. and more responsible publics. They have increased the power and influence of those in a position to control and use these instruments and. realities. that possibilities as an agency of mass impression began vices to be realized. have weakened the relative influence of those who do not have access to them. Technical improvements in means of communication have produced marked effects upon the scope of public relations. whose opinions probably are changing A mechanized world which enables at a rate individuals to establish contact with millions of people simultane- world in which opinion changes over wide areas are certain to occur more frequently and suddenly. after the creation of the Radio Corporation of America in 1919 and subsequent improvements in sending and receiving apparatus. And so with the motion which its really started its dramatic until career during the last years of the nineteenth century. In fact these possibilities were definitely restricted until after the invention of sound-recording de- and the installation of talking pictures in theatres throughout the country. better-informed. newspapers and magazines with circulaa tions in the millions can produce opinion revolutions as different from the slow evolutionary changes of the past as TNT is different from gunpowder. feature pictures displayed at the same time throughout the country and over the world. They have greatly enlarged the size of publics. The tempo of technological changes in this field may even be accelerated now that television and facsimile transmission have become picture. However. by an . deal with publics We also more rapid than ously is ever before.What Are Public Relations? 9 World War was used chiefly for maritime and experimental purposes. beginning in 1928. New doctrines and ideologies which in the past could not be brought to the attention of the masses except by a slow process of infiltration can now be broadcast one minute with the expectation that they will take effect the next. at the same time. however. Nationwide hookups. The first real broadcast in this country did not occur until 1920. A speech by the President. own radio and it is estimated that broadcasting stations have a daily audi- ence of more than thirty-seven millions.

No better evidence of this can be found than in the economic sphere. the Orient. but sometimes distorted. In face-to-face communities and groups our friends were and could evaluate our motives and activities in the light of this knowledge. Our social responsibilities have expanded and. specialization and division of labor. the radio. are brought into closer touch with everybody's problems. the concentration and integration of business units. weeks and months to bring to the attention of the the result of an election or the course of international relations the next day. where economic forces have step by step vested our personal freedoms with greater and greater social responsibilities. may now be heard simultaneously by millions and affect ican industrial or political leader. mass production. Not so the masses who are incessantly peering at us through the magnified. The activities of farmers in turn have a direct . and the motion picture have upset traditional notions of privacy and exposed us to the gaze of the multitude. The press. the The activities of manufacturers affect directly the welfare of farmers. Inquiring reporters and congressional investigating committees stand ready to headline any or all of our activities for the entertainment of curious masses. sociological. Almost over night each of us may find himself living in a glass house. Probably nothing has so profoundly affected our traditional freedoms as these developments in the field of communications. tional life are To their own problems of family and occupaadded the worries and problems of central Europe. workers. and consuming public. probably will expand. Africa. Our personal freedoms have been increasingly circumscribed.10 An Introduction to Public Opinion which formerly would have taken bulk of the Amerpeople. The concept therefore. by cultural. and South America. political. broadcasters. trade unionism. of public relations in our times has been affected. Indications of this are numerous: the increasing size of undertakings. But this is not all. and motiongenerally knew us for what we really _picture producers. to what limits no one knows. and widening of markets. One consequence more of this is that individuals are subjected to many stimuli than formerly. lenses of journalists. The doors of our skeleton closets are thrown wide open. and technological changes of a fundamental nature. multiplication and refinement of products. standardization.

manufactured and distributed. of intricate cessitate the cooperation of an ever-increasing and refined goods nenumber of economic We usually cite the example of assembly lines in our large automobile industries. If it is difficult to keep an automobile assembly line functioning efficiently from the ore mines at one end to the garages at the other. To lament the increasing centralization of control within industry. purchase automobiles at the prevailing price. The production and manufacture units. to and to use typewriters. however. is to plead for cruder commodities and less refined services. greater security. Economic threats of dictatorial aggrandizement. taxes — all these have served to multiply ten- sions. We do not wish to lower our standards of goods and services. to decry the advent of bigness and monopoly. create feelings of discontent and insecurity. and the welfare of the national economy is dependent upon the proper functioning of each unit. have submarines. What it has failed to do is to take account of the social responsibilities it assumed by so doing. have radios in our homes. our whole economic system is an assembly line. In order to realize tions discontented groups many of their hopes and expectahave turned to the government for aid. our economy. and produce a more vigorous struggle for control over that instrument of salvation.What Are Public Relations? 11 bearing upon both the purchasers and the users of their products. . public opinion. how much more difficult must it be to order the functioning of an entire national economy? The one affect the work of introduction of this assembly-line principle into our national econ- omy to is the inevitable price we pay for the to many kinds of goods and services we have. profits. price changes. Any satisfactory explanation of the growing significance of public relations may not ignore the many events of the post-war period that have disposed the masses to criticize the traditional functioning of unemployment. To run trains on time. and yet we insist upon a type of national economy in which they cannot be provided. There we can see vividly how the actions of many. In a very real sense. The failure of one person to do his job properly may throw the whole undertaking out of order. demands for crises. periods of depression. natural resources from all parts of the country and the world have to be processed and assembled. Business through its inventive capacity has awakened in the minds of the masses wants that never existed and has provided the means for satisfying them.

con- fronted with a domestic situation which calls for an increasing amount of social budgeting and cooperation. .12 An Introduction to Public Opinion To obtain control over the government they have become more and more politically minded. which calls for a united front against dic- we are being forced to modify our traditional conceptions of where the line should be drawn between personal freedom and social responsibility. and the public opinion with respect to government are being subjected to more searching analyses than ever before. It is evident that. We cannot have a planned econbefore. but it has taken awaken business to this point of view. very largely. Previously the power of money and material resources to assure supremacy. and in the face of an international situation tatorial aggression. the mass taking place at a greatly acare being forced to effects of their actions. Labor and agrarian groups almost from the a outset v^^ere politically to New Deal confident of their minded in this sense. the functions of government with respect to leadership of opinion. the tenets of personal freedom. In a world in which social change celerating rate is and in which governments assume role of greater responsibilities. the problems that arise because of increasing scope of our activities which have significance. omy cise capable of satisfying our wants efficiently and continue to exerliberties quite as our accustomed the we have done We a must social face the problems of public relations. w^hich in the American sense of the term means that they have become more and more conscious of the importance of public opinion. business leaders ignored.

as I see it. which make for We now turn to the question What.'^ forces : The basic problem of public relations. These publics are important. It is the job of public-relations counsel and students to study these effects. economic. a new industry has apare peared on the American scene — television. employees. the basic problem of public relations. 13 . and the relations with them constitute a part of the problem. cultural. and economic is greater social interdependence." We defined it as those aspects of our personal and corporate behavior which have a social rather than a purely private last lecture dealt and personal the reasons significance.The Basic Problem of Public Relations OUR with the meaning of the term "public relations. But the effects of personal and corporate activities extend far beyond the limits of our immediate corporate family to the masses generally. We discovered that an adequate explanation pre- supposed an understanding of the operation of certain basic sociological. One of the first on public relations and students of the subject is to analyze personal and corporate behavior in terms of their effects upon the community. And by community I do not mean simply the corporate community of stockholders. is to reconcile or adjust in the public interest those aspects of our personal and cor- which have a social significance. ascertain the extent to which the production and manuof activities. and cultural background of these activities. in the light of these changes. for example. and consumers. Whether we manu- facturers or users of television receiving sets. political. corporate activities cannot be pursued satisfactorily unless Within the past few years. This analysis of our pejsonal and porate behavior tasks of the counsel we have an adequate understanding of the sociological. why the concept has broadened in scope and we focused attention upon some of and importance in recent years. political. Without this knowledge we cannot evaluate properly the social implications of our work. the introduction of this new medium nature of our communication is certain to affect the scope and But how ? This is a problem of public relations.

a real understanding of sociological trends in contemporary society. 1901 the Throughout its history it has continued to publish detailed informaStates Steel Corporation recognized tion regarding its operations. How^ does the introduction of this profits. relations The counsel on public must be in a position not only to follow day by day the ever-changing nature of public relations. their conditions. The United from the time of its founding in nationwide importance of news of Big Steel's activities. teachers. their new it instrument affect other industries. their employment does public methods of carrying on business ? How affect other groups in the population ? —farm- ers. the practices— their basing-point system. but also to anticipate probable trends and consequences. This foresight is one of his most priceis not something that comes as manna out of heaven.14 An Introduction to Public Opinion and interests. It has actually been used by farseeing executives to anticipate the probable effects of specific changes in corporate policy upon public relations. but it is the product of wide knowledge and experience. their labor import of sociological changes outside the industry. officials. but of all facture of television sets affect the habits elements in the population. The . Numerous illustrations could be cited to show how this knowledge less possessions. But for a long time steel operators failed to take account of the social implications of many other aspects of their corporate policy. by an educational institution. There industry is first of all the public-relations problem of the television that itself and the various units compose it. stockholders and customers. by a private corpora- tion affect the relations of these agencies or institutions with the numerous publics with which they come alter the relations of in contact? How it does it such publics with us. but equally important to forecast what those effects are likely to be in is the future. and how does ? modify it is the relations of such publics with one another It is not only necessary to identify effects as they occur. Only an intelligent appreciation of the historical backgrounds of Big its of industrial relations could have given the management as it Steel the foresight to anticipate the wide implications of decision some months ago to modify its employee policy did. not only of employers and employees. housewives How will its use by a gov- ernment agency. Otherwise serious difficulties may arise before there an opportunity to control or modify practices.

They evi- dence some recognition of the changing panorama of social change. left the telephone industry virtually unscathed. 1937. particularly the defunct National Electric Light Asso- ciation. At once he substituted for women men operators. gas. really reflected an exceptional appreciation of current trends. the inauguration of a national advertising campaign in Long before the electric-light. and power industries sensed the growing antipathies of the masses to corporate practices in the public-utility field telephone executives had divorced their business. industries. retailing. in March. for example. earliest. Attacks on the utilities. by the American Telephone and Telethem have since been followed by other Considerable progress has been made in the electrical. patience and tact necesannoying problems which arose the switchboard in dealing with subscribers. which culminated is thoroughgoing governmental investiga- tions. Further recognition of the public implications of the business came with 1908. auto- .I. that the work of men for the most part. from in other types. the public-relations implications of the business. One of the public-relations programs ever conceived in the history of American business was that of the Bell Telephone System. a foresight in the business field. the new "open-house" programs. so far as the public mind was concerned. He noticed.O. banking. representatives of the press. But the problem of interpublic adjustment goes much deeper and — necessitates a far social trends more comprehensive and farsighted detailed diagnosis of than even Big Steel has envisaged. as few did at the time. all too unusual Much is made in the literature of public relations of recent efforts by the United States Steel Corporation to improve its relations with the public: the new pressroom at 71 ceivable facility for contributing to the Broadway with every concomfort and convenience of era of executive cordiality. which came as a shock to many business leaders. Many of food. failed to display the sary for meeting satisfactorily the at his telephone operators.The Basic Problem of Public Relations 15 dramatic signing of an agreement with the C. petroleum. This not the place to describe in detail the mechanics of public- relations practice as followed graph Company. the use of films and pamphlets to tell the "Story of Steel. manufacturing." These efforts are good as far as they go. As far back as 1883 Theodore Vail perceived. airplane.

mobile. One example of maladjustment is in the field of international relations. and social background. all too slowly perhaps. take account of the gaps and lags in social progress out of which the real arise. Even the dictatorial powers will slowly. of trends and relationships in the field of social change. and more than that with the life history of the American people: their economic. etc.16 An Introduction to Public Opinion fields. motion-picture. They sense the importance of propaganda and the necessity for taking into account the . and other Relations with the press have been improved . the basis of stock ownership has been broad- ened. railroad. political. It is because of these efforts. and cannot. radio. to be worth anything.. in some cases contacts with the public have been improved by "open-house" committees. It My only conten- that does not go deep enough. Governments as well as unofficial groups and institutions have their public-relations problems. Public-relations advice. and simply cannot pursue a policy of complete isolation from the rest of the world. The basis for an enlightened public-relations and always must be a thorough understanding of the forces that make those relations what they are. It must begin with the life history of the person and the corporation. Telling one's story tion is certainly an important development. The actions of government agencies as well as individuals have ever before. advisory employees have been trained to "say it with a smile". more far-reaching social implications today than The freedom of individual states to act as they wish without regard to the general activities has been steadily worldwide implications of their diminishing. integral parts of an international come to realize that they are community. community welfare programs have been introduced. must be grounded on a comprehensive knowledge of the past. They apparendy do appreciate the import of changes in the field of communication upon international relations. that public rela- come is it to be defined solely in terms of publicity. the film and the radio have been used. advertising appropriations have increased. brewing. good tions has in themselves. does not. It is evident that the adjustment of corporate and personal relations having a public and social significance with fundamental social trends has not taken place in many spheres of human affairs. business reporting has been modernized. parties. a careful analysis of the problems is policy social implications of specific practices.

is our tendency to act. Our failure to take part in the League of Nations. Management restricts its research activities to the technical field. and political forces that are definitely affecting other nations. for example. to avoid the implications of activities that affected people throughout the world. of central Europe? Years ago it might not have had much significance. But the dictatorships have not been alone in failing to take account of the changing character of government public relations. and the United States in particular. our tariff policies. political important —economic. I believe. focuses attention solely upon the material fac- . World Court. without careful consideration of the social. the worldwide significance of our much greater. too often without due regard to the far-reaching and cumulative effects of these changes. altered technological processes. But the interdependence of nations and states is far different today from if what it was then. Our international difficulties can be solved only we attempt to adjust our public relations on a basis more in accord with the public interest. what difference does it make what effect this act has upon the peoples of the Far East. If I were to assign one basic reason for the difficulties I would say that they are due primarily to a failure on the part of both parties to take full account of social changes that have mate- rially affected the implications of their activities. States. Management. internationally perceived. our delay in joining the cies. than on a purely national basis.The Basic Problem of Public Relations 17 opinions of the masses througliout the world. of South America. during the years immediately following the World War tried. economic. Nevertheless they seem to ignore other changes. One of our actions. ostrich-like. — ^persistently delimiting the bounds of state discretion. has introduced introduced all new machines. We say: Well. The democracies. new labor-saving devices. I What I am not prescribing a foreign policy for the United am seeking to do is to emphasize the importance of our relations with adjusting our foreign policies to the operation of social. legislatively and otherwise. other forces quite as social. fabricated new products. our trade poli- our immigration laws reflected an old spirit of nationalism developed in an era when the dimensions of national freedom were most lamentable shortcomings as a nation. Another striking example of maladjustment is in the field of labor relations.

hov^ever. standards of living. This is true. this Where some effort has been made to take advantage of work. Ever since the beginning of the and even before. examand eco- nomics. because of the varying rates at . How many business firms now have a public-relations depart- ment within their organization. whether it is economic or military. our institutions of higher learning have been devoting an increasing amount of attention to the study of the social sciences. Unfortunately. Every change in corporate and personal behavior has widespread repercussions and tends to throw economic and other systems out of joint unless the change is properly synchronized with other changes. attitudes of mind. the objective has been the interests of a particular business unit. continuing study of the imphcations of business activities relations generally. but the social implications of what they are doing? Members of managerial staffs have introduced to new machines and processes. an enlarged scope of freedom rather than an adjustment of activities to growing social responsibilities. social psychology. but also for the national economy as a whole. Using the military analogy one might say that the public-relations difficulties of American business have arisen because some divisions have moved ahead so much more rapidly than others that they have lost touch with neighboring units and disorganized the general advance. political science. It has got out of cultural lags. to an ination of sociology. or. a social science division capable of analyzing and interpreting for them. the effect of these changes upon competitors. it is imperative that all units advance at something like the same rate or else invite disaster. upon erally ? the economic system gen- Industrial problems arise. In moving forward towards a goal. upon consumers. not only for individual units within the economic system. but where have they attempted the effects measure upon the conditions of employees. and provides no machinery for a comprehensive and upon social tv^^entieth century. not merely the balance-sheet significance of their operations. these findings have not been placed at the disposal of business units u^ithin our society to the extent that they should. such as the attempt to apply principles of psychology and social psychology to advertising. because which different aspects of social change take place. profits. for that matter. so students of sociology tell us.18 An Introduction to Public Opinion tors involved.

Notice has been given that we are to be investigated.The Basic Problem of Public Relations 19 of touch with allied forces of social. I for all these lives I fundamental changes that have taken place since in the cite just and attitudes of peoples should like to one more example of what are all mean by a aware of the current emphasis For decades states have been passing statutes designed to promote the health of its citizens. general front. the rise of new philosophies crises and depression. cultural. the introduction of new types of employment. as We zealously try to pick though its up where we 1917 and insist on the same old freedoms without regard throughout the world. Rock Sleyster. of their hopes and expectations the effects of widespread popular education. Dr. old-age. own activities. Too little account has been taken of the direction and rate of change in employee attitudes. Society of an address before the 173rd annual convention of the Medical New Jersey on June 6. excoriated. the fundamental effects occasioned by the World War. To be sure we read about them. and economic change and tried to win the war itself. 1939. A point has now been reached where the public-relations problem. but seldom did we transfer our knowledge to the arena of our . We still talk about a return to normalcy and the American course had been fixed in 1914. and more particularly by changing attitudes toward the responsibility of the community in matters of health. medical profession in is on the defensive. We knew something about the havoc it occasioned. progress in the technological sector has advanced sector. More recently we have been witnessing the spread of various types of social. and hospitalization insurance plans. . We upon what is called socialized medicine. These statutes reflect in large part changed conditions brought about by the rise of cities. left off in Way. flagellated and perhaps nation's physicians are being libeled The a regularity that . In the field of labor relations. improvements in communication and transportation agencies. And yet we failed to take account of the many fundamental changes that ensued. said and threatened with shows method and purpose by a storm of propaganda for socialized medicine. much more rapidly than progress in the sociological There has existed no general staff to synchronize and direct operations on a broad. President of the American Medical Association. We knew that a World War occurred.

The frantic efforts to preserve is former freedoms times. desirable. its import upon and relation to activities in other fields. for we too have dared to excommunicated. and cultural forces that have been operating for a long time. The medical profession is not the victim of group of people with wild-eyed schemes of social reform. And so the American Medical Association is finally discovers that it has a public-relations problem! But what lem. labor relations. differ with the all-wise. It should have tried to keep pace a malevolent with these changes. It ing and frequently a painful process to try to catch up with the No public-relations counsel can wave a magic wand and sud- denly turn back the onward surge of social forces. What comparable record have the purveyors of other necessities of life to offer } . . that an enlightened public- relations policy would have would have taken always an exasperat- measures long ago to deal with them. economic. Its difficulties are largely due to its own blindness to social. . however. In all fields —international is relations. This is not to say that It all phases of social change are necessarily anticipated them. certainly a shortsighted policy. have refused to be stampeded into agreeing with their unAmerican and revolutionary doctrines. No amount of publicity can really basic. It should have anticipated these social trends. stem the operation of The method of con- . understanding of the A public-relations policy envisaged solely in terms of is propaganda. have called attention to dieir inaccuracies. does suggest. now seem a bit ill-timed. and the nature of this probis why has it arisen? If our preceding analysis correct the problem has arisen because social change has proceeded more rapidly in some sectors of our social life than others. medicine. socialized forces. and throughout our national economy struggles for progress without a progress that really going on. because the medical profession as a whole has not been following carefully enough the social implications of its work. It should have been aware of these forces long ago. The publicrelations problems of the medical profession have been growing like a cancer for years. of word and symbol manipulation. No credit is given to a profession that has given a million dollars a day in free service and millions more at far below cost. —we may sufficient observe similar trends.20 An Introduction to Public Opinion God help us.

and the search for answers must be a search for the reasons why these lags exist. or a statistician. cultural. and sociology. I is have stated that the basic problem of public relations as I see it to reconcile or adjust in the public interest those aspects of our personal and corporate behavior which have a public significance. intent on turning on more switches and pressing more buttons. . their plaintive voices have been silenced by the onrush of the mob.The trol Basic Problem of Public Relations 21 must be predicated on a continuous. and social trends of our times we cannot ascertain. working out a public-relations policy is a careful analysis of our personal and corporate behavior in the light of social change generally. political. where they exist. Without knowing the basic economic. Throughout the rank and file of our population bewilderment prevails. searching analysis of these fundamental forces. The business of producing and distributing goods and services must be studied in relation to the total situation. installed machines. the public implications of what we are doing. and opened flood gates without fully understanding the basic laws of biology. He must be a social scientist capable of advising management regarding the environment in which it is operating. turned switches. and what can be done to synchronize social movement. the total environment in which we are functioning. if And there have been some who have thought that they understood them. This principle applies regardless of the size of the unit concerned. much less anticipate. Executives of corporations cannot afford to devote all or even the major portion of their energies solely to technological considerations. We have pressed buttons. It is the lag between social trends that gives rise to our problems. They must raise starting point in their eyes to the level of The wider horizons. psychology. a journalist. The public-relations counsel must be something more than a publicist.

It is my thesis that our publicproblems arise because we are unable or unwilling to as- sume cause insist the social responsibility for our actions we should. All too frequently he discovers principles or invents techniques only to have them seized and used scientist at to the detriment of his fellow men. This truism has been sciences frequently ignored in the interminable discussions about the nature of a science and the applicability of the methods of physical to the study of social It is phenomena. He has been quite as indifferent to his social responsibilities as leaders in other all walks of little life. for the analyze pereffects. Now own The is the social scientist himself must accept a part of the respon- sibility for this state of affairs. It is not only shortsightedness but also un- willingness to act that produce catastrophic gaps and lags within the arena of social change. And the fruits of his research should be placed at the disposal of the community. in these two I propositions: (i) that our aspects of our personal significance. allow citizens of Recently the press of the country announced that a famous natural Harvard University had refused 22 to ." obvious difference between a social science and a natural science is social and the other is not. He de- claims incessantly about "science" but the fact that one too about "social.What HAVE Is the Public Interest? our discussions thus far. (2) that adjust such relations to that will relations pubHc relations are essentially those and corporate behavior which have a social the basic problem of public relations is to the broader aspects of social change in a way promote the public interest. tried to establish. however. social scientist to not enough. either be- we fail to recognize their social implications or because we on a definition of personal freedom in terms that are outmoded. sonal and corporate behavior in terms of their social He must posit a standard or criteria of social welfare. It is our failure to adjust in the public interest our conception of what are and what are not public relations that is the real source of our difficulty.

the learned. The prevailing attitude among many natural scientists all seems to be that their profession relieves them from doing. have I been prostituted to the uses of regret to say that is And much of the prevailing interest in public relations often based to how fulness. The fruits of advertising research. in all this ? But what is the public interest. a public interest. from the long-time point of view. have been taken and used by patent-medicine vendors and manufacturers of adulterated foods with even greater avidity than by those seeking to promote even indifferently worth-while among social services. Here was an academic research worker and world-renowned scientist who had the courage to act upon a recognition of the broad public-relations implications of his work and to insist that his discoveries be devoted to what he believed to be the public interest. so the clever arguruns. be serving the true public interest? How often have we heard . extent responsibility for taking the public interest into consideration in what they are And I regret to say that this point of view exists to a large social scientists. who can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the sale of narcotics. In many cases our psychological laboratories socially undesirable causes. our smart friends will ask? Who Who Who ment competent to say? The fact of the matter is. but to implement and aggrandizement. upon no broader idealism than the desire to find out promote some profitable cause irrespective of its social useThere is always a lurking. and the deleterious nostrums may not. really is knows whether to say tariffs are in the public interest or not utility rates are ? competent whether prevailing contrary to the public interest? As a matter of fact. for example. the scientists. The fact that his action was headline news only goes to show how dramatic a departure it was from racial selfishness the ordinary. How can I persuade the masses to accept my is my gadgets. the intelligentsia disagree. that no one knows what the public interest is. not to promote public welfare. And with what result? Over and over again the laboratories of the social scientists have been ravaged to promote the interests of private groups with little or no thought of the social effects. adulterated foods. curious interest in the question: I How can mold public opinion? ideas. my services? Now where is one to look for a social purpose. Even the scholars.Wha( Is the Public Interest? 23 Fascist countries to use his discoveries because they would presum- ably employ them.

collective opinions of the Now thing. public. especially since the World War. Public opinion with respect to the social value of adulterated foods . to philosophers themselves. then the results will be futile. In a world of multiplying ideologies and conflicting interests. thesis that the public interest. absolute standards of value have gone into the discard. If the simply looking for an opportunity to endow or finance some form of research activity merely to gratify the desire for prestige and social recognition. and of the public interest. The underlying motivation for public-relations study must be a desire to serve the public interest. competitive system. Does not the latter ensure the survival of the fittest? The concept "public interest" in company with much idealism has suffered a severe setback in recent years. much satisfaction And in the midst of perplexing uncertainties social scientists themselves have retreated to the four walls of their laboratories. use alcohol to excess. so we are told. the problems of public relations will become more rather than less acute and distressing. for who alive. a irrespective of few more schemes other side is promoting private objectives is the public interest. If one side merely seeks to discover a mutual concern for the public few more tricks. is and can only be what the says it is. Theories of relativism and pragmatism have tried to give some semblance of philosophical sense to the situation but without except. likewise the rigorous operation of an uncontrolled.24 An Introduction to Public Opinion argument those that intemperance may really be a blessing in disguise. Current interest in the subject of public relations can materialize into something worth while only if it brings social scientists and executives together on the for basis of welfare. and with monastic fatalism and skepticism insisted that they have no concern with questions of values. may better be dead than Intemperance serves to weed out the unfit. perhaps. so far as the my United States is concerned. it is clear that public opinion rate of is a The change is affected by many dynamic and changing influences and is and narcotics greater with respect to some subjects than others. That is obviously the inspiring motive behind this great undertaking the American In- — stitute of It is Public Relations. By mass opinion I mean the American people as a whole. what mass opinion. there little point to the undertaking. of social responsibility.

Moreover. So far as I* know. dictatorial elites are careful to point out that the source of their will and inspiration is really public opinion. but persistently the impact of social change forced least so far as temporal matters are them to recant at concerned. be a truer expression of public opinion than the votes of the electorate on election day. geographic explorations. Skeptics observe.What is Is the Public Interest? 25 certainly far more stable than it is with respect to the use of alcoopinion as a criterion of public hol or the desirability of a given neutrality policy. however. and the Industrial Revolution started a chain of developments which finally brought about the undermin- ing of the church as the sole dispenser of truth and revelation. There danger. only. that sometimes dictators are compelled to employ the far-fetched argument that their will may. the Renaissance and Reformation. There was a time when churches purported tories of divine insight into the true nature of the public interest. theory that divine revelation via specific human is channels gave inter- one man or group of men a monopolistic preview of pubhc less gradually losing its convincingness. the degree of certainty and conviction with which public opinion supports or disapproves of public policies varies. the masses have discovered. in assuming that divinity reveals the public interest through the minds of the masses than there is in the belief that it reveals this interest through specially inspired individuals or to be the sole reposi- groups. speak in terms of i\}c\\ special-interest groups have never indulged ju the species of scholastic dialectics of the . Americans have become accustomed and the public interest. The invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century. The public conception and more precise in some fields than The American The to est is theory of social adjustment and public interest has been gradually divorced from other notions that prevailed for a time. of special-interest groups that they. In our consideration later on of the efficacy of public interest this fact of the relative degree of stability of public opinion regarding different subjects should be kept in mind. to the ever-recurring claims they. advent of Fascism and National Socialism would seem to revival of earlier tendencies. in some instances. of public interest will be clearer others. Nevertheless it is The mark a significant to note that these self-ordained.

I believe. It may astonish us. of this if Perhaps will help us to comprehend some common sense that resides in the collective results of the mind of the masses we last glance at the few years. such as those conducted by the American Institute of Public Opinion and the magazine Fortune. Experience indicates that divisions group would probably be about the same as those in the larger public. that the masses are by no means as destitute of it common sense as is sometimes supposed. They do suggest. At least it would be unlikely that the differences would be due solely to an intelligence-quotient factor. by and is large. on foreign affairs. over reasonably long periods of time. indicating no convincing preponderant state of opinion one way or another. perhaps. to reestablish faith in the underlying tenets of democ- racy. box. Since that time the people of the country have been polled on more than five hundred issues: wide polling activities in on political and economic questions. Most of still these claims are discounted persists in or discredited altogether. garden variety of pubHc opinion that ex- presses itself at the ballot. however. lish. the wisdom of the masses. And of course we assume that our Institute polls American during the conception of the public interest makes sense! If time permitted it would be group on interesting and profitable to poll the opinions of our own with a set of Institute questions and compare the results those of the nationwide polls. The results of these surveys tend. The American Institute of Public Opinion launched its nationof opinion within this October. and on a wide variety of social problems ^ For many questions the division of opinion was mai-ked. Of course these experiments cannot estab- in the absence of objective absolute standards.26 An Introduction to Public Opinion Fascists. the wisdom of the electorate. however. the theory that. has been the light they have thrown on the matter of the competence of the masses. But there some quarters the pronouncements notion that somehow or other the opinions of the masses are less likely to be expressions of public interest than the of savants. In such Cases it would be hazardous . to pass upon questions of public policy. One of the principal contributions of nationwide polls. and sought to differentiate between a true pubHc opinion and the ordinary. 1935. to find how closely the judgments of the masses coincide with our own. public opinion as safe a guide to follow as the opinions of smaller and select groups.

no lasting signifiVery often they dealt with exceptional situations. Would you favor changing the term of office of the President of the United States to one six-year term with no re-election? (June.What Is the Public Interest? 27 to use public opinion as a guide to public policy. and the answers were undoubtedly influenced by the particular conditions.) No—79%. "Do you think stock prices will go higher or lower in the next six months?" "Have you heard about the Wall Street case of Richard Whitney?" and "Is the Republican Party dead?" Of particular significance. Undoubtedly many of these questions could have been phrased so as to elicit more significant answers. 2. Yes 77%. 1936. however. a 70 per more agreement." asked in took to test the prophetic genius of the masses August. Of a similar type were the questions. are the answers to questions regarding matters of widespread social import on which the masses which show.) for Roosevelt? No— 70%. the question.) In your opinion. In other instances cance. which will do more to get us out of the depression increased government spending for relief and public works or helping (September.) 3. 5. 1937. some were questions of fact or asked the respondent to prophesy the future. 1938. Should the government do away with the direct relief? WPA and give only cash or (May. No—74%. For example.) — Help business —79%. but a review of them may not be without value. will be another "Do you think there World War?. Should the federal government reduce expenditures now? 4. 1937. . The question which I take a decided stand. for example. Moreover. first of all the questions on political and economic Do you favor a third term (April. answers cent or should like to have you keep in considered is: mind as the results of these polls are is Do they indicate that mass opinion or is not a safe guide to follow in defining the public interest? Let us examine issues 1. the questions were of transitory interest and have The lack of stability in these conditions warrants the assumption that changes in public opinion on these questions will be frequent. business by reducing taxes? (April. 1936. merely underand shed little light on the question of public interest. 1938.

should be made permanent? (April. 1937.) 8. 1937. 1937.) Yes— 73%. be given to ( i ) do with imporin Civil Service those who help put their political party in office. Do (March. making on it Would you favor a law a crime for a relief official to attempt to influence the vote of persons relief? (May.) Yes—71%. called vigilantes. Should the government take a census of the unemployed? 9.) Yes-76%. Should employers and employees be compelled by law differences before strikes can be called? (July. except those which have tant matters of policy. Whenever Congress has voted amendment then be put up to to amend the Constitution. should? (April.) No-76%. of L. (May. Introduction to Public Opinion on relief in Do you think as they that people your community are getting as much 7. Should military training be part of the duties of those (August. Would you like to see the C.) Yes— 75%. Are you in favor of labor unions? (July.) 19.) 20. 15. 1938. Do up you approve of which have sprung recently in strike areas? 14. (September.I. 16. a Do Do you think inflation would be good thing? (April. 1937. 1937. Yes-84%. labor unions differences settle their and work as one labor organization? (October. Should labor unions be required to incorporate? (May. Yes— 86%. citizen groups. Should government employees join labor unions? (August.) No— to try to settle their Yes-89%. or (2) those who receive the highest marks examinations? (March. 1937.F.C.) No— 74%.) 21. Would you favor laws regulating the conduct of strikes? (July.O. you believe the Roosevelt administration should — try to defeat the re- election of Democratic Congressmen who opposed the Supreme Court plan ? 11. 1937. Yes—79%. 1938.? you think the C.) 18. . No-8o%.28 An 6. 17. 12. Civil Service— 88%.) Yes— 86%. 1938. 1936.) Directly to the people 82%. who attend. to Should government positions. 1937. should the the state legislatures or directly to the people of each state for approval? 10. 1937. 1937.) 13. 1938. (August.C. and A.) 73%. 1937. Yes— 78%.

more (4) That the manufacture and sale of war munitions for private profit should be prohibited.) Yes—73%. and municipal to pay taxes on the income from these securities? (April. Doubtless some issues. rail- 27. Should people who own federal. 1936. 1938.000 a year should be required to pay a federal income tax? (March. (3) That a larger navy. Yes-74%. America should agree to reduce its expenditures to the same extent. . Do you believe the government should buy. (5) That in order to declare war Congress should be required to obtain the approval of the people by means of a national vote. should we reduce tariffs on British goods? (March. you think a single man earning less than $1.) 23. 1938. 28. 1938. and operate the (February. own. Is the Public Interest? for 29 needy persons? Are you in favor of government old-age pensions Yes (January.) roads ? No—70%.) Yes—73%. you approve of Secretary Hull's policy in seeking a reciprocal trade agreement with Great Britain? (March. as favored by President Roosevelt. will be rather than less likely to keep us out of war. Should state and federal employees be exempt from income taxes? (March. Do Do you approve of the Social Security tax on wages? (January. 1938.) No— 87%.) securities be required 25. (7) That all nations should agree not to bomb civilians in cities wartime. 29. and economic questions public would disagree But can we honestly the lines with the views expressed on particular say that a domestic economic and political program along approved by the masses would be lacking in ously inimical to the public interest ? common sense. 1938. (6) That if another war like the World War develops in Europe America during should not take part. 1938. the above-mentioned political itself Do On opinion expressed very clearly. 24. 26. (2) That the United States should build a large navy and enlarge its air force.) No— 87%. 1938. If Great Britain reduces tariffs on American goods.) Yes—73%. — 89%.Whai 22. state. obvi- Without reviewing in detail the questions asked in other fields we find that in foreign affairs 70 per cent of the people agree: (i) That if other nations agree to reduce their spending for armaments.

(3) That habitual criminals and the hopelessly insane should be sterilized. the American people have a remarkably high degree evidence concerning the free to wisdom of the common And I think people. scoff at the intelligence of the masses. that states should pass legislation requiring tests for venereal diseases for all persons seeking marriage licenses. director of the American Opinion."^" were about This seems to be a prevailing impression Institute of Public among many who however. has The sampling one is surveys of recent years have provided much Anyexamine this evidence. Dr. Germany after the World War should (9) That the United States government should continue to maintain the present armed forces in China for the protection of American citizens.000 to help control them. (4) That Congress should enact a law which would make lynching a federal crime. (9) That all strict than they are now in grant- owners of pistols and revolvers should be required to register with the government. that Congress should appropriate $25. (10) That in view of conditions in the Orient the United States should not give the Philippines their independence now. (6) That divorces should be made easier to obtain. (2) That the Government should create a bureau to distribute informa- tion concerning venereal diseases. radio-vaudeville program tain sardonic advertising men and even some newspaper men that the army intelligence test results of a twelve-year average mental age right. (8) That parole boards should be more ing paroles. collectively.000. cer- by motion picture magnates. In the field of social policy believe we discover that the American people most emphatically: made (i) That the distribution of information on birth control should be legal. . (7) That the federal government should aid state and local governments in providing medical care for mothers at childbirth. if (5) That married women should not earn money in industry or business they have husbands capable of supporting them. should set up clinics for the treatment of such diseases. George Gallup. that the person who does examine it will come away believing as I do that. As Professor Paul Cherington recently stated : "We have been told devisers. this to say.30 An hjtroduction to Public Opinion (8) That the colonies taken from not be given back to her.

Conflicting . .What of Is the Public Interest? brilliant or intel- 31 common sense.^^ answer to our question is afforded by the with direct legislation. ." and his conclusions are most Another clue to the experience of our states illuminating. . . check on hasty or ill-considered Evaluation of . . number of measures presented at certainly been a sustained each election and a corresponding interest in voting upon them. number of measures are sectional in application. . ple are more anxious to adopt and obey legislation passed through the direct process than through the usual method of There is certainly more intelligent legislative enactment. . . . . . support. . . . Cottrell has recently published an evaluation of "Twenty-Five Years of Direct Legislation in California. . . . . . Those who predicted that direct legislation would lead to government by newspapers were far from correct. — .. . that we can place great faith in the collective judgment of intelligence of the people. But results of sampling referenda on hun- dreds of issues do indicate. both the Legislature and the people have There has usually refused to enact their proposals into law. . . These people may not be lectual or particularly well read. in my opinion. . . ests behind measures. . but they possess a quality of good sense which is manifested time and again in their expres- sions of opinion on present-day issues. . Most editorial writers and students of government agree that over the whole period of direct legislation the people have understood most of the measures and as a whole have acted wisely in making their decisions. . or Where there have been sinister or special interopposition.. There is some evidence that the peohas proved justified. It would of course be foolish to argue that the collective views of the common people always represent the most intelligent and most accurate answer to any question. . shows a decidedly conservative attitude on There is no evidence that a large the part of the masses. nor of an ultra-conservative attitude of the people on the other. discussion and deliberation of measures by the electorate than is found in a session of the Legislature with its obscure and inefficient committee system. legislation but also excellent as education. . .^" Among other things they a show that: These votes were not only the measures . . Neither fear of much radical legislation on the one hand. Professor Edwin A.

the opinions of the masses seem to show a markably high degree of common sense. on questions that deal with matters far beyond the common experithe masses have always acted wisely ence or interest of the average citizen. Were they wise or right in taking this position ? Some will say no. Nor can we say that they are as competent to pass upon some questions as others. collectively. I do not wish to press this point too far. .^^ inter- whereas the campaign was markedly successful an early and decided pro-Ally attitude on the part President Wilson himself. quite as intelligently as their leaders. on broad questions of points unmistakably social.32 An Introduction to Public Opinion measures often appear on the same ballot. in bringing about neutrality during the years 1914-17. However. a majority of the Cabinet members including campaign was and opinions of the masses. In 1917 as in 1914 they were still sympathetic toward the Allies but were quite unwilling to throw overboard enthusiastically the policy of neutrality and go to war. But the evidence to the conclusion that. so. the surprisingly ineffective in producing changes in the attitudes acted. and "re- economic policy. as well as of a great majority of the newspapers of the countries. Without objective. fixed standards for doing we cannot claim with absolute assurance that and intelligently. . rialize. dealing primarily to by Great Britain and the Allies undermine the It is American policy of esting to note that." . But I think the perspective of the years would justify us in saying that they leaders in business. The early charge that direct legislation would arouse passions between different elements of the population has failed to mate." just been reading with considerable interest a study of World War propaganda by with the efforts Professor Peterson. political. the voters have never adopted any which were in direct opposition. The experience with the initiative and referendum in California and the sample polls of the American Institute of Public Opinion tend to support the prophetic saying of Theodore Roosevelt that "The majority of the plain people will day in and day out make fewer mistakes in governing themselves than any smaller body of will I men make have in trying to govern them. the opinions of the masses would be worth very much. There are few who would boldly assert that on technical questions. academic circles. and politics.

and the question whether the collective judgment of the masses is. of agencies of mass impression. true that the advent human contact. it true in dictatorial countries today. "Once the principle that the will of the majority honestly ascertained must prevail. fundamental importance movements on matters of however. Nevermere numbers may and does serve to filter the impurities of selfish desires. to listen to different points of view. has soaked into the mind and formed the habits of a nation." He does point out. It has no need to fear discussion and agitation. It can bend all its resources to the accomplishment of its collective ends. likely to be slower and more It is predictable than those of smaller groups. but immense effective force. likely to be a better guide than that of an individual or a specially selected minority. in the long run." And acquires not only stability. were in 1893 when he wrote. however. two possible dangers: (i) the difficulty of ascertaining the will of the majority. This has been true in some countries in the past and may be and might become such that to use their reasoning powers.Whai There interest is Is the Public Interest? 33 is an even more important reason for asserting that public what public opinion says it is. if and when virtually all facilities and conditions for forming enlightened opinions did not exist. (2) the possibility that minorities ciently assert themselves. to discuss and ex- Conwould be absurd to speak of public opinion as a safe guide to public policy. In stressing the virtues of public opinion as a guide to public interest I am not unmindful of its defects. for reasons that will be Definitions of the public interest ions of the masses also have a strength which reflect the collective opinand stability which far exceed the judgments of restricted minorities. of course. Its are. conditioned to acquire by the environment and by the opportunities they have press their opinions freely. that nation "The excellence of popular as in its strength. I may not suffi- believe that these dangers are not so real now given as they later. We are unable in any case is to deal with absolute standards of value. Lord Bryce once wrote that dom government lies not so much in its wishe goes on to state. The competence of the masses is. This does not public opinion is mean that inflexible or static. ditions information. tend to speed theless the force of and improvements in facilities of up the process of social change. .

acts. that the basic commu- problem of public relations is to adjust those aspects of our behavior which affect others in such a manner as to promote the public interest. We this do know. As the authors of study state: "One common in basis underlies all sound public relations. believe. It must adhere. Before concluding this phase of our discussion excerpt that. to the commonly recognized personal ethics and the highest concept of the public welfare. I wish to quote an I from a recent study of public relations.34 An Introduction to Public Opinion We have argiied that our pubHc relations are those aspects of our corporate or personal behavior which affect the public. can find out. . relationships and products is public opinion. even within the arena of professional practice. students are at beginning to realize that they do have finding out what the public interest tions just is. standards of . with little effort. or. hand tangible criteria for As individuals or corpora- we may no not longer excuse our negligence in attempting to ad- our public relations to the public interest on the ground that we do a know what the public interest is. The ultimate arbiter of corporate and institutional policies. fundamental policies. and that the public interest is what public opinion says it is. the nity."^* . . services. It indicates.

that the term "public opinion" was subjected to systematic analysis and treatment. the opinions of the masses. Hobbes spoke of the world as being governed by opinionj Locke used opinion as one of his three categories of law. Hobbes. and more particularly the writings of Rousseau. What Is Public Opinion? THUS far I (i) that the have submitted to you the following propositions: term public relations refers to those aspects of our corporate and personal behavior that the basic which have social implications. and throughout the Middle Ages. I wish now to consider the question: What is public opinion? I it is think evident that public opinion lies at is the very heart of our problem. political philosophers were keenly aware of the importance of The phrase Vox populi. we possess criteria for The origin of the expression "public opinion" is a mystery. developed one of the 35 ." to which Voltaire replied. Locke. It was not until the eighteenth century. (2) to current cultural."iBlaise Pascal referred to public opinion as the "Queen of the World. and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments... and (3) that the best way to determine what the public interest is is to find out what public opinion says it is. writing in the eighteenth century. and Hume paid tribute to the power of public opinion. and Hume gave expression to the classic statement that "It is . During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries such writers as Voltaire. problem of public relations is to adjust those relations economic. and political trends so as to promote the public interest. to which we must turn for the first careful discussions of the subject. on opinion only that government is founded. latter part of the from the "If opinion is the Queen of the World the philosophes govern the Queen.." Rousseau. however. But it was the period of the French Revolution. as well as to the most free and most popular. By knowing what public opinion evaluating the state of our public relations.^^ In the literature of early Greece and Rome. vox Dei dates Middle Ages.

In Germany the Revolution inspired systematic treatments by Wieland. The French Revolution did. and his discussion of the relation between public opinion and law is sigprejudice of those nificant.36 A71 Introduction to Public Opinion explicit formulations of the concept of public opinion most up to his time. servile for. Necker produced the only detailed analysis of the concept of public opinion during the N ' French Revolution. His experience led him to emphasize the relation between public opinion and public credit. Hegel advanced the theory.-Rousseauseems to have been the first to use the phrase I'opinioit puhlique. of public relations in its relation to statecraft. •^ unscathed in the writings of Lowell and other Most of the German writers during this period held that the competence of public opinion to rule extended only to general principles. Out of these discussions emerged more precise definitions of terms as well as attempts to ascribe the affairs. although there were numerous references to the subject in the ephemeral writings of the period. however. whom He stated that "Whoever makes to it his business to give laws to a people must know how first to sway opinions and through them gov- ern the passions of men. claiming that the "most general will has been repeated also the many it is times since. was J acques French finance minister." . Fries. "Despotic rule is even when based on opinion. or of the major- defined public opinion as "the agreement of many the citizens of a state with respect to judgments which every single individual has arrived at as a result of his his practical own reflection or of knowledge of a given matter." This definition has come political scientists. He applied his theory of popular infallibility to the is state. most just." This view Rousseau believed that even he said. He found that the salons of France played a very important part in the formation of the public opinion of his times. much of it centering around the question of the competence of the masses to rule. for example. factor in statecraft. the problem ecker. stimulate discussion of the subject of public opinion on an unprecedented scale. a forerunner of to us virtually down . for you depend on the you rule through prejudice. and Hegel. one of the apparently. Garve. proper role of public opinion in public ity of Garve." One of the discuss the significance of public opinion as a first to sense. despotism rested on public opinion. and that the opinions of the bourgeoisie were really decisive in their influence.

The World War and the writings of Lasswell. Rosenkrantz. that students have been concerned with the subject of public opinion from earliest times. opinion in the writings of the nineteenth century and of such references is The to number legion. law. It would useful purpose at this point to catalogue references to publater. that public opinion was to be respected only for the essen- embodied and that it was the task of the great man to find out what these essential principles were. Ritchie. attention political institutions. Jeremy Bentham was the first to present a detailed discussion of the subject in English. He held that public opinion was necessarily an integral part of any democratic theory of the state. Bentley. Lippmann. The variety of spe- cialized studies of particular factors influencing the formation of . Urquhart. Many of the prob- lems we no face today were perceived and considered at least as far back serve lic as the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He emphasized the importance of public -opinion as a means of social control. therefore. Wallas. and others focused attention upon the role of propaganda. Austin. This matter was discussed rather fully by such writers as Ancillon. Stahl. and Lippmann. inspired a long list of studies deal- ing with the influence of pressure groups upon public opinion. and was one of the first to examine the role played by the press in its formation. Christensen. Bryce. A. Lowell. The basic problem of public opinion as he saw it was "^^^to maximize the rectial principles that it titude of the decisions It is by it. and many pub- others emphasized the emotional and irrational character of the lic-opinion-forming process. Biedermann. Buckle. discussed its relation to legislation. writing in 1908. F. Willoughby. The increasing importance as of the press in the interest of its relation to the formation of public opinion enlisted many.What Is Public Opinion? 37 Fascism. Lieber. Maine. Gneist." evident. such Taylor. Dollfus. Stern-Reubarth. More and more was given to the question of how public opinion was actually formed by sociologists psychologists. made and and careful analyses of the relation between public opinion. Mackinnon. Esmein. Students of law and jurisprudence. Bluntschli. Tarde. Much attention was given the problem of the competence of the masses to express intelligent opinions on matters of public policy. and Dicey.

and Lippmann (1922). the influence of public opinion upon public policy. Shrewd and prudenpolling and tial observations are being supplemented by precise methods of opinadvertisers. and since 1919 interest in opinion management has expanded to include the study. psychologists. Considerable progress was made in advertising research before the World War. is practically all social-science disciplines. de Tocqueville (1835-40).38 An Introduction to Public Opinion of factors that public opinion was matched only by the multipHcity might be studied. journal- and market researchers to the problem of ascertainopinion on particular issues. Public-opinion research and study today cut across and transcend the traditional lines separating social-science departments and may be found in attention ists. propaganda. Bauer (1914). as well as psychological researches into the genesis of in- dividual opinions continue to throw additional light on the process of opinion formation. Noteworthy in this field are the activities of the Institute of Public Opinion and the magazine Fortune. students of politics. psychologists. Because so many different factors influence the formation of public opinion this field attracts an unusually large number of students. Lewis (1849). The advent of autocracies in new forms has given rise to life renewed discussions of the proper role of public opinion in the of the state. its influence upon government and the influence of official as well as unofficial agencies of government upon it. Bryce (1888). Sociologists stressed the significance of public opinion as a means' of social control. students of law and jurisprudence. Studies of pressure-group activity. Lowell (1913). Tonnies (1922). . The management and ested control of public opinion have always inter- many students. Dicey (1905). ing the state of public American ion census-taking. Various types of sampling techniques are being used. not only of com- mercial propaganda. Considerable now being given by statisticians. communication agencies. Among the more comprehensive and systematic treatments of the subject were those of Gersdorf (1846). the role played by various inherited and environmental factors in the formation of personal opinions. but also of propaganda of aspect of the whole subject arouses all sorts. Holtzendorf (1879). Probably no more interest than the problem how to win the support of public opinion.

War. be the worst kind of selfishness. . unaided. and every effort must be problems in the arena of public opinion is to reconcile the wills of men as well as their opinions. the deepening cleavages between groups.^Most advocates of the democratic way of life stress the importance of an to pass drawn between informed. intelligent public opinion. vTo do so it is necessary first of all to find out why states of opinion are what they are. reconcile fundamental cleavages in philosophical outlooks on life. remove individual and group selfishness. if Upon what types of any ? Where is the those questions upon which it is and is not judgment? These questions go to the very roots competent of the theory of democracy and have been considered rather carefully by such writers as Bryce. change the human heart. point for The question how the role of public opinion in public affairs can be improved has been the starting many studies. but on conflicting interests and aims. Many difficulties and obstacles stand in the way of this made to remove them. Whenever this is so the difficulties may be remedied by information. Enlightened selfishness may.What Is Public Opinion? 39 Again and again the questions questions line to be is it are asked: Is public opinion in the sense of mass opinion a safe guide to follow? competent to express an opinion. Many differences and clashes of opinion are based. the problem of reconciling and harmonizing differences of opinion. based upon misconceptions and misunderstandings. Lowell. and Catlin. as recent events in Europe and throughout the world have demonstrated. Sometimes these causes are imaginary. because it implements selfishness. Wills must be molded as well as minds. not on misunderstanding. or classes. The problem is of minimizing inter- national and class differences of opinion largely a psychological one. and the educational enlightenment of the groups concerned. In the minds of many the basic problem of public opinion is the problem of education. Stronger medicine is needed. No amount of information and purely intellectual enlightenment can. however. whether it is between nations. races. ^One of the is most disturbing aspects of the whole subject of public j opinion the growing intensity of conflicts of opinion. Educators particularly are concerned with the problem. Lippmann. the real causes. indeed. the dissemination of facts. is a reflection of this state of opinion. the absence of generally accepted premises and goals. One of the most difficult procedure.

He called attention specifically such fictions and blind alleys as (i) the personification of public opinion. or can be called upon to express themselves. If this is direcdy or indirectly. as favoring (or else dis- favoring or opposing) some definite condition. why The term "public opinion" is obviously a general and rather in- clusive expression like "political party".40 An The term Introduction to Public Opinion "public opinion" has been employed in a great many made different senses. after a careful analysis of the definitions of Lippmann. (2) the personification of the public. (4) the fallacy of partial inclusion in the use of the term "public". Lowell. intensity. or proposal of widespread importance. too. Holcombe. Inevitably he concludes with another addition to the list." Only as related to a particular public it and to specific opinions it about definite subjects does this respect become significant in the sense that can be studied. in the literature of the field first issue of the Public Opinion Qtmrterly. Virginia Sedman. King. and others. which composite weighted by the varying degrees of influence and aggressiveness of the separate opinions within the aggregate. (3) the group fallacy. sentiments and impressions. and (8) the journalistic fallacy. is an active or latent force derived from a composite of individual is thoughts."^^ what we mean by novitiates the term public opinion it is easy to understand shudder and shun the problem. Bogardus. concluded that "Public opinion. he. toward the object concerned."^^ Floyd H. many other useful English expressions such as it is "weather". as to give rise to the probability of affecting action. Allport. (6) the emergent theory. for example. (7) the eulogistic theory. is (And /' It reads: "The term to public opinion given its meaning with reference a multi- individual situation in which individuals are expressing themselves. Dewey. also tried to bring order out of the conceptual chaos by surveying the and specifying several fallacious notions that have given to rise to misunderstandings. In . Periodically definitions in some student w^ill attempt to assemble a collection of and classify them with a view to reconciling differences already long meaning. person. in such a proportion of number. and constancy. so many in fact that some students have questioned attempts have been the advisability of using the term/^ to define the expression in a Many way that WAX be generally acceptable. contributed another definition. for us. (5) what he calls the fiction of ideational entity. "democracy.

persons A public may mean for purposes of study merely a collection of individuals all composed of who pass a given mailbox on a specified day. and clienteles of different types. are such state organized groups as the citizens of a ternal groups." Students of meteorology are not usually state of the at- concerned about weather in general. also include such unorganized groups crowds. business organizations.What it is Is Public Opinion? 41 similar to the word "weatlier. trade unions. a fraternity. In some cases a public will be a group of individuals with common interests and possibly a formal organization. they may at one time be members of a football crowd. as a rule." which a dictionary defines as "a state of the atmosphere. viduals without lacking identifying symbols and attributes. and the members of But publics political parties. individuals may be members of different publics simultaneously. Similarly the term "public opinion" specific public must be related to a and to definite opinions about something. of different publics in a distinct community is theoretically combinations of individuals possible in that Among the more significant publics. and what It is anything should be done. churches. obvious that there are many kinds of publics." gives this group and postulating this as the mass of individuals a distinctive en- A public simply any collection of individuals. But the public in ested which we are inter- may be composed of a very heterogeneous collection of indiorganization. That is to say. Designating or defining the word "public" does not mean "selecting a common which is attribute of a characteristic tity. Then it is is. and a political party. ly possible to study it. customers. fra- and political and professional as associations. a church. but about the time and in a particular place. The failure to **" specify the collection of individuals constituting the public to which we are referring has led to no end of difficulty. find out what the state of public opinion why it is what if it is. what changes have been and are taking place. news- paper readers. \ There is no such thing as the public except in the sense that there . a physicians' clientele. Moreover. Defined in these terms the word "weather" becomes significant and can be mosphere at a particular studied. Students of public opinion as well as leaders and managers of public opinion display interest in different publics and in different aspects of these publics. The number the number of community.

competitors. The question is often raised whether or not the term "public opinion" should or should not be restricted in meaning to collections of individual opinions from large publics. to study different age groups. Within this larger public numerous smaller publics exercising influence on the larger and it. or the trade. Whether accurate expressions of attitude or . students of pubUc relations we may be and quite naturally are interested in a great many different publics. This difficult to deal obviously a very important public. the shaking of the head. For any individual or corporation a great many distinctive publics are significant." The so. may be important to distinguish subpublics such as members of trade unions. of considerable influence with reference to It is frequently stated that for a business corporation there are four principal publics with which it is concerned: (i) the internal group comprising management and employees. of course. the opinions of very small publics.42 An Introduction to Public Opinion may As be a particular group of persons about which we are speaking. wage groups. Russia. autocracies. and the unorganized. (2) customers. and even those who walk and those who ride to work. or. and the look in one's eye. In three key / Italy. using other bases of classification." There are. but one are with because of its size. may be of greatest importance. however. married and unmarried. To analyze satisfactorily the it effect of corporate behavior on employees. for example. particularly those that have and exercise an influence on public policy. (3) stockholders. and (4) the general public. But not necessarily In democracies the opinions of those constituting the electorate are un- doubtedly of great importance. from the "masses. in The question may be asked whether opinions expressed attitude. many other expressions of attitude such as laughter. Germany. in this respect is An important public the group is which comprises all the eligible voters in the United States. of and other two or men even. But what a person says very often not only an indication of attitude but also an indication of what we may expect him to do. company unions. This is an over-simplification of the picture. as "a verbal ex- Perhaps the word "opinion" can best be defined pression of attitude. words are accurate indices of and the answer must be is that in many cases they are not. opinions of large numbers of people are usually more interesting and significant than those of small publics.

rather than a pre-existing force that causes certain expressions of opinion. social standing. Whereas atti. but we do not need to pursue the ultimate meaning of things indefinitely. their quality. threats. Any one or more of these aspects may assume importance depending on the interest of the observer or the investigator. a tendency to act in a particular liberated tudes are which is whenever the proper stimulus is presented. It is clear that an opinion is always the opinion of a person. Some it will ask for a definition of attitude. is expressed. the form in which they are expressed. their wealth. influence. A national advertiser or a politician may focus his attention upon the types of persons holding a particular opinion. The word sents "attitude" as used in current academic discussions pre- some difficulties. and convictions about any words. or it the it way which has been formed a novelist. A Opinions differ scientist may in be interested primarily in the truth of the opinion. a distinct entity. For our purposes is sufficient to chologist who says that quote the definition of attitude given by a psy-i^ it is "the sum-total of a man's inclinations specific topic. their intensity. they are objective. prejudice or bias. Is there such a thing as an attitude. Opinions as expressed in the voting booth are determining factors in social and political life. taking the form of written a tendency manner. in the style in which . fears.What Is Public Opinion? 43 not. and the way in which they have been formed or elicited. Public opinion always refers to a collection of indi- . not of a group as such. opinions are objective."^"/In other and it is feelings.^*' from one another in many respects. their stability.? Can attitudes have any real meaning until we know to what objects and subjects they refer ? Perhaps it would be better to think of the word really does not tell us very "attitude" as an expression used to describe a series of habitual re- ^ sponses^ypical responses. artd are significant in themselves —so signifi- cant that hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent annually to find out what they are. preconceived notions. or spoken words. such as content. ideas.^Z subjective. which has a distinct life of its own. To is in favor of it because he has a favorable attitude toward much. To say that a person has a favorable attitude toward a proposition raises the question whether or not this state- ment means anything more than say that he it to say that he is in favor of it.

Individual students of the are continually seeking to restrict the meaning term "public opinion" to particular collections of individual opinions or aspects of which they happen to be interested. tions of opinions which exert considerable influence This definition be asked: is admittedly a very broad one. do not think is so. therefore. the individual we are studying the opinions of it is members of a forum audience if quite as definitely a study of public opinion as voters of the United States. It would be a these collections in mistake for students of public opinion to aspects of it insist that those particular in which they happen to be interested are the only is im- portant ones. unless we are preall states pared to admit that the word "weather" not applicable to The source of the difficulty seems to be this. collection of individual opinions designated. as diction- What aries is to be gained by defining the it. not to some mystical entity that is floating about in a given state of the atmosphere over our heads." atmosphere ? Is do define as simply a state of the there not a difference in degree that amounts I to a difference in its kind between state generally the state of the atmosphere in a lecture hall and throughout the United States? of atmosphere. simply any If persons. Social-science research has been handicapped rather than helped .44 An Introduction to Public Opinion vidual opinions. word "weather. we have to collect the opinions of indispecial viduals. By keeping the term broad. To find out what pubUc opinion is. upon our affairs. therefore. This point would require no emphasis were it not for the fact that some writers have thought in terms of a "group mind" quite separate and distinct from the minds of tangible By public opinion I mean. a common meeting ground is provided for students who are really interested in the same fundamental problems although at first blush their activities may seem unrelated. we were studying the opinions of the We are usually interested in those coUec-. much less that public opinion itself confined in meaning to their foci of interest. The questions may What is to be gained by attempting to define public opin- ion so broadly ? Is there not a difference in degree that difference in kind between the opinions of a amounts to a small group and those is of very large groups? Perhaps the best way to answer these questions to ask another. The problem of focus is one for the individual investigator.

publics. than the author of a dictionary would have in defining the word "dog" so that his only exemplar of the concept. What is political is science? All too often the scope of the field as a whole interest of the imprisoned within the walls of person defining the term. is vitally interested in certain publics with specific groups. own pet proves to be the All students of public opinion can meet on one common ground. types of Each of that us. Social scientists have no more reason for defining the term "public opinion" in terms of their special interests. Discussions of public in general or public relations in general suffer because there com- paratively little that can be convincingly said about collections of all individual opinions in general or the relations between publics." The same is all is true with such "justice.Whai Is Public Opinion? 45 by the effort to give personal interests the added prestige of definitional exclusiveness. others on different Some will ones. focus attention upon some collections. I have read many articles and attended many conferences dealing with public relations. "Both "public opinion" and "public relations" have this in common opinion is —that they are very broad in meaning and be come interesting only as they are related to particular publics. As employers we wish to we can know about the labor public. others in the degree of uniformity expressed. we are especially interested As Americans we are concerned about the As teachers in our student attitudes and the opinions of other nationals regarding us. This audience in this is room a public of tremendous concern specific publics in which its me! But how can members are interested." and interest. and out of them emerges the fact that for business men employees and our relations know all are the public. interest. many others. Some will be interested in what the opinions are about. really The multiphcity of definitions of public opinion to restrict the due to the effort of students meaning of the term to some aspect of public opinion ' in which they are especially interested." expressions as "public "democracy. how is the opinions were formed. I own believe. however. and to I is know there any . The public interest too frequently defined in terms of the individual and group it Democracy refers to what u^e would like to have be. holds the opinions. In a majority of instances public relations signifies labor relations. a general interest in collections of individual opinions. who how intensely they hold them. and many.

that in the years by fortuitous coincidences. problems. publics differ. We note all that the opinions of a public change. possessions. All live on the States. or f*rotestants. Generalizations regarding human behavior and human relations are peculiarly hazardous to make. or teachers. the relations between groups are always changing. statements regarding the sort of opinions that least all persons all people hold. But are there not propositions that can be made about public opinion and public relations in general that will be applicable regardless of this lack of homogeneity? Are there not certain state- ments that can validly be made about public opinion regardless of the individual composition of the particular collection of individuals. We know. Doubtless there are consid- erable differences in tastes. the task of public-opinion analysis easier. But the conditions must be stated. hopes. Certainly the publics in which you as individuals are interested are very different. y Given the conditions. This is what makes the study of public opinion and public relations so difficult. would be United What are the common it attributes of this group ? All are Amerof the ican citizens. statewith whom we ments regarding the way in which public opinion is formed.46 An Introduction to Public Opinion this interest? Is there ? Is common all denominator of are interested one public in which of them this there one public. The relationship exists. West Coast Beyond that is difficult to go. or bankers. relations with ? which are of major concern to each of you If audience consisted solely of employers. are there not certain principles of public opinion and public relations applicable under all circumstances ? is The answer disappointing. Why we ? Until we know the conditions accompanying the change are not in a position to answer the question. age. cultural background. Coincident with that change we find that various groups were carrying on a vigorous propaganda campaign in this are deceived by mirages. the principles will apply. All principles hold true only under certain conditions. Too often we for example. presumably. or at come in contact. country. the techniques that may be used for molding opinions generally? In other words. from 1918 to 1932 there occurred a decided change in the attitudes and opinions of Americans regarding prohibition. the are likely to influence of particular factors. habits. Conditions vary. and the rest. but to what extent was it a causal .

a certain interests more spontaneous than de. James Bryce. This not always true."^^ Maxey interprets public opinion as "the coming agreement on the same definite conclusion or together in common . partly because of the culty of ascertaining precisely what public opinion is regarding a is particular policy or candidate. some writers narrow the term even further to include only those collections of opinions revealing complete or substantial unanimity. or citizens. Because of the importance of collections of individual opinions |hat reveal a substantial degree of agreement. the degree of uniformity exist- ing any given time. Professor Gault expresses this point of view when he states: "Gradually there emerges. Although audience is impossible to identify the publics in which this interested and therefore relate the discussion to matters most meaningful.""^ set of views.iX apprehension of common and fundamental by all Similarly. "when held by an apparent majority of And Professor Dicey expressed when he more stated that same viewpoint public opinion comprises the "wishes and ideas the much as to legislation held by the people of England. officials In a democracy the actions and policies of government are presumed is to reflect the opinions of a majority of the diffi- citizens.What relationship ? Is Public Opinion? 47 A corporation adopts a new plan of employee relations. for example. or to speak with at a given precision. in these relations is is An improvement it is noted at once. for election figures which reveal a majority opinion are usually acted upon. tinually changing. however. by the majority of those citizens life. certain questions. We all wish to which are know the degree of uniformity of opinion on the subjects that in- terest us. and rather crude information regarding it is important to find out. But the extent of the causal relationship unknown. Nevertheless. This is public opinion. which are generally interesting. defines public opinion as L^ any view. as a result of a slow but liberate analysis. many students of gov- ernment and public opinion would narrow the meaning of the term to include only those collections of opinion having a specific degree of uniformity. at if possible. Any state of public opinion con- and election machinery can give only periodic these changes.""^ moment taking an effective part in public Although mainly interested in the degree of uniformity. Professor members of the group. there are some aspects of public opinion.

. The point I wish to underscore is simply this: Public opinion is any collection of individual opinions. the matter under consideration of collective consciousness. The degree of unanimity is not a condition of the existence of public opinion. not something to be arbitrarily set up as a condition for the existence of public opinion. however. None of the Gallup polls. especially in a public as large as that comprising all citizens or voters in the United States." "fairly uniform collective expressions of mental or inner behavior reactions. the significant phenomenon and the increasing importance of large publics. For reasons that listed earlier. regardless of the degree of agreement or uniformity."' on the questions any given collection of individual opinions with respect to may reveal degrees of unanimity varying all the w^ay from complete unanimity to a considerable degree of diversity. Public opinion is not necessarily restricted in meaning to mass publics. Our personal and corporate behavior affect increasingly large publics. but extend far beyond to include the masses. because of this that public have become so important. and our customers. but an aspect to be investigated. Our public-relations prob- lems involve not only our employees. for example. Even though times is the term public opinion may refer to any collection of our of individual opinions. The degree of uniformity is a matter to be investigated. but the search will be fruitless.48 An Introduction to Public Opinion body of conclusions. have revealed lOO per cent agreement asked." or "uniform mental reactions to stimuli. such common agreement is seldom if ever found. our stockholders. the area of have been relations human It is contacts social inter- course has expanded tremendously. If an investigator starts out to find a state of public opinion which represents a definite degree of agreement such as complete unanimity or majority agreement." his focus of attention is not only restricted to a single aspect of public opinion. or such vague aspects as the "normative aspects Clearly.""^ Needless to say. but really give our mass publics problem its new dimension.

as one may call them. can votes be frequently taken on that arise ? . to act as if it on the part of existed.Public-Opinion Polls WRITING In 1893 Lord Bryce asked "How is the drift of public opinion to be ascertained?" and went on to say: "The me: chanical difficulties. and to shape their course in accordance with their reading of those manifestations. and interesting to note the answer he gave long before the advent of "scientific polls" and before the existence of refined methods of public-opinion measurement. and plenty of skill in "sizing up" the attitude and proclivities of their fellow citizens." In view of the interest which polls. Talk is the best 49 . the chief questions But what I desire to point out. He wrote The best way in which the tendencies at work in any community can be discovered and estimated is by moving freely about among all sorts and conditions of men and noting how they are affected by the news or the arguments brought from day to day to their knowledge. . of working such a method is ? of government are obvious. to look incessantly for manifestations of current popular opinion. the is now displayed in public-opinion question arises: What progress has been made since Bryce wrote in ascertaining the cal difficulties to state of public opinion ? Have the mechani- for public officials to precisely which he referred been resolved ? Is it now possible know from week to week and month to month is ? what public opinion fifty years Nearly it is have elapsed since Bryce posed his question. whether ministers or to say. How the will of the majority to be ascertained except by counting votes How. that is rulers. . without all is the greatest in- convenience. In every neighborhood there are unbiased persons with good opportunities for observing. Such men are invaluable guides. that even where the machinery for weighing or measuring the popular will from week to week or month to month has not been and is not likely to be invented. there may nevertheless be a disposition legislators.

because in talk one gets directly at the facts."""^ Public opinion in this case proved to be the opin- some is. 5.000 newspaper editors throughout the country. way will seldom go astray. landsman. hav- ing himself a considerable experience of trouble to investigate in this is politics."** that they were based upon contacts with very is In the minds of many the press one of the best indices of public opinion that we have. In fact. We do not know how positive the correlation between the publics.50 An way Introduction to Public Opinion of reading the truth. or wishes to have others believe. but more often their findings are colored by the succeed in practice. The newspapers of reflect the a country do just undoubtedly opinions of a large number of persons. One criticism that the author implies that the results represented the opinions of a much larger public. a very significant is and a fairly definite public. The difficulty is that we do not know what is persons. Such group of course. Some of their observations are unusually shrewd. the signs of coming storms. . sooner than the by small indications. There a flair which long practice and "sympathetic touch" bestow. whereas reading gives not so much the facts as what takes the the writer believes. to profit The as trained observer learns how an old seaman discerns. Whoever. Many studies of public opinion prove to be studies of public opinion as revealed in the news and editorial columns of newspapers. The same method is often followed by travelers and tourists who return from far-distant lands to report on the state of public opinion as they have found it. editorial opinions of particular newspapers and given A "A well-known research Statistical agency recently published a study entitled ions of a Survey of Public Opinion. that only those gifted with the "flair" which "long great practice and a sympathetic touch bestow" can hope to is still the method used by a and business executives with a "flair" and a skill for finding out the state of public opinion by means of talk and discussion. One of the criticisms of Bryce's own observations regarding the state of public opinion in is the United States selected publics. The Bryce method many politicians types of people with whom they speak. the expressions "press" and "public opinion" are often used synonymously. of Bryce's statement is The upshot lic that the task of identifying pub- opinion is essentially an art.

Public-Opinion Polls

51

The

press not only reflects but also influences public opinion.

presidential election of 1936 demonstrated dramatically

The how wide a

chasm may exist, however, between editorial opinion and public opinion, when, in spite of the opposition of a majority of the newspapers in the country, public opinion swept Roosevelt into
a second term."'^
office for

Newspapers undoubtedly do reflect the opinions of important publics and at times indicate the state of opinion of large majorities of the American people. Some believe that by more careful newspaper analysis a way can be found for using the press, particularly the newspaper press, as a fairly reliable index of the American public mind. Professor Julian L. Woodward has advanced this thesis.""^ The problem, as he sees it, would be to construct two time series: one for newspaper content, another for reader attitudes; one an index of newspaper opinion, the other an index of public opinion; and then
correlate the two. Evidences of a lead or lag

would suggest

inferences

regarding the causal relations between the two. Moreover, if they fluctuate in unison the newspaper-content variable could be used as

an index for charting changes in public opinion. This suggestion offers interesting possibilities, but
culties.

also

some

diffiis

The American

Institute of Public

Opinion, for example,

in

a position to furnish public-opinion data on selected issues.

The

more

difficult

problem
it

is

to provide equally satisfactory indices for
If this

charting newspaper-opinion trends.

can be done, as Professor

Woodward

thinks

can, then students of public opinion
precise

well on their

way toward formulating more

propositions with respect to the reliability
of public opinion.

would be and significant of newspapers as indices
during the
last

Within the past two decades, and more

especially

five years, the possibilities of devising techniques for accurately as-

certaining the state of public opinion have been explored by nu-

and private agencies. Dr. Robinson has pointed out that the development of polling techniques may be divided into five phases.^" The first was the era of newspaper polls. The sampling techniques employed were crude, owing to lack of statistical training on the part of sponsors. Some newspapers like the Columbus Dismerous
institutions

patch, the Cincinnati Enquirer,
creditable results,

and the Chicago Journal achieved but on the whole these straw polls were of more

52

An

Introduction to Public Opinion

value as circulation builders than as instruments for ascertaining the
true state of public opinion.

The second phase was

the

Golden Age of the Literary
it

Digest. In

1916 this magazine discovered the possibilities of straws polls as vehicles for circulation drives. Subsequently

conducted nine nation-

wide

on such subjects as prohibition, the presidential primary, the New Deal, and candidates for the presidency. In these polls millions of ballots were distributed over the country, and the returns were liberally reported in the press and over the radio. "The Literary Digest made America conscious of the validity of straw samples as
polls

gauges of public opinion."
Dr. Robinson distinguishes a third phase marked by studies of
straw-poll technique by research students, notably Professor

W.

L.

Crum

Harvard and Dr. Robinson himself. Then came the fourth phase and the use
of

of marketing-research

techniques previously applied in the fields of advertising, marketing,

and corporate relations. Dr. Gallup began experiments with nationwide polls on political and social issues in February, 1934. The American Institute of Public Opinion was organized the following year. The Forttme polls were inaugurated in 1935 by Paul T. Cherington and Elmo B. Roper, Jr. The Crossley poll was launched during the 1936 presidential campaign, and since then numerous other agencies
specializing in opinion census-taking have appeared.

We are now in
ment

what Robinson

calls

the fifth phase in the developIt is

of "scientific" public-opinion polls.

a phase in

which

stu-

dents of public opinion not only are concerned with questions of method, but also are raising questions regarding the social and political significance of these techniques. The polling agencies themselves are seeking to refine

and improve

their

methods. Business ex-

ecutives

and others are displaying an extraordinary interest in public opinion, and are eager to find out what it is in order that they may
bring their conduct into conformity with
it.

And

students of public

affairs are trying to evaluate present trends and determine what, if anything, needs to be done in order to enhance the social usefulness

of polling procedures.
"Scientific" polls of public opinion such as those

conducted by

Gallup, Crossley, and Fortune differ

from others

in that the sponsors

seek to apply well-established principles of statistical sampling. In-

Public-Opinion Polls

53

stead of collecting opinions indiscriminately they try to obtain a

small sample of the opinions of the public as a whole which will be
truly representative.

There

is

nothing mysterious or particularly
quality of a carload of oranges

novel about the technique. In buying and selling commodities sampling
is

a familiar practice.

The

is

judged by opening a few boxes taken from different parts of the
shipment.

The

effect of

allowing the sewage of
is

New

York City

to

flow into the surrounding waters

tested

by an examination of

many

small samples of river and harbor water taken from different areas

and

at

varying depths.

If it is possible to test

the quality of a supply

why is it not possible to do the same with public opinion? Proceeding on the assumption that it is
of oranges, or water, in this fashion,
possible, "scientific" polls of public opinion

have emerged.

The
lem
cate

principal

problem of sampling

is

to find a

formula of selection
it is

that will give the results desired. of finding a

With

a barrel of apples,

a prob-

method

for selecting a

few apples which

will indi-

what the
it is

real contents of the barrel are.

In respect to public

opinion,

a problem of selecting a few opinions truly representa-

tive of the

opinions of the public as a whole.

One method of selecting a sample is the random method. No attempt is made to analyze or classify the contents of the barrel or the opinions of the public as a whole. The sample is selected in such a way that pure chance determines the result. Every item in the whole collection is given an equal chance to appear in the sample. One common method is to select every tenth or every twentieth apple or
opinion.

How large should a random sample be ? That depends, of course, upon how homogeneous the material is. If the material is not homogeneous a larger sample will be required than if it is. Great care must be exercised to ensure the absence of bias in selection. Conditions which make it easier for some apples or some opinions to appear
in the sample vitiate increased,
it. If,

as the size of a

pure random sample

is

no appreciable change
is

in the character of the results

is

noted, the sample

probably large enough. Obviously the adequacy

of the size of a sample depends
matter.

upon

the nature of the subject

The
the

polling agencies to

American

Institute of Public

which reference has already been made, Opinion, Crossley, Inc., and the

select a small and group of several thousands income groups and then representative of the people of the country as a whole as far as these factors are concerned. to be sure. test reliability by increasing the tests size of and noting changes to in results. there exists no infallible method for checking the a few reliability of the results. : age. Moreover. income. sex..54 An Introduction to Public Opinion magazine Fortune. only a few opportunities to check the accuracy of these and the experience with the Literary Digest poll showed that successes were by no means a positive proof of the reliability of the methods employed. There are. From available statistics they determine the proportion of people in the country in different age. most important per- Nor do we know the relative influall ence of the factors in this process. Instead of assuming that sons in the same sex. They proceed on the theory that a person's opinions are what they are because of the influence of certain factors of residence. sex. etc.^^ Thus far we have had polls. sex. Often these suggested formula used for selecting the sample was fairly satisfac- But we need know much more than we do at present before . The obvious difficulty with this method is that we have no proof that the factors used in selecting the sample are the in the opinion-forming process. etc. are truly representative of the people of the country as a whole. except for polls on candidates where the sampling techniques can be checked against the official election returns. income. and residence categories think alike would seem more reasonable to assume that the influence of these factors depends upon the type of question it relative at issue. income. In some cases the agencies have undertaken to the sample that the tory. In the 1936 presidential election a few of the polls were reasonably successful in predicting the outcome. age. place re- They try to find a sample of persons who. Evidence so far accumulated indicates that persons in particular categories tend to think alike on certain types of questions. but not on others. with spect to age. How then are we to account for the alleged success of some of the polls in predicting the outcome of elections? In the less first place the measure of success is much than generally supposed. some indications that point in the direction of reliability. do not rely on the method of random sampling.

. representative tive of the The question arises. 1935. it does not necessarily follow that they are representative of the opinions of the people of the country as a whole unless it is established that only these factors are significant in the opinion- forming process. There are some reasons suggesting the contrary. For in this case the poll tends to intensify the "bandwagon" ." Neither measure was passed. Much is made ? of the point that the samples used are representative. religion. On February 14. If a reliable formula had no reason why been found there would be no need for further experimentation. is A at such that they so frequently tend to develop a . improbable that the factors which influence the formation of opinion in one instance are the same in all. a bill was introduced in the House of Rep- resentatives to prohibit the use of the mails for the taking of straw was introduced in the committee to investigate polls purporting to measure public opinion on questions or issues which have "a bearing upon any election held to fill any office under the Government of the United States. . The weekly results of the American Institute polls are published widely throughout the country in more than seventy-five January 8. however. And on 1937. and different agencies should employ different formulas. dence.. Immediately after the election of 1936 the New Yor\ Times pubit lished an editorial on straw ballots. a resolution House of Representatives providing for the creation of a leading newspapers. true cross sections. Meanwhile these polls are assuming an increasing importance in the social and political life of the country. of what are they Even assuming that the samples are truly representaresi- population in terms of age.Public-Opinion Polls 55 we can It is affirm that "scientific" polls are absolutely reliable. "bandwagon" even greater rush on the part of the electorate. plex and controversial issues. The risks are when a poll is aimed not public will vote but at attempting to predict how the attempting to interpret its will on cominstinct present in all legislators. etc. nor even acted upon. Among other things stated: This is an appropriate time to is raise the question whether the public interest actually well served by unofficial polls attempt to polls reflect the shift of which American opinion on matters of fundamental objection to great political importance. race. votes. income.

to As yet there no concrete evidence show is precisely how much on to suppose influence a release of the Gallup. There some reason state as is considerable. Suppose that ment purport to reflect public . As students of war propaganda have pointed out. the effect of the public-opinion polls is What What their effect upon our official upon the public at large? representatives. Assuming is the infallibility of polls. Such an impression strengthens the morale of their own is troops and tends to discourage the enemy. military leaders likewise try to create the impression that they are bound to win. Crossley. that the influence as is.56 An . The psychologists have a name They call the impression of universality. and is this effect desirable? No study has been made. Ours is a "representative" democracy. The Times refers to the "bandwagon" effect of these pronounceThe assumption is that a great many people like to be on the side of winning are an issue. view it bound to win. To be able to convincingly some of these polling agencies places in their hands a do what the state of public opinion tremendous power. . which. . or Fortune type has the opinions of citizens generally. as we have seen is hazardous. ments. Since then the Neu^ Yorf{ Times has become a client of the Ameri- can Institute of Public Opinion and publishes its weekly reports on the state of public opinion throughout the country. The agencies of governopinion in their actions. and papers generally. Introduction to Public Opinion of government The American form is not really built to function successfully on this pattern. in which it is properly assumed that those who are chosen to be "representatives" will think for themselves. they did not have wide reader articles Many of the leading magazines have published about them. books. and what effect they have upon would appear that they were read widely in view of the fact that they are carried by a large num- ber of newspapers with wide circulations and in view of the attention given to improbable that such a paper several them by magazines. It is as the Neu/ YorJ{ Times would pay if thousand dollars a year for these reports interest. Politicians believe this and for try assiduously to create the impression that their candidate and their point of it. the Times editorial raises two important questions. to my knowledge. of It how extensively these public-opinion reports are read the opinions of those reading them.

The problem we are facing goes to the very heart of the whole problem of democracy. whether God and should govern the acts of legisAre we prepared to have public opinion not only reign but also govern ? Our government is a representative democracy and not a direct democracy. Even in those states where the initiative and referendum are used most frequently and extensively. if not the will of the people as a whole. socially useful. restrictions have been placed upon the number and types of questions that may be submitted. that these polling agencies be subjected to social control. For a long time pressure groups have followed the practice of trying to convince the government and the public that they voice the will of the people. of the private polUng agencies. question raised by the New Assuming that the voices of Gallup Yor\ Times is even more and the magazine arises Fortune are the voices of the people. The consequences may For various reasons Congress has providing for a these agencies persistently refused to pass a law^ war referendum. It is the people and rapidly con- important. I rassing the national I government am not taking a position against such referenda. And conduct just yet the possibility exists that may such a referendum. the question they are also the voices of lators. or. thereby embarin the conduct of foreign policy. private interest. In the first place they emphasize . in many respects. merely wish to point out the importance of the problem. at Phrases like the "voice of agriculture" and the "voice of business" have been frequently used. therefore. But now we all have private institutions purporting to speak the voice of vincing us diat they do. and that they be used in the public rather than the The second perplexing. The Times editorial emphasizes this fact.Public-Opinion Polls their interpretations of the state of 57 pubHc opinion conflict with those be serious. but there are grave doubts concerning the wisdom of the masses to pass upon all questions regardless of their technicality and complexity. The attempts now being made to improve methods for ascertaining the state of public opinion on social and political questions are. least a large section of it. The claims of such groups are often suspect. Are the masses of citizens competent to express their opinions on all matters of social and public policy ? They are doubtless more competent than they were in years past. that the accuracy of their reports be assured.

viduals and interested minorities that public opinion thus and In the third place. their patterns of thinking. and the relative influence of different factors in the opinion-forming process. and begins to think in terms of the adequacy of a sample. Periodic elections are cumbersome. Moreover. the claims of pressure groups. that a poll of the opin- . he has before of the voter may be to the questionnaires he him as a rule a list of questions which not only focus his attention upon important public problems. but may even stimulate a little more thought. these newer experiments will probably pro- duce a more critical attitude on the part of the public generally to toward claims of groups and individuals purporting voice of the people. relation. and the assertions of politicians. Political leaders have to clarify and define and group leaders are often quite as interested in confusing as in clarifying issues. Already the accumulation of these data has suggested some rather interesting hypotheses. sex. it should be noted that these experiments result in the scientific value. public-opinion polls serve as useful checks on the state of public opinion as indicated by the press. and help him to clarify the issues. residence. have come to be devices primarily used for selecting public rather than instruments for bringing to light the precise state of public opinion on specific issues. and sectional groupings. accumulation of a wealth of data of considerable files of the American Institute of Public Opinion and the For- tune magazine contain a mass of data concerning the expressed opinions of people throughout the United States regarding innumerable questions of significance. In framing their questionnaires these polling agencies issues.58 An Introduction to Public Opinion the shortcomings of the cruder indices and manifestations of the American pubHc mind. This fact enables the investigator to draw conclusions regarding the opinion-forming habits of different groups. income. Gallup believes. and officials. these mechanisms of opinion identification may encourage a more widespread and intelligent discussion of public questions. In the second place. probable errors. on the basis of his findings. such a way that they can be classified These opinions have been collected in by age. Dr. is and coefficients of cor- certain to become more skeptical of statements is by indiso. And The finally. Whatever the reaction received. slow. speak the A public that reads discussions of the technical accuracy of the Gallup or Fortune polls.

results. for using these selection of techniques for private rather than public advantage. In other words. he finds little ground for the popular assumption that the masses are less certain of their opinions than the intelligentsia. and sectional groupings it is possible to throw a good deal of light upon the problem of how public opinion is formed. sex. They desire to find the truth. especially on questions of political and social significance. . I believe. But in polls on issues there exists it not even the check of competition. infinite The dangers are not those of crass fraud. some of them very merely. whereas repeatedly there is a 50 to 50 split within a given age group or income group. If over and over again it is found that 90 per cent of the members of a party think alike. For no obvious check. would be only the most extraordinary coincidence that would enable the public validly to check one poll against another. very difficult not impossible to establish their accuracy. there are strong grounds for believing that the influence of the party factor is greater than the influence of the age or income factor. number of ways. Whatever other values these experiments have. And in other hands our reverence for statistics might be used against us. income. There are an subtle. so far as political and most economic questions citizens of the are concerned. the timing of polls. One It is of these is the fact if that they are so generally accepted as reliable. if for no other reason than a commercial one. as well as the statistical treatment of ties. are phases of the problem that present difficulofficial In polls on candidates the results can be checked against election returns. sex. degree of unanimity on such questions a political party than is greater The among members of income among those of the same age. their phrasing. No one. But they are dealing with instruments of power. By classifying opinions according to different age. can fairly question the honesty of purpose efforts of and painstaking care that go into the polling most of the agencies. the scientific usefulness "Scientific" polls is may clearly indicated. party affiliation seems to be the deciding factor. He also finds that. or group. do give rise to problems. The questions. They have taken every effort to avoid the danger of ballot stuffing and manipulation.Public-Opinion Polls ions of a group of university faculty 59 members on a general political question will reveal substantially the same cleavages as a poll of the United States as a whole.

They are financed by the They must cater to some affects the list of questions sale of their surveys to private interests. entific" polling into which have The problem is to turn these efforts at "sci- channels that will be of the greatest social usefor accurately fulness. . Negatively they often prevent the polling of public opinion on questions great social significance. and this fact used and the publication of results. Positively. Polling public opinion may well be regarded as an activity vested with a public interest. extent to these interests. If a method has been found it sampling public opinion then should be socially controlled. they influence the choice of questions. The financial supporters exercise both a negative and a positive influence.60 An Introduction to Public Opinion All the nationwide polling agencies are commercial enterprises.

What is a Personally. In the preceding lecture we noted that such polling agencies as the American Institute of Public Opinion and the magazine Vortune based their procedures on certain assumptions regarding die role of such factors in the public-opinion-forming process. The purpose of this lecture will be to chart the in studies of this kind. I see no valid reason to verbal expressions of attitude. it is important to re-emphasize that public opin- merely a collection of individual opinions. opinions are formed how personal is we will If we can find out know how public opinion formed. call attention which has been made some of the hypotheses advanced. one expression of attitude in words. A. either written or spoken. to for restricting the word "opinion" views "which defining may be rationally held. and he defines among two or more inconsistent mind as views which are capable of being accepted by a rational true." because of the difficulty of what we mean by rational. } Are these assumptions valid this process ? What. as age. It always takes the form of words. that there exists a group mind. an entity disassociated from individual human beings. and indicate the nature of the problem as it faces us today. Lawrence Lowell believes that opinion as the "acceptance of one we should. Opinions are always individual expressions of attitude.Formation of Opinion TTEMPTS to find reliable indices of public-opinion trends and to ±\_ measure states of public opinion have been accompanied by A equally searching inquiries into die nature of the public-opinion- forming progress to process. has been thoroughly discredited. income. do we really know about In the first place. Irrational views and opinions 61 . ion is after all. In the second place of opinion."'^" This definition is raises fact } And what a rational mind ? two perplexing questions. It is it is The notion necessary to refer again to our definition merely an expression. sex. the words we speak or write constitute expressions of Should we distinguish between statements of fact and ex? But do opinion all ? pressions of opinion Dr. etc..

Why do people express the opinions they do? ? Why do people. prejudice or bias. wishes. preconceived notions. The problem specialists. is many is senses. After pointing out that the word has different a wide range of application. habits. threats. exertIn this sense ing a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual's response and situations with which it is related. wish to stress is that a thorough understanding of the process of opinion formation presupposes a knowledge of how attitudes are formed. the important upon our major political and social prob- lems the best-informed opinion available. and convictions about any specific topic. Professor Thurstone defines it as "the sum total of man's inclinations and feelings. and pronounced . usually favorably or unfavorably. I do think. Biologists and psychologists have given it than any other group of But it is more attention to by no means a prob- lem exclusively interesting to them. we may think of an attitude as a disposition on the part of an individual to act or react in a certain way. which in turn presumes a knowledge of how third point I The personality itself develops. therefore. have different opinions regarding the same question opinions whereas others do not ? Why do some people express Why do we find considerable agree- ment on some questions."'^'^ from such words as reflexes. ideas. he gives the following definition: "An attitude mental and neutral to all objects organized through experience. sentiments. instincts. But what a is an attitude? Professor Gordon AUport has given used by writers in question careful consideration. supposedly well informed and reasonably objective.""^^ In general. Whether or not the study of public relations is thing is to bring to bear merely a branch of psychology. this very difficult to do. and little or no agreement on others ? Why are some opinions more intense than others ? How may we account for sudden changes in opinion on some issues. toward a parthe term is distinguishable ticular issue or object. and traits. is not simple but extremely complex. The and very fact that so political much political philosophy and so much social engineering are based on theories of personality emphasizes the importance of keep- ing abreast with psychological researches. however. there it is value in distinguishing facts from opinions.62 An as Introduction to Public Opinion political significance as the is may have although much purely rational. fears. and state of readiness.

even why men reach dif- though they have the same information. particularly those of an organic nature. We know that our opinions as well as our personalities are what they are because of the interacting listed in- fluence of heredity chology have and environment. Lowell stresses the effect of ascribing different weights to the evidence presented. but also upon the impact of these facts upon our constantly changing personality. even contradictory. Again we come ing problem of determin- why our opinions are what they are can be solved only by finding out why we are what we are. of course. images of things created in our minds and experience. Students of sociology and the social sciences have done the same for environmental influences. unprejudiced influence of a to venture.Formation of Opinion 63 stability on others ? What factors are most important in the opinionforming process ? Are there any general propositions regarding these matters that are valid ? At least one statement or proposition can be made with assurance: that our opinions are multiplicity of factors. hear. do they ascribe different weights to the evidence ence different emotional reactions to an issue or a question ? presented ? Walter Lippmann emphasizes the role played by stereotypes result of in the as a opinion-forming process. No one knows the complete answer. therefore. The question may be asked: Why is it necessary to trace the genesis ? of opinions in such a comprehensive fashion to confine our consideration simply to Why is it not sufficient important influences? But which deal to are the important? Undoubtedly what we read has a good do with our opinions on certain subjects. explanations of the opinion-forming to the proposition that the process. and the influence of emotion. not only upon our access to facts. But why do men experi- Why do some attend to the matter in hand more carefully than others ? And why. different. what they are because of the Beyond this it is hazardous reasonable. Dr.^'^ What these images are depends. Students of biology and psyand described many of these hereditary and environmental factors. In attempting to explain ferent opinions. But we do know some things. And so we could go on through the literature to find what we actually see. the varying degrees of attention people bestow on a problem. But two persons .

vary from person to person. We are confronted with a growing. It may be that we come into world with certain "preponent reflexes. Opinions are certainly not inherited. From is considerable variation. even at birth. attitudes. So much depends upon the influence This is not to say that environmental influences are determinative. the categories are divided and subdivided indefinitely. Out of this interacting process emerges an individual personality with certain habits. Man's potentialities. topography. even with respect to such physical traits. Many students have even to explain differences undertaken and also uniformities of opinion . and some other our predictions of environment. On the environmental side it is customary to classify factors as physical. climate. The starting usually a distinction between hereditary and environmental this point on. potentialities We do possess certain ment less in which take different forms according to the environwhich they develop. From this point on. At birth they are potentialities. the texture of hair." as Professor AUport them. and traits which are common to many. Various attempts have been influences point is made to enumerate and classify the which make our opinions what they are. and social. Men are not born radicals or conservatives. mineral resources. There seems to be no generally accepted basis of subclassification. much Deal or Communism. But how much we do not know. And yet. Environment may serve to equalize differences in some respects and magnify them in odiers. psychological.64 An Introduction to Public Opinion may read the same book or newspaper and arrive at diametrically opposed views. may miscarry. Physical factors comprise geography. there is factors. So far as specific instincts heredity concerned the notion that persons have at birth has this calls been largely discredited. nor are attitudes. with others that are unique. developmental process in which both hereditary and environmental factors are acting and reacting upon each other. biological. but recent psychological studies emphasize the plastic and malleable nature of our hereditary equipment. This does not mean that we cannot merely bundles of adherents of the predict to New some extent the traits. Undoubtedly the place where we live and work has a great deal to do with our opinions. and many other aspects of our material surroundings. color of skin.

Formation of Opinion largely in terms of one of these factors. and religious institutions life. such factors as age. Our psychological surroundings are also important the attitudes and opinions of our associates. and other polling agencies proceed on the theory that sex. or submitted. and income which make our opinions what they are. economic. the ideas they hold and express. social. we must take — account of patterns of social organization and institutional the political. The problem of merely listing all these factors making our opinions what they are is a baffling one. and in a great many instances the state of opinion was evenly divided. and possibly race. age. But there are some this problem difficulties with Insti- assumption. by knowing where a person lives. place of residence. the magazine Fortune. Of course. we can predict what his opinions will be. and party affiliation are the more important influences making our opinions what they are. 1935. as previously pointed out. and the racial character of the people with whom we associate have much to do with our attitudes and opinions. 1938. which seems to show that a comparatively small sample of the population which mirrors the whole population in these respects will also mirror its opinions. more than 85 per cent of the respondents expressed the same opinion. are the factors alike in spite of these differences. As previously noted. to say nothing of the problem of weighing their relative influence. the presence or absence of specific forms of animal and vegetable life. much of the mystery surrounding the of opinion formation disappears. They base this theory on their experience. 65 Our biological surroundings. is. so. the American Institute of Public Opinion. it is an unusually sig- nificant discovery. If this is true. how old he whether he has a large or small income. sex. Moreover. shows a considerable variation in the extent of agreement on the questions On a number of questions. how may we explain the fact that on many questions we all think so nearly however. An examination of the polling experience of the American tute of Public Opinion from October. Our sur- opinions and beliefs are constantly being affected by the character of which round us. income. If. what his sex is. to May 15. on most of the questions there was less agreement. and whether he belongs to a particular race or party. religion. nearly If. place of residence.? .

and place of residence remain virtually constant. but not when the returns are when classified on the basis of income. It may be that his age determines what he reads and hears. the proximate factors affecting our opinions are prac- most important. which are active. however. after we examining the returns. seem especially important because of the unanimity of opinion expressed by those in a particular category. and how prosperous we are. I think it fair to assume that the proximate causes of our opinions tically the be at a loss to are the things we read. Other- how can we explain the high degree of agreement on certain etc. Without knowing what they are we shall explain sudden and far-flung changes in public opinion at times when such factors as age. factors varies from question These observations indicate the difficulty of ascertaining empirically what factors are important and what their relative influence is. determined by where we these in turn how old we are. in contrast to the primary factors. questions apparently. They condition our personalities and predispose us to act in specific ways. that on some is questions the extent of agreement classified very great according to age levels. After all. such as On others. sex. In many instances. We may call these secondary factors latent. none of the factors employed by the polling agencies in their sampling formulas were important. is The influence of these factors may be. income. On some wise. certain factors. The fact of a high degree of correlation between the age of a person and the opinions he holds does not necessarily establish a causal relationship. And may be conditioned by our biological. physical. and psychological heritage. Introduction to Public Opinion find. etc. to a considerable extent. they are poor indicators of what our not explain rapid and opinions will be on specific issues. and probably live. sex. ? questions in spite of differences in age.66 An Furthermore. or see. This in no way minimizes the significance of a high degree of correlation between age and opinion. and that the content of his reading and hearing is actually the decisive factor in determining his opinions. They do . income or age. Another important point should be noted. social. It merely shows that some influence other than age may be the proximate and direct cause of his views on issues. income. sex. This suggests that the influence of these to question. hear.

The immediate determinants of opinion are the channels of communication and what comes through them the ideas. Throughout the business world efforts are constantly being made to factors are . that a propaganda campaign resulted in the election of their candidate to office. the radio. They are not concerned about the question of the precise extent to which the advertisement or the particular medium used was responsible for the result. or. Within the by these rather firmly fixed conditioning factors the opinion-forming process goes on with lightning-like speed. by fan mail newspaper publishers. more effective than radio broadcasts in an election camthis We speak glibly of the influence of we have only the vaguest notion of what that influence is. a small The size of the factors ranges all the way from magazine advertisement to institu- tions such as the press. Politicians wish to know whether newsand that pressure papers are paign. for politicians. To know what most important is a saving of money. or a pressure group. In many cases no special attempt is made to isolate the factor and determine its influence. By con- — centrating our attention are propagating them. therefore. and the groups that better understanding we shall obtain a much of why our ideas and opinions are what they are than by studying the remote influence of climate. the effects or influence of particular factors } One reason is financial. Advertisers wish to know what effect a specific advertisement has upon public opinion. Why it desirable to determine more precisely. Motion-picture producers judge the public's reaction to a motion picture by box-office receipts. Corporation executives wish to measure the success of a public-relations campaign. A few experiments have been made specific factors in the to measure the influence of opinion-forming process. reports. It is enough for many business concerns to know that after they have spent a million dollars on an group. or limits set even social institutions as such. by the circulation of their . representations that constitute our world of verbal symbols. news.Formation of Opinion widespread changes in states of public 67 opinion when they in turn remain constant. upon conflicts of ideas. An is infinite number of manifestations of public opinion may be used as rough indices. but usually advertising campaign their sales increase. human biology and psychology. papers. broadcasters.

A common device for testing the relative influence of different is factors in the opinion-forming press the method of classification. sex. The voters were divided into two groups in such a way that they racial. the responses to different kinds of programs. Such classifications do not necessarily establish causal relationships. One group was subjected to a barrage of non-partisan appeals through the mails. income. The other group was not. In this way the effect of other influences was kept constant. But state of public opinion before the experiment.68 An Introduction to Public Opinion test the influence of particular kinds of advertisements. .*^*' He selected twelve districts known to be typical as far as the of the population of the city as in each district economic and racial characteristics a whole were concerned. nor do they always indicate even the relative influence of the factors. this sort has a propaganda as well as a commercial Knowing which factors are of greatest significance in the opinion-forming process. race. the usefulness of particular media. and ends with a poll after the experiment to determine how ? can all factors affecting the change be held constant so that the precise influence of the one in which are interested can be measured we Professor Gosnell attempted an experiment of this kind to ascertain the effect of a non-partisan mail canvass to get out the citizen vote in selected districts in Chicago. By means of did not differ fundamentally with respect to this method of controlled groups it is possible to test rather carefully the precise influence of The crux the of the some factors in the opinion-forming process. and other important characteristics. If all within a certain age group have the same opinions on selected issues there is a strong presumption that the age factor has a great deal to do with the expressions of opinion. etc. products. and other classifications. But knowledge of value. so that whatever differences appeared in the voting of the two groups might fairly be attributed to these non-partisan appeals. In every problem of this kind the experiment begins with a public- opinion poll to determine the the extent of the change. campaign managers can plan with greater assurance. economic. services. problem is to select two groups which are subject to same influences except for the one to be measured. the effective- ness of various types of appeal. residence. Referring again to the work of polling agencies we find that they segregate their returns according to age.

counties. and that no significance. Moreover. Treated in this many cases by wards. Stuart A. village. what compared series. Nevpre- such classifications have value and can be used to describe called patterns of opinion for different groups.Formation of Opinion If the 69 returns show a lOO per cent agreement in terms of age groups. and open-country communities. to compare trends existence in voters' opinions with other trends. way they can be used to chart the voting behavior of particular sections of the country. to ascertain the and character of cycles of party turnover. Perhaps a word should be added regarding the significance of time As Dr. differences in the political attitudes of those living in urban. tests show that sex is a determining factor in the formation of opinion. and many other factors. as Dr. ertheless. Classification techniques have been used to compare the votes of men and women political at elections. a 75 per cent agreement in terms of sex groups. . Rice states: invention and improvement of precise statistical The methods for analyzing time series has been one of the more important developments of recent years for the whole domain of social science. and in precincts. what may be As viously indicated. Rice has used them. and alignments according to religion. the fact that the distribution of perthat the age factor is the income factor is of almost centages varies with a change in question suggests that the phrasing of the question affects the relative influence of different factors. and arranged in time series. the effect of using with it a number of insignificant factors in constructing our formula may distort rather than improve the results. If.^' Students of government have given to election statistics than to statistics are classified more attention any other type of opinion data. however. The use of these methods has been almost confined. for example. and election districts. and only a 50 per cent agreement so far as income groups are concerned this suggests more important than the sex factor. or to study as he called the "amplitude" of electoral swings in recent to past times. race. the attempt to set for selecting samples of public opinion is up a particular formula on the basis of these factors not likely to be successful. The fact that the extent of agreement on a given question varies so much for different factors indicates that they do not aWays have the same weight. nationality. These by states.

The question was whether the "amplitude" of the electoral swing has tended to increase during the past century. Dr. and fortuitous changes. based on election statistics in New Jersey. although they do not seem to occur so frequently as the pendulum votes minor party business cycles. the point to be underscored is that public-opinion time series are very useful for testing hypotheses re- garding opinion formation. or between the prices of stocks and bonds. As might be mentioned such studies as those between the production and the prices of various agricultural commodities.." suggesting that "cycles of party turnover in Jersey are to be attributed to New atti- some factor or factors of changing tude which are not closely related to changes in business prosperity. he attempted to find out whether changes in public opinion as reflected in election statistics accomoften panied selected economic variations. called the He thought that changing peris centages of Republican votes might be an index of what of politics. . factors in the process. for example. His conclusion. Rice wished to the electorate to favor test the proposition that a mass tendency by didate over others one can- would carry its influence farther today than formerly.70 An Introduction to Public Opinion however. cyclical variations. and that changing percentages in might give some measure of the growth or subsidence of dissent from both of the major party organizations. It occurred to Dr. business activity in illustrations Dr. There they have come to be of invaluable aid in charting those myriad fluctuations of which practical men are interested. was that "cycles are present. as well as the influence of different One other illustration of the application of time series to the analysis of opinion data may be noted. Rice that "more fundamental causes than were suggested by factors in the immediate political situation might be operating to account in part for the striking reversals of attitude that were indicated by election landslides." Whether this is true or not. Increasingly throughout the past century the people in this country have been placed in closer contact with . seasonal influences.. to the special field of economics. His studies show that types of variation familiar in economics are to be found also in public opinion such as secular trends. Rice was one of the of political first to apply similar methods to the study phenomena and public opinion. In one case.

however. universal education. Recently. They are official and reliable as far as they go. developments just In order to test this hypothesis several tables of election statistics were used toward the winning candidate. They are comprehensive and have been regularly reported for a long period of time. This raises the interesting question whether large publics because of the mentioned are progressively assuming the character of mobs. sex. Unfortunately. and 1936. to show variations in the "swing" The presence of cyclical swings. Rice is War. communication. these agencies classifications have been collecting a mass of data in such form that innumerable and correlations can be made. 1932. figures have considerable value as indices of attitudes because of the secrecy of the ballot. trends in business. And they have been broken down for various geographical districts. it is impossible to classify them according to age. new^spapers. radio." These statistics illustrations suggest only a few ways in which election may be used to study the opinion-forming process. especially after the Civil manifest." As contributing factors to this phenomenon he mentioned urbanization. Indices of "landslide tendency" were then determined. tending to move in one direction or another with greater force and intensity. etc. These opinion data can now be used to test various theses regarding the opinion-forming process. Such and opinions and have been used more extensively than any other. Until the advent of nationwide polling agencies election statistics were the most im- portant opinion data available. . and hence more certainly subjected to whatever currents of opinion or emotion might arise in any part of the group. and the comparison suggested a definite relationship between business cycles and swings of political majorities. religious preferences. developments in transportation. was upward trend and five completed These cycles were compared with cyclical states. Dr.Formation of Opinion 71 each other. "Perhaps the best evidence that the data mean something to be found in the comparative regularity of the cycles of landslide indexes. cycles From 1867 to 1921 an were noticeable. Although the data presented some rather perplexing questions. and other categories extremely useful to the student of public opinion. race. moving pictures. Since he w^rote we have wit- nessed a series of landslide elections in 1928.

corn. And in the field of federal spending. retail prices. WPA expenditures. and farm production. of his policies in the immediate future. and relief expenditures are employed. A recent device for determining the relative influence of factors in the opinion-forming process correlations. In the field of industrial economics such indices as industrial production. as shown by the Gallup and For- tune and various economic indices. and union membership are used. Too much emphasis has probably been given to the forecasting activities of the polling agencies. employment by federal agencies. new building construction. relative influence tural. Although high degrees of correlation would not indicate necessarily a causal relationship. wheat. trends in the President's popularity are correlated with variations in wheat prices. predicting them. cost of living. In the field of labor economics such indices as em- ployment and unemployment. (2) the Presi- dent and industrial economics. PWA expenditures. information may be obtained regarding the on President Roosevelt's popularity of his agricullabor. and spending policies the probable character . dairy prices. and too little to the data accumulating. is the statistical technique of partial called the which has been simplified and method of . (3) the President and labor economics. earnings.72 An Introduction to Public Opinion Professor Clark of the University of Pennsylvania has recently undertaken a study to determine what correlations exist between President Roosevelt's popularity. and wholesale prices are used. the comparisons would be of value in indicating trends. strikes and lockouts. industrial. stock-market quotations. In each type. In the field of agricultural economics. wage rates. any. The availability now of such opinion data as the polling agencies are collecting opens up a whole new field of public-opinion and statistical research. causes for changes in the degree of his popularity. trends in the President's popularity are compared with indices of the respective economic trends. other federal ex- penditures. By noting the degree of correlation in each case. Professor Clark is interested primarily in four types of relation- ships: (i) the President and agricultural economics. and many others. interest and discount rates. (4) the President and federal spending. as well as the if character of lags. and possibly in polls. corn prices.

Professor Gosnell has recently applied this technique to a study of the influence of the press as follows: on public opinion. of a given candidate. Are the can the newspapers molders or followers of public opinion? incidence of the policies of the press be separated How from the many other complex variables which are woven together in a complicated pattern?" Without attempting procedure employed to obtain to explain the statistical techniques used. In the problem at hand it was discovered . important factors in the opinion- forming process and to determine the effect of one.Formation of Opinion multiple-factor analysis. Eight other variables each which was assumed to have some relation to the election results. : It seeks to reduce a complicated set of relationships to a relatively small number of factors. The question was Did these intercorrelations show patterns of behavior which could be interpreted in the light of the newspaper recommendations ? Factorial methods assume that there are primary tendencies which are to be estimated in terms of the variables given. For these same areas the votes received by candidates at primary or general elections during a given period were obtained and expressed as per- centages of the total vote cast. statistical It 73 seeks to accomplish by data the same end result obtained by the It controlled experiment. The aim of factor analysis is to ascertain how many general and independent factors must be postulated to account for a whole table of intercorrelations. these candidates The attitude of the newspapers toward of col- was determined by estimating the number were then umn of inches in each devoted to editorial and cartoon endorsements selected. undertakes to means of available method of the hold constant. providing what is commonly known as a correlation matrix. Product-moment coefficients of correlation were then calculated for all possible combinations of the 21 variables and presented in symmetrical form. A master table expressing each of the 21 variables in percentage form (except median rental) was then prepared for the 47 areas.^^ He stated his problem "There are many difficulties confronting any attempt to estimate the role of the press in the democratic process. It was possible information for 47 selected areas in the city of Chicago regarding the circulation of four leading daily newspapers. the may be summarized as follows. simply by neutralizing their effect statistically.

the more capable will be in exercis- ing its function of social control. the numerous what their specific and factors involved.74 An Introduction to Public Opinion that the 210 intercorrelations could be satisfactorily explained in terms of four general factors: (i) traditional Republican vote in national elections. illustrations of current activities in the field of public-opinion research suggest the complexity of the problem of analyzing the process of public-opinion change. It is not enough to list and is classify We need is. These local elections. (2) Thompsonism in local and Republican pri- mary elections. to know more it is precisely relative influence Public opinion not only a criterion for evaluating our public relations. The more intelligent our participation it formation. also a force over which we have some in the process of its control. . (3) wet Democrats in national and and (4) Republican vote in state and local elections.

or plants —not iiuman beings. composed of thirteen cardinals and two Its prelates. and doctrines. principles. I formal organization dates from 1650. —but ideas. transmit. On June 22.* Sometime between 1572 and a i<. further. Grateful acknowledgment is hereby expressed for permission to use this material. to whom were added a secretary and a consultor. promote. spread.The Concept "Propaganda" PROPAGANDA dized. 1622. disseminate.^<. and every fifteen days the decisions and recommendations of the Commission were referred to the Pontiff. refer to the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith is because for centuries and even today this institution best one of the In earlier examples of what the word "propaganda" signifies. and increase them. the foreign seminaries f|TPjQrpdrjpT7(-y nf Tarrlinal Papal Bull Inscrutabili Divinae finally instituted the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. It refers to the material is being propagan- propagandize animals. while Gregory XIII was Pope fide^ Commi ssion of Cardinals for the Propagation of the Faith {Car- dinalitial Commission de propaganda w as establis hed under Sa ntorio for the pu rpos c of founding and printing catechisms and si milar works in many lan guage's Under Clement VIII (1592-1603) weekly meetings were held. In reality the result of slow evolution. 75 . J:imes religious organizations were the principal disse minators of * This description of the evolution of propaganda the author in the Dictionary of ner's is based on an article by American History published by Charles ScribSons. a long history. To propagate to propagate to advance. It is The word "propaganda" has name of that department of the affairs in found in the ecclesiastical Catholic Church charged with the responsibility for spreading Catholicism and regulating non-Catholic countries Propagation of the Faith christiano whose official title is Sacra Congregatio nomini propagando. There have been various accounts of it is — —the Sacred Congregation for the the origin of this institution. To ideas is is a noun.

Propaganda assumes greatest historical significance when carried on systematically over long periods of time by large During the colonial period in and well-organized groups. The propagandistic writings also very effective. however. distribution. the Renaissance. and the Indus- Revolution ended. using the chan- nels of Committees of Correspondence. Often they were the only per- sons able to read and write. the rise of rnerchant classes. groups of workers. Because of this they were frequently vested with important clerical and other responsibilities by secular rulers as the western state system developed.76 An The Introduction to Public Opinion ideas. The advent of printing durin g t he middle o fjhg fifteenth century. and other institutions. and consumption of wealth . in the evolution of its judicial system. the t ^ and business trial t i discovery of new continents. economic transformations in the production. E ducational facilities were made availhe l^ able to an increasing number of people. clergy were the scholars. ^Economic. of Thomas Paine were The struggle for the rati- . to undermine the monopoly o f Roman Church over the propagation of ideas. but described the activities of all sorts of organizations. and political associations. politcah socia an d nnn-Q rh olic organizations of all kin ds began to e nter the propaganda arena. Propaganda was no longer the history of the peculiar prerogative of the clerics. the facilities expansion of educational and the increase of literacy. America extensive propaganda ac- tivities were carried on by religious institutions. by trading companies. technological changes and improvements in the field of communications. chambers of commerce. The spread of democracy and the extension of the suffrage. As a subject of scientific study it is as comprehensive and difficult as it is important. The history of propaganda is the dissemination and propagation of ideas. Students of English history are aware of the role they played in the constitutional development of England. Parliament. as well as an accelerating tempo of social change and an increasing need for social cooperation have greatly affected the role of propaganda in society. Political propaganda assumed large propor- tions during the years immediately preceding the Revolutionary War under the astute direction of Samuel Adams. such as church denominations and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. the Protestant Reformation.

the deepening of sectional. The presi- campaign of 1828. In general their methods of are similar to those of business groups. The two most compre- hensive and active propagandists for American business are the National Association of Manufacturers (1895) and the Chamber of Commerce tions of the United States (1912).000 commercial and industrial The National Grange organizations in the United States of which 1. The rise of large aggregations of labor and capital has greatly intensified the competition of propagandists. There are approximately 10. (1867) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (1919) have been active propagandists of agricultural policies. Th e adven tjjf radio broadcasting. the rising costs of y campaigning. was a propaganda has been affected by the increasing size of the electorate. in political landmark. class. and improvements in means of communication and contact." The practice of lobbydirectly ing —the attempt to influence public officials —has been supplemented and in some cases supplanted by propaganda activities designed to influence government indirectly through public opinion. is The development dential of political propaganda in the United States largely the story of the development of political parties. and economic cleavages. Most of these organizations carry on propaganda activities to a greater or less extent. and refinements in propaganda techniques have al/ tered the character of political campaigns and given decided advan{ tages to the party in power. Since then which Andrew Jackson won.The Concept "Propaganda" fication of the Constitution of 1787 l|^ 77 produced the classic compilation of arguments known as the Federalist papers.500 or state. tempo of public-opinion changes. Labor (1886) and more recently the Committee for Industrial Organization (1935) have been preeminent propagandists of labor doctrines. have altered techniques andT proBaHTy influenced the The expansion of governmental political '^'^ activities. the growing importance of economic issues. increases in public expenditures. and its use in political campaigns since / 1924. except that they take a active part in elections The American Federation more and political contests. There is scarcely a field of human activity in which propaganda . more are inter- or international in scope. In 1938 these two organiza- launched one of their most comprehensive campaigns with the slogan "What Helps Business Helps You. national.

'' To . (2) the availability of new^ instruments of mass impression such as the radio and motion pictures. (3) refinements in technique accompanied by greater specialization. and the National Council for the Prevention of War are examples of persistent special-purpose propaganda organizations. (4) increased attention of business executives to problems of public relaprecise tions rise and propaganda as distinct from those of dictatorial propaganda machines and propagandas in the of advertising. and sectional groups.mdLas a_multiplicity of special-purpose organizations. Since then the role of propaganda in the United States has been markedly affected by (i) the increasing use of propaganda by governmental agencies. as ^. the National Civil Service Reform League. The American Peace Society (1828) is one of the oldest of numerous organizations seeking to further the cause of peace. state. and local. as illustrated by the rise of public-relations counselors and the use of more methods for charting changes in public opinion. the specialized study of propa- studies of the history of ideas.78 An Introduction to Public Opinion or ganizations have not arisen. professional. the American Civil Liberties Union. log-rolling is practiced. In propaganda activities cancel one another. The Anti-Saloon League of America. More tEan 500 national associations have headquarters in Washington and seek directly or indirectly to mold public opinion and public policy. a^e. the American Legion. (5) the a more intensive petition of field of international relations. but more particularly Why do these ideas spread? How may we account for the far-flung acceptance of some ideas and not of others. religious. national. historical work of those who have propounded great philosophies and analyzing the nature of their doctrines. In addition to political and economic form ations there are racial. The World War injected the national government into the propa- ganda arena on an unprecedented scale. and the influence of small but active minority groups is large. The stu- dent of propaganda in the questions: is interested in this work. In others. comand (6) an increasing emphasis ganda as a social There have been many treatises describing the upon phenomenon. and is active today. The American Anti-Slavery Society some cases their (1833) was one of the most active and influential propagandist organizations in pre-Civil War days.

Professor Frederick E. One method of approach is to study the activities of individuals and organizations actively engaged in the propagation of ideas and doctrines. states that Lumley. any four. any three. and thus makes society a vast. growth. engenders fear writes: and suspicion. — It is unsocial because it "dwarfs the critical faculties. We might study the genesis."^^ From his point of view all propaganda is bad." . We might he can. many-roomed. "Propaganda is promotion which is veiled in one way or its another as to (i) (3) the origin or sources.The Concept "Propaganda" answer these questions will bring us closer to 79 an understanding of why public opinion is what it is. Or we could try to chart the course and spread of selected doctrines through the centuries or even focus attention upon the dominant pattern of ideas in particular places at particular times. He wishes to find out. haunted house. for example. (2) the interests involved. especially the role played by human. less frequently in the writings of serious stu- dents than in discussions by popular commentators. methods employed. Since the World War the word "propaganda" has acquired an invidious connotation. and spread of selected doctrines in terms of the activities of those engaged in their propagation. multiply. (4) the content spread. Or perhaps it mawould be more correct to say that propaganda makes the social order spooky. in his book The Propaganda Menace. and (5) the results accruing to the victims any one. the results of propaganda correspond in many disembodied spirits. He deals. and produces intellectual slavery. mostly lignant and potently devastating powers. however. In some respects the task of the student of propaganda and public opinion is like that of the biologist or the horticulturist. ideas grow. propaganda may appropriately be de- scribed as the modern substitute for these powerful. any two. He "In'^ particulars with /* the results of a stalwart belief in the omnipresence of innumerable Indeed." sum. and more active forces in the process. why take as our starting point specific individuals or organizations and study the doctrines they are spreading. with ideas and opinions rather than plants and animals. or all five. if and spread. What we are really interested in as stu- dents of propaganda and public opinion are the reasons why ideas and doctrines spread. He is a student of societal evolution. There are many different approaches to the problem.

In the fall of 1937 an Institute for and social criteria. And yet who can say with assurance what is good and what is bad ? We live in a world of conflicting ideologies and philosophical systems. bu t forceful objections may -be rpndr tn rr^rrirtin^^ th^ mr ming of the word p ropaganda itself to. methods. such standards? To answer this question satisfactorily have to delve into philosophical discussions of exceptional perplexity. of The only certainty is that every listing human is values takes us back ultimately to a premise.80 An If Introduction to Public Opinion the word "propaganda" propagation of ideas interests. and resuks it may be that such propa- ganda produces the consequences Professor Lumley enumerates. Personally. certain premises incapable of absolute proof."^*^ The . Obviously the morals of propaganda are prescribed by the standards of goodness and badness which we use to evaluate it. Are there we would is We would ultimately have to answer the question: What the good life ? Within recent years we have witnessed the rise of authoritarian states with definitions of the good life so different from our own that it would be difficult for most of us to stamp their propaganda good. ethical. It is a question of perspective. is to be restricted in meaning to the and doctrines which are veiled as to origin. a question of their whether students of propaganda wish to limit the scope interest to disseminators of ideas and doctrines which in bad or prefer to focus attention their opinion are upon the broader area of idea dissemination. The only way to test this conclusion is to investigate propaganda which does employ such methods. I am willing to admit that the consequences listed are bad. After the study completed. although to do so presupposes the existence of objective and absolute standards of goodness. a mere opinion. an assumpstarting point for a pure science of propa- tion. content. The ganda not a definition of moral values. is the appro- priate time to evaluate in terms of moral. Propaganda Analysis was or-" meth- ganized as a "non-profit corporation for scientific research in ods used by propagandists in influencing public opinion. i< jeas propagate d by ve iled methods. No one can reasonably object if Professor Lumley wishes to confine his own studies to veiled propaganda. All of them start with certain assumptions. but the selection of an is object to study. not before.

" So far as this definition is concerned there is no implication that propaganda is bad." that. In reality the Institute confines its investigapropaganda which it considers bad. — ^ / . freedom to discuss those issues in public gatherings. To the definition itself there " is no ground for objection. in the press. "is that which alters public opinion on matters of large social consequence often to the detriment of the majority of the people. no attempt to distinguish between good and bad propaganda. when the Institute proceeds to and appraise propaganda departs from its tions to announced objectives. According to what standards does the Institute select the propaganda it wishes to study. "Socially desirable And elsewhere it asserts propaganda will not suffer ination. radio.The Concept "Propaganda" charter of the Institute 81 contains the following statement of its purposes To assist the public in detecting and analyzing propaganda by conducting scientific research and education in the methods by which public opinion is influenced." it states. word propaganda refers identify. It is simply another only way of stating that the are to ideas. It is and opinions which that it propagated for a purpose. action by individuals or groups deliberately designed to influence opinions or actions of other individuals or groups with reference to predetermined ends. motion pictures. The propaganda as an "expression of opinion or_. but the opposite type will be detected it is. and by the distribution of reports thereon. Other types are bad." from such examand revealed for what The principal basis used for selecting and distinguishing various types of propaganda is the Institute's conception of democracy. either as one of its purposes or as a means of furthering any of its purposes. doctrines. The Institute lists four principles of democracy: (i) Political freedom to vote on public issues. not be within the purposes or powers of the corporation to engage in propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence legislation and the corporation shall not. Propaganda which conforms to democratic principles is good. by the analysis of propaganda methods and devices. engage It shall in propaganda or otherwise attempt Institute defines to influence legislation. propaganda which it considers bad? "Propaganda which concerns us most. analyze.

card stacking. such as the importance of the subject. glittering generalities. There is no valid objection from the scientific point of view to the Institute's selection of certain types of propaganda for special study. Instead of making a real its contribution to our understanding of propaganda techniques studies merely show that some propagandists do use these devices. (3) Social ^freedom Vfrom oppression based on theories of superiority or inferiority. Instead of attempting to find out precisely why certain types of propaganda spread it merely It tries to show that propagandists use certain devices or methods. especially "undemocratic" propagandists. ignores the possibility that other and. of view. the Institute seeks to bring the phenomenon of . used seven principal devices for propagating their ideas: name calling. plain folks device. The principal difficulty with the Institute's approach to the study is of propaganda not diat has exercised its privilege of selection but that it has failed to proceed from that point without precon- ceived notions regarding what it wishes and expects to find. and the feasibility of studyNo one may reasonably object if the Institute arbitrarily selects for purposes of study propaganda which it it considers undemocratic. — tions — — ous bases of selection will be used.82 An (2) Introduction to Public Opinion Economic freedom to work and to participate in organizaand discussions in order to promote better working standards and higher hving conditions for the people. My find criticism of the Institute's work is that it has too limited a perspective of the problem of propaganda. instead of coming to grips with the phe- nomenon of propaganda the Institute simply tries to prove that "bad" propagandists use certain methods. Instead of starting out to why particular ideas spread. Vari^ etc. testimonials. with separation of church and state. (4) Religious freedom of worship. thereby implying that only "subversive" advocates use them. ing it. All scientists have to select some subjects and exclude others. and the band-wagon technique. whether or not it is interesting. In other words. and exactly what methods are used to propagate them. Instead of trying to find out some- thing the Institute is merely trying to prove something. good propagandists from its point and the possibil- ity that the propagandists selected may use other techniques equally important. its The Institute began researches with the assumption that propa- gandists. also use these devices. the transfer device.

this From point of view a propagandist is a person who uses these "bad" if techniques to propagate his ideas and doctrines. tortion. or affective appeals in the public dissemination and modification of ideas. But it is still restricted to the dissemination of ideas that are illogical and not factual. the pla cing of i deas in a s a lluring and attractive surroundings as possible repetition and-simcate rnry ' IK) . lists methods of direct and indirect sn^- some instances the propagandist reveals his aim. The methods of the propagandist are said to be emotional and illogical. Even avoids the use of ethical labels he the student may try to restrict the meaning of which are propagated in a specific manner. With this limited perspective Professor Doob classifies t propaganda methods under seven major headin gs. even from this broader perspective. active. retains an unsavory." His perspective is broader than that of Professor Lumley and the propaganda to ideas Institute. The business of propagating ideas. unsocial connoprincipal tation. He may even use finally reveal his motives. and beliefs. attitudes. h ave.nr the y will be pe rceived. In the first \\p lists devices sometimes employed to make ideas stand out sn th. Professor Doob defines propaganda as "the employment of nonlogical. Because some propagandists have used dis- — name calHng. This has even led to definitions solely in terms of techniques. These include a careful selection and use of all » a vailable channels of communication. In the third category he ajp peals cites a number o f methods u sed and to ada pt to the interests.^which are momentarily role in the life of the person. attitudes. fabrication. in others his he conceals both own identity indirect suggestion for a time and and then his goal. : plicity of expressiQiL__ In the second category he gestioD In . Both Professor Lumley and the Institute for Propaganda Analysis focus attention on certain methods used to propagate ideas methods which they regard as bad. beliefs which people alread y and which play a significant One common device is to vary the appeal. and tricks of various sorts the word propaganda has acquired an invidious connotation in some circles.The Concept "Propaganda" propaganda within the its 83 limits of a few devices which have caught fancy."^^ He excludes from consideration propaganda that is "factually accurate and logically adequate. .

"emploving ^e^tjnp to rivf^rc t"H"e techni qu e r\( n rg^tivf m^ gme unfavorable attitude s^ A fifth cate gory comprises various devices for reducing the chr» prp<t of failure. Lasswell."*" For him propaganda is not simply the propagation of ideas and doctrines.M:pnCTfhpninCT fav orahip attitudes. and follows the traditional procedure of advertisers. Emphasis is placed upon the use of suggestion and emotional appeals. and r eintorcing the initial acceptance of the idea . his set of principles is an inadequate tool for use in exploring the broad field of idea dissemination. m varyingTiTe appeal. Harold D. therefore. often directed at and confin es his eff orts group le ^d^r*. yyhn mny be better disseminators of ide as than he is. form yyith Furthermore. What gandist's Professor Doob is really doing is breaking down the propa- methods into a sequence of immediate objectives and classifying propaganda techniques accordingly. 'I'he propagandist may seek to enhance the prestige of his cause by having prominent people endorse his ideas or by creating the impression that large numbers of people approve them. and inducing actio n. Another is to use t he method of^irect trontafattack. he mentions a number of techniques used to transomentary approval in to firm conviction. It is limited m perspective because iognores appeals to reason. He may even distort. Another well-known student of propaganda. but also defines . the necessity for attr acrinpr attentipn. This approach is essentially psychological. at first to personal appeals. Finally. specifi es clear ly are often lasting. and the propagandist o induce action. He emphasizes. t feg"^ntagonist One method is t o ignore an d his opposing idea s.84 An Introduction to Public Opifiion In the fourth category he considers various techniques for combatting antagonistic do ctrines and ideas. adapting a p peals TrTThe int erests of different groups. such as repetition. and attempt to create favorable attitudes by positive suggestion. propaganda largely in terms of method. suppress. new arguments and new t emotional appeals First impressions exploits this principle. or even fabricate to accomplish his purposes. combatting unfavorable attitud es. Sometimes he Ends tha t mass app eals are not successful. Although Professor Doob does call attention to a considerable number of techniques customarily employed to mold public <. the propagandist often th e course of a ction which he wishes to have take n. opinion. and the e^ffi^acy of logical and factual t^hniques.

to doctrines methods is another question. bo ycott^ hriheryj and similar rpp ^ns of social conP ropaganda relies on symbols to ^'^ta'" ^^'= ^"'^' th ^ m. restricts the who veiled promotion. how. As students of to we wish know how if opinions are formed. preferable to select some particular propagandists or propagandistic is organization and study comprehensively and objectively what tually ac- done to propagate ideas." Professor Lasswell's conception that of Professor is. and many similar devices are the typical means of making propaganda. our problem is to find out how and why Undoubtedly symbols and representations play an important role in the process." propagandas the investigator con- Nor is there anything scientifically objectionable to focusing attention upon one of or more specific methods of propait is ganda. and . and broader even Lumley. Definitions should not be used to obstruct the vision of social scientists. meth od distinguishes propaganda from the management of by violence. He writes. songs. to select for purposes of scientific study siders "bad. and we can never obtain a complete answer lic we start out by defining pub- opinion in terms of selected methods of formation. but not the whole role. however. It Every student of public opinion and propaganda ordinarily limits is not unscientific. the "manipulation of significant symbols. than the definition of Professor gation of ideas by Doob who confines it to the propa- well restricts means of illogical and emotional appeals. why they do." his field of investigation. such as the manipulation of symbols. Not the p^irpnsp but the men trol." He ~~ goes on to state that ' "Anybo dy who ~~" is uses representations' to influence collective responses a propa- gandist.The Concept "Propaganda" ' 85 propagation of them by certain methods. Whether to restrict the desirable meaning propagated by selected public opinion propaganda itself. Such a procedure is more realistic and probably more fruitful than simply selecting a particular method and then trying to find out who uses it. the meaning of the word to the propagation of Lassideas by one method. pictures. much broader than word "propaganda" to more inclusive than that of the Institute for Propaganda Analysis. but words. "Not bombs nor bread. in the case of propaganda. parades.^nip1l]a- tion of collectiv e attitudes. which limits its meaning to undemocratic doctrines propagated by means of seven "devices". Similarly. of course. for example. It is certain ideas spread.

they have nothing else in common. to prove a case. repeat. for the open mind. They may be socially commendable or reprehensible ac-/^^ cording to the standards by which they are evaluated. it is by no means clear that all pFopaganda stems from controversy. Motives may be concealed or expressed. the reason for this urge.86 An Introduction to Public Opinion If under what circumstances. The educator strives. is a process of transmitting skil ls a pd gcreptf ^ arrii-ndps Pr opaganda is the transmission of attitudes that arr rerngninrd n" Objectives as in a co ntrove rsial within a fflven community. Moreover. If ideas are accep ted w any necessity for t rRP'^Tnii-fing th^m^ for_Qr opagating them Education is something vastly more imporit is difficult to see why . Its genesis would seem to to be the urge on the part of some individual inquiry is or group propagate ideas." he states. It is beca u^f' T'^rtain jrlpgg ha ve not been accepte d that we have our great educational systems. He wishes people to come to a conclusion. as well as stunts. there is tant than the propagation of accepted ideas. is To trines. and subtle types of suggestion designed to arouse the emotions. The propagandist has a He strives to convert. One significant line of to discover. if possible. that is all. motives. and citing of authorities. He is striving for an effect. to secure consent. Everett Dean Martin undertakes as follows :^^ to distinguish education and propaganda Although the educator and the propagandist are both concerned with the dissemination of information. to propagandize mere ly \ci prnpngnre ide ^s and doc- O bjectives. Methods used include the most refined techniques of logical argument. social. The propagandist is interested in what people think. statistical presentation. publicly approved or condemned. or religious reform movement. to sell. political." Question! A ff rpted by hom? Such a d istinctio n is obviously futile. may be specific as in an advertising campaign or general worldwide philosophical. overt acts. and methods employed are numerous. to support one side of an issue. They use contrary methods and they strive for opposite goals. "Educat ion.MProfpss^r T nsswrll ^^ays no. how they think. I s educati on pro paganda . the educator in definite aim. He has no case to prove which may not later • . to accept his case and to close their minds and act. its the latter course is followed the inves- tigator will discover a great deal about the particular method and application.

The Concept "Propaganda"
be reversed. He is willing to reconsider, to be experimental, to hold his conclusion tentatively.

87

But
us

is

this a distinction

with a

real difference? Is

it

not true that

the person

who

is

instructing us
is

how

to think as well as

he

who

tells

what

to think

propagating ideas, doctrines, principles? In the

one case the ideas propagated may be the tenets of Fascism or Com-

munism;

in the other the principles of logic, the

open mind,

liber-

alism. Moreover, do educators and propagandists use contrary methods? In propagating the "art of straight thinking" the teacher frequently uses many of the devices and tricks of the propagandist.

He

uses suggestion, authorities, emotional appeals, visual appeals,

devices to gain our attention

and

inspire us to act.

The

teacher, the

real educator, has quite as definite

an aim

as

any other type of

propagandist.

He
is

strives

to convert, to sell, to secure consent, to
eflfect,

prove a

case, to

gain an

to

induce us to conclude that the

way

to truth

not revelation, nor faith, but reason, the use of one's

mind, the weighing of evidence, the suppression of emotions;
straight thinking.

What

really dis tinguishesthe educato r fr^rn nthpr
j«;

types of propa gardisfQ

fb'" ^^'"'^'"'iL-QfJiis_

propaganda ^,.
alis

Professor Carl Friedrich virtually comes to this conclusion,

though he

hesitates to state definitely that education

simply one

type of propaganda.^^

He
he

admits that education and propaganda are

closely related, that both

undertake to bring about a change in

human
tion,

attitudes. But,

states:

"Propaganda always aims

at getting

people either to

do or not

to

do some very particular thing. Educa-

on the other hand, is fundamentally concerned with molding and developing a human being in terms of an ideal, as far as his nature allows it." And again, "All these efforts to mold human beings according to some ideal, according to some standard of what is good, beautiful, and just, constitute genuine education."
Professor Friedrich has really narrowed the distinction to this
:

the the

propagation of a comprehensive philosophy of propagation of
ganda. But
less inclusive ideas, doctrines,

life is

education
is

;

and

principles

propa,

how may we

distinguish between the propagation of a
it? It

world view and the propagation of segments of
that Professor Friedrich's

would seem
not so

argument

really leads to the conclusion

that education

is

one type of propaganda.

And

this result is

88

An
after
all.

Introduction to Public Opinion

alarming

We

may

su mmarize the relationship between

the two_as_inl1nws:
1. To propagandize is to propagate ideas ancLdoctrines, to atempt, deliberately to influence the minds pf other ppnplp. 2. Educatio n is merely one type of propa ganda. To educate i s tojnstill certain attitudes into the mmds ot others, a philosophy
t
^

it

you

will, of

man's mind
is

andho w_ to

use

it>.

To
ions

say that the educator

not attempting to influence "the opin-

and actions of other people toward a predetermined end" is a fact. Every educator is a philosopher of education itself, advocating educational ideals which he is deliberately and dogmatically seeking to inculcate in the minds of students. In order to emphasize the propagandistic character of education we need only review some of these ideals.
statement contrary to
1.

Social progress

is

essentially a matter of individual
It is

growth,

development, and improvement.

not so
is

much

a question of

"what
2.

is

good

for society" as

"what

good

for the individual."

Individual, and therewith social, progress depends

upon man's

capacity to use his

mind

—upon his reasoning process, rather than
things, training in log-

upon blind faith or revelation. 3. The educator advocates, among other
ical

process of thought; careful testing of assumptions; respect for

scholarship and objectivity; modesty and tolerance.

The

educator need not cringe

when

confronted with the label
social

propaganda. His objective approach to the study of current

problems
preaches.

is

merely another evidence that he practices what he

The Art

of

Propaganda

WITH New York World's
the
piece of the

the possible exception of the San Francisco World's Fair

Fair of 1939

is

probably the master-

modern

art of

propaganda. Not one propagandist, but

thousands, are cooperating to promote "the greatest

show on

earth."

They

are using every technique

and strategy

available to capture

captivate public opinion. Incidentally this gigantic
terprise gives us a

and propaganda en-

glimpse of the art of propaganda in the

World

of

Tomorrow.

The

Fair corporation, operating under the legal status of an edu-

cational institution,

made

its official

debut on September
its

23, 1935.^^

propaganda campaign are twofold: (i) to induce people to attend the fair and pay their admission fees; (2) to propagate the doctrine of the American Way of Life as of 1939. For the sake of convenience we may consider the propaganda techniques of the New York World's Fair of 1939 under
Broadly speaking, the objectives of
four headings: (i) the strategy of pnb jiriry,
(->)

tli?
(/|)

ganiza tion,
gersuasion^

the strategy of (3J_
if it is

argum entj gnd

strntfry nf or the Qtrarpgy nf

grow and spread, must be p ^rT^iv^d. ^^^^ gardless of its content it must be brought to the atf^nrion of the public. Hence the emphasis which is placed upon the Strategy of
Propag anda,
to

publicity— the

eff ort to

use to advantage

all

available instruments of
this are

opjiiion dissemination.

The

facilities for

doing

much more

numerous and
e^chibits,

today than ever before. They include the press, the radio, motion pictures, theat res^ the pH nrarmnal QyQtpm gj-f
effective

th e pulpit,

and countless others The World's Fair corpora.

tion has been exceptionally successful in exploiting the channels of

communication and doing it free of charge for the most part. Assisting Grover Whalen the corporation has a large staff of specialists directing the more important phases of its publicity campaign. To this number should be added many specialists employed by various groups and organizations participating in the Fair. Every
89

including the "Salute of Nations" program which links together several hundred broad- A feature publicity bureau services casting stations throughout the world. however. conceivable A special foreign editor services the great national press organs of five continents. as the experi- ence of the Fair shows.000 business forms daily. Press releases are translated into the leading lan- guages of the world. A radio division sponsors international and domestic broadcasts.000. 300 foreign-language squad of photographic editors papers. There is a department of the press organized along the lines of a newspaper city desk with an expert staff of editors and subeditors. The American Sales Book Company prints from 12. total of international The department has a paid clipping service in practically every country. this parade of publicity is obtained free of charge.000 biweeklies. And it has been estimated that the grand will fill newspaper publicity alone an entire 24-page newspaper every weekday for a year. mat and dynamic department of the World's Fair. jects The bureau of newsreels pro- and distributes hundreds of subjects over the newsreel circuits that of of the country. Special mention should be made of the use of "collateral" advertising. 3. Except for salaries. more than 1.700 magazines of every description and prepares articles which serve as speeches for members of national and local advisory committees.90 An Introduction to Public Opinion medium is employed to transmit the Fair's message. The the Fair on the wrap- . A have disseminated thousands of different pictures of the Fair. A speakers' bureau provides speakers any other project in the and lec- turers for all sorts of occasions. office expenses. a number exceeding history of newsreels. All in all. some indication of the scope and nature of World's Fair publicity via the more familiar channels of communication. supplementary publicity donated by individuals and groups cooperating directly or indirectly in the enterprise. the press department serves directly some 2. and a few inciThese illustrations suffice to give dentals.000 to 15.000.500 papers abroad. These media by no means exliaust the possibilities. and 1.000 daily papers in the United States. Teletype machines are used to broadcast publicity in the New Probably no press bureau in the country has a more plate service than this efficient York area. stamped with the Fair American Sugar Refining Company publicizes emblem.

Newspapers publish World's Fair editions. governmental agencies.000 sugar tablets distributed to restaurants throughout the United States. In Germany.000 counter cards.The Art of Propaganda 91 pers of 15. Reduced its the technique "f ^ to the maximum every available "cTiannel of and doing so as cheaply as possible. professional groups. 300 correspondence stickers.w^'^*' ^^" ^'^ rlnnp f(^ piake them available as cheaply as possible. The strat ^fry to ^^^^ t hem one by_^n^ n nd find '^i'«. Political parties.iffps«. and adaptable a s license hn<. 3. educational gious denominations — all of them are energetically striving to increase the number and usefulness of their contacts with the public.000 subscribers. Each medium has^ of course. the strategy of publicity is World's Fair menus. therefore. The State of New York provides space on the Hcense tags of one-tenth of the automobiles of the country for the Fair's label.000 booklets to glo- rify the Fair. forms. its own special usefulness. reli- _ paign. He . of such channels is almost unlimited. a nd soap wrappers Without regard to the is nature of the cause being propagated^^^the^ essential feature of every strategy of publi city an propaganda caminstitutions. differs greatly from dictatorships. and only a novice will think of communication channels solely in terms of newspapers. Italy. throughout the country are sponsoring World's Fair savings The Childs restaurant chain prepares handsomely printed to essentials.000 window stickers.000. ^^sin and motion pictures. so tar as channels of that in communication are concerned. radio. a nd the message of the propagandist must be pdapted 1*^ to that use andthe public served . The American Tele- phone and Telegraph Company inserts Fair advertising in its monthly bills to 1.000.000 bars of soap with wrappers featuring the Electric Utilities Exhibit Corporation York Fair. The uses 2. business corporations. 750.000 bill inserts every through its local subsidiaries month. The skuation in a democracy. T he number communication. The list of known channels is a long one and is being added to constantly. A comparable campaign members of the is being carried on by the American Gas Association. More than 450 banks and savings and loan associations clubs. There is no mystery about this. 10. and Russia there is no prob - . trade unions. Colgate-Palmolive-Peet distributes to leading New hotels 500.500. will draw upon his imagination to find t-acrs^ others as effective. cheap.

and social propaganda campaigns the New York World's Fair of 1939 has a more or less definitely fixed time limit. or benefit payments of one kind or Trade unions. The question is. and its sponsors are effects. maintain interest in the cause. ? the strategy of organization as. the propagandist must display considerable ingenuity to gain access to them. business associations. some- satisfy the tastes of practically everyone. for many political parties. terests of At any rate it is important to identify the personal inevery meml^^ r with '^he nhjprt-ivpg nf th^ rampnign He to see that the enterprise not only serves a great social satisfies his must be made purpose but also own is particular desires.^ovide a hierarchy ot leaders and subleaders^ dehne responsibility. to interest and meadows something. O ne method is to induce him to take a finanji rial^srnk ^jn the en te rprise. to be thrilled. either in the form of an investment. insurance premiums. and the like. how and democracies can they be used to the best advantage? In the United States. and duped. however. It is really a short-run affair. If one wishes to study the strategy of organization intensively he should examine the structure of such organizations as the Na- . the those who wish In contrast to many political. the necessity for creating an organization adapted to the purposes ot the campaign ents —an organization w hich will bind adher- together. religious denominations.92 An difficulty Introduction to Public Opinion lem or about using or controlling them. Another techni que is to give as many niembers as possible an official position m the organization. ^ allegiance. technically minded. as well as minded. subsidies. fraternal groups. However humble. businSasscWatToi^Cfi'^deunions. some definite responsibility which ties them physically and mentally to the cause. Th ere are many ways of binding a new convert to the cau se nnrp he has been won over. more interested in immediate results than long-time For that reason they have not devoted as much attention to example. artistically Care has been taken to provide stimuli for the to learn. amused. The widespread appeal of the World's Fair due in no small part to the fact that there is within the arena on Flushing where. is often enough to assure continued anothfiLw porations. Propagandists also realize the importance of the strategy of orgaii ization. economic. generally. corand political parties do this sort of thing. To possess an ofhce. dues. and cem ent allegiance. the sexually inclined.

and business prominent leaders in interests. however. Their members constitute a host of voluntary propagandists. organ- network of advisory committees over the country. educational. The promoters ized an_elaborate of the Fair have not been wholly organization techniques. and the adviso ry-committee technique is used in almost every propaganda campaign. by almost every type of propaganda group. and political leaders. political parties. known support in this country for American participation in the World suc- War. the creation of advisory committees may add prestige t^ t o the underta king as awhok^restige is important for any cause. there are innumerable state It and of one hundred. all walks of life. c omposed of They have. such as business. religious organizations. Another basic strategy of propaganda may be labeled t nr strategy of argi ^mfj^nt.^ No propagandist can rely entirely on publicity and . I t was used by George Creel in his campaign to win public their leaders. committees representative of different racial minorities.000 persons local committees. Many individual exhibitors have their own specialized ad- visory committees. boys and girls. and can be eiinanrDd-Sy-id^ntifying with it persons. the of Propaganda 93 ber of Commerce of American Federation of Labor. In addition to national advisory bodies. or some of our older and unmindful of ly more permanent religious denominations. The propaganda_ value jj of _such_committe es should not _b e underit rate^n^hey^ are composed of leaders of thought and action^ and well that the way to the minds of the masses is through These committees serve as channels through which Tair propaganda may be disseminated as well as instruments through which Fair officials can keep in touch with public opinion. for example. The list of names on the advisory committees of the New York World's Fair reads like a Who's Who of AmericariJ^ders. business men.The Art tional Socialist Party. sectional groups. There are committees of women. who already command respect. cess of Hitler is The due in no small part to his skill in enlisting the support of group leaders and then cementing their allegiance by placing them in positions of responsibility throughout his nationwide network of group formations. throughout the country are members of various advisory committees. Moreover. It is used by chambers of commerce. the Chamthe United States. Each state has its committee has been estimated that more than 10.

of about 20 books I'c l cational institutions. labor unions. He has published a series He which would be a credit to any research organization. and historians to do this York World's most important propaganda departments of the New Fair of 1939 is the department of library and research Mo^t propaganda groups hav e similar departments. Parties. all of them earnestly search for rhetori- cians. but them. Tlij«^ typf f^^ mntpi-^al very different from tbe iisna npwQp^ppr b^llyhoo^It-Geff€spaads to the kind of research vyork dnne by ^dn. has prepared more than 67 authoritative information bulletins about the Fair and keeps them up to date. They are abso l utely necessaryT T he job oFthis dep artment is to collect facts. The head of it is a professor One of the . He must be able to rationalize his cause.94 An Introduction to Public Opinion organization. busin ess all mento^myest millions there^ and-gr-oa-p leade rs in wal|<s of life to jiajticipate^ Fa£tSj^ statis^cs^ cogentjreasoning buttressed t hese by historical_ evidence-^:. and many so-called intellectuals. and such studies as Going to the Fair and The Fairs of the Past and the Fairs of Tomorrow. st atia=t ics. job. Leaders such as these must be convinced by cogent arguments in the form of lawyer's briefs. to implement Grover Whalen a nd_his aides^iaiaduciiig. The disposition of it many writers on the subject of propaganda to think of solely in terms of emotional appeals tends to limit our perspective of the whole phenomenon. Among the more important are a 250-page Official Guide BooI{. calculating politicians. economist's statistics. People rln not contribute a quarter of a billion dollars to such an enterpHse as the New York World's Fair unless they are convinced of its con. a volume entitled New Yor1{: The City Washington Knew. The masses may be sw^ayed by emotional ap- not hard-headed business men.. of history at Yale University.sdijiie_Eaix_id£a_to-th€^ mor£-seriQUs minded. 1 government officials to exhibit at the Fair. or philosopher's systems. trade associations. and basic information of all kinds. Rational appeals play quite . philosophers. crete value to peals. count j or more ss in dealing w-jjth group lea ders than what is usu ally called ma appeals. collects material for speeches With the help of a research staff he officials by Fair and often writes them._jrhese studies 1 may appeal to the masses. preacher's exegeses. but A'jnv primary f rYr-tLiui i&a£L. economists. lawyers.

Calhoun. All pro pagandists ry to suppl ement rationalizations of objectives with ern oMnnal apppa]<. or fundamental philosophical systems. Graham Wallas in his classic work. or Woodrow Wilson. and advertisers realize that certain types of habitual response are characteristic of large masses of people. We call this effort to arouse " emotional responses the strategy of persuasion.The Art as of Propaganda 95 Fortunate indeed important a part in modern propaganda campaigns as irrational. From the point of view of its convincingness. to define the word "emo- tion" precisely and "reason. and drives in the opinion-forming process. to differentiate it clearly from what we call and reason. The propagandist them seeks to arouse these habitual responses and relate to the ideas which he is propagandizing. editorials. exist. fund-raisers. and he inspired a political new interest in the emotional basis of t and social behavior. is the propagandist who has at his disposal such masterpieces of argument as Karl Marx's treatise Capital. politicians. John Wesley. much of this material is poor in quality. whether measured by legal standards of brief-making. or Thomas Paine's Common Sense. The findings of psychologists have emphasized the role played by emotions. It is extremely difficult. Thomas Hobbes. George Bancroft. Locke's Treatise on Government. in the sense of inherited tendencies to react to stimuli in specific ways. interests. canons of logic." Emotion. The strategy of argument is illustrated again and again in the books. articles.. persuasion and argument function together in a puzzling way an in the opinion-forming process. Thought rela- and feeling are so mysteriously related that to create artificial any attempt that to separate them is bound dichotomy. Politics. forcibly recalled to the minds of political scientists the fact that man's opinions are not solely the product of rational processes of thought. propagandists know t here is a close between emotion and wiUj^ and that emotions w hen aroused high degree of intensity hinder analytical processes of thought . if not impossible. Human 'Nature in. Whether or not instincts. and speeches which flood the country during an election year. statistical presentation. Whatever the tion of relation to a emotion to mind. For- tunate indeed is the party or pressure group that can command the argumentative prowess of the modern prototype of John Marshall. pamphlets. John C.

96

An

Introduction to Public Opinion
for argu-

and often produce the desired response without the need
jnenLuIt
is

for the sake of convenience only that

we

distinguish the

strategy of

argument from the

strategy of persuasion.

The

strategy

of persuasion comprises those techniques

which

are primarily con-

cerned with stimulating the senses to produce favorable responses.

Often such techniques serve
be reached
if

as short cuts to results that

would

not"

reflective processes

were invoked. The distinguishing
is

feature of the strategy of persuasion, therefore,

the attempt to

bring about favorable responses without bringing into play serious

mental

activity.

of 1939 has a number of departments or bureaus engaged in this business of arousing the emotions. On the

The

New York World's Fair

Fair grounds themselves exhibitors vie with one another to produce
the responses desired.

The

task

is

twofold: to project emotional

stimuli to the far corners of the earth

and induce people
is

to attend

the Fair

;

and, secondly, to produce specific emotional reactions after

they get there.

The

strategy of publicity

concerned with the pro-

jectio n of ^rimiih; <^bp <;tral£gy of persuasion

with the content and

character of the stimuli themselves.
Efforts are

made

to arouse curiosity, inspire patriotism, produce
create a feeling of eagerness

and and arouse one or more of these sensations innumerable events are manufactured which have national and international news value. Mention may be made of a few of the more dramatic. A preview and motorcade was staged in April,. 1938, a year before the opening of the Fair.
a sense of

awe and amazement,

impatience, amuse, enthuse, excite.

To

attract attention

One

of the directors of this spectacle described

it

as "the greatest

spectacle ever witnessed lavish

by a

city

which has grown accustomed

to

and

skillful

entertainment" and as "probably the greatest and

most ambitious promotional project ever attempted" {sic^. The motor parade included more than 100 large floats, 48 goodwill automobiles which were sent with goodwill messages to the capitals of every State in the Union, the massing of flags and floats of 60 foreign nations, and an almost endless procession of human beings. Other events on a comparable scale were the Dawn of a New Day celebration on January i, 1939; the 15-hour program of events marking the opening of the exposition on April 30; George Washington's inau-

The Art
gural journey from
of England's

of

Propaganda
the royal

97

Mount Vernon to New York; and King and Queen on June lo.

visit

In addition to pageants, parades, and special events of

all

kinds
for

sponsored by the Fair directly, special arrangements are
assisting exhibitors

made

and other groups to stage special events of their own. Feature days for states, counties, and cities; foreign days; school, youth, art, health, and commercial "days" succeed each other with amazing rapidity. Approximately i,ooo of them were crowded into a period of six months. What each exhibitor does on a small
scale, the

Fair corporation magnified to gigantic proportions.

Propagandists

know

that everybody likes to see a fight.

Newspaper

publishers realize the influence of contests in increasing newspaper
circulation.

Although the Fair corporation
it

itself

does not sponsor

such contests,

cooperates with several thousand business con-

cerns in arranging them.

One

notable illustration

is

the "Typical
interests

American Boy Competition" sponsored by the Rockefeller
at

Radio City.
Extensive use
is

m ade

of symbols

and

sl ogans,

those short cuts to

response, Representations oTthe tryToiTand the perisphere have been

broadcast throughout the length and breadth of the United States

and the world. They

are already serious competitors of the swastika,

the British lion, the Republican elephant, and the

American
but

eagle.
is

Apparently no one knows what they really
source of strength rather than weakness.
ity_and.

signify,

this

a

The symbols

arouse curios-

for that very reason, are indications of

good showmanship.
beexas

Xhe promoters

of the Fair also realize the propaganda value of

jm/j mpression

of magnitude."

ginning that the

New

They have emphasized from the York World's Fair of 1939 is the greatest

position ever held ; that

many

times as

many

people will attend

it

have ever attended a world's fair before; that at least four times as much money has been spent on it as on any previous fair; and that

from every angle
Every
sal
I

it is

the "greatest
to

show on

earth."

produce a "band-w agon" effect, a univerimpression that everybody is going to the Fair and that you and
effort
is

made

will be out of the

swim

if

published and broadcast daily.

we fail to go. Attendance figures The attendance of the great and

are

the

near great

is

publicized far and wide.

Propagandists also realize the importance of timing their appeals

98

An

Introduction to Public Opinion
(Refined obj ectives.

pro pejlv and relating th em fn clearly
repetition has
its

Although
it.

uses there

is

always the danger of overdoing

Curiously enough this has been a real problem for promoters of the

York World's Fair. They have found it necessary to schedule and time events in such a way that emotional responses would not be dulled, but would grow in intensity to reach the proper climaxes.
major difficulty is the use of the sex appeal. The strength of this emotion is fully appreciated by propagandists, and Grover Whalen's
assistants

New

A

were

fully

aware of the drawing power of such exhibitions
first

as the Sally

Rand show. At
sort.

they tried to avoid undue emotional

appeals of this

An

tional appeals of the

effort was made to differentiate the emoamusement area from those of the remaining

2,600 acres of the fair. Finally

on February

16, 1939,

Eleanor

Holm

and her mermaids were allowed to dedicate Rose's Marine Amphiand gradually the bars were let down. On June 27, 1939, the press of the country reported that, "The name, flag, and crest of Southern Rhodesia were removed yesterday from its Victoria Falls
theatre,

exhibit in the

amusement

area of the World's Fair in accordance

with peremptory cabled instructions from the government of Southern Rhodesia which objects to the 'depraved and obscene' shows that

surround the exhibit."

No
tute of

technique of persuasion has been overlooked by those asso-

ciated with the

New York

enterprise. In the language of the Insti-

Propaganda Analysis there are innumerable examples of the "band-wagon device," the "transfer device," "glittering generalities,"
"card-stacking," "testimonials,"
the
list

and

so on.

And we

can run

down

of Professor Doob's principles to find that World's Fair

propagandists

make

their "stimulus situation stand out"

by arousing
it.

auxiliary attitudes; repeat the stimulus situation,

and simplify

They

practice "revealed, delayed revealed,

and concealed" types of

propaganda. They arouse related attitudes which are dominant and
central.

the

They vary the stimulus situation, employ stereotypes, use names of prominent persons to give their enterprise prestige, and

seek to produce an impression of universality. These and

many

other

techniques of suggestion are employed.

Most

discussions of the art of
list

propaganda begin with an enumeraI

tion of a

of so-called principles.
is

believe that the use of the
It

word

"principle" in this connection

misleading.

gives the impression

Don!l_warry__about the Women if in the eight years they have had complete political equality with men any one in politics has discovered a key to the woman vote a sure way of lining it up they have kept it a profound secret. It is worth any amount of argument. Rule 2. The Heretofore Unwritten Laws. Rule 3. Give them "Hokum.The Art that there exists a of Fropaganda 99 body of scientific laws governing the subject which anyone can learn and apply successfully. you must stand by your own Rule 5. As a matter of fact there is absolutely no rule for dealing with women in politics which will not work just as well half the time if reversed. In other words." Rule 6. and Principles of Politics as Practiced in the United States. When in doubt do right. Some years ago Frank Kent wrote a book called Political Behavior with a subtitle that reads. the most effective asset they can possibly acquire.^^ I wish to cite a few of these rules or principles listed. You_Must Play the Game with the Gang. though that vital thing. the thing above all others for a candidate to avoid is to appear ridiculous. This what may be called "Name and is Face stuff" — it not a question so much of getting your views and opinions is on the issues before the people. statistics. Customs." For the candidate without the imagination or initiative necessary to supply an original brand of hokum for himself. And that is because there is no such thing. or as Boies Penrose once explained it. Never handle a hot poker. Success in any campaign where there is a real fight depends very largely upon having available enough money to take care of what the late John Walter Smith of Maryland used to refer to on the Eastern Shore as "current expenses. Rule I. but the big thing and the however. and the Flag to fall back upon. facts. the Constitution. is the fine art of seeming to say something without doing so. your name and face familiar to the voters. Shoe String. Rule 9. there is always the Bible. is 7. Rule 8. Probably the most important single accomplishment for the politically ambitious. Give them a good show. — — — . Rule 4. As a political asset the ability to dramatize your issue or yourself is hard to beat. You can't win on a damned Rule is rascals. of course desirto get able.

of propaganda to entitled — Its published a book Psychology and Technique." and under what conditions will giving them "Hokum" produce the particular changes in attitudes and opinions we wish ? If we try to apply these principles with faculty members or hard-headed business a men we may suffer something worse than Many others have attempted to reduce the art science. Kent's analysis does not tell the whole story. therefore. In other words. distorts bv selection.in the interest of his cause. This a useful study. a science of propaganda in the sense of a body of principles which state under what conditions the use of a particular technique for propagating a doctrine will produce a predictable result." But who is "them. Let us take. The propagandist The propagandist ^2^aggeraJj£&. We are told to "Give them Hokum. It states that "The propagandist arouses related attitudes that are central attitudes." practice could be cited. for example. We have not. Instead of winning an election we may lose it. and to apply partly because he does not state precisely when and how all the principles listed to obtain the desired effect. In 1935 Professor Leonard W. principle 4b labeled the "Principle of Related Central Attitudes. But these so-called principles do not indicate precisely when and under what conditions they apply. Doob Propaganda political defeat. We have series of statements like these :'*^ Propagandists persistently appeal to theonotions of their subjects.100 An Introduction to Public Opinion is Most people shrewd and will agree that this analysis of political propaganda displays considerable insight into the psychological It processes of political behavior. partly because Mr. describes what is frequently done. . The difficulty is that if you or I try to practice these principles we may come to grief. these so-called principles are not principles at in the scientific sense of the term. It does give descriptive generalizations regarding propaganda practices of one sort or another. He undertook to give precision to the art to a set of eight basic principles is by reducing the techniques of propaganda and about thirty-six corollaries." The difficulty is Many that we illustrations of this are not told when and under what conditions this particular maneuver is employed and what results accrue under specific conditions.

There are quantities of books describing the activities of particular propagandists. professional associa- and pressure groups generally have formulated rules to guide them in promoting their causes. The propagandist must kn^w jhe The propagandist must have s a thorough knovyl f^dg^ "^ '"1^^ ymbols v^hereby attitudes are expressed. and individual reli- gious leaders. although fund raisers.jof^attracting attentioa. psychologists. methods and the ronrent preyaiHng_attitudei_of his . The propagandist must adapt of hi s appeals to the subjects. apthe jn a parHniJar campaign.effi cacious —lore apd srjpnrf^ regarding his the most Qaethodi._Qf.^ The propagandist ^^CiUlUJl'^ yo'ing thf^\r and pnrtini in fonnatian. Business groups. recognizes the importance of irnpressing Qr(Tiimpnf<. cornmon socjd jittitudes. Possibly no group of specialists has devoted more attention to the subject of propaganda technique than commercial advertisers. We might continue indefinitely stating what propagandists do and have done. and teachers of tions. journalists.The Art of Propaganda 101 One ion is of the oldest devices of the manipulator of public opin- the distraction of attention by the use of the "red-herring" technique.p- access media of communication to and which are adapted tn hi<. The propagandist must The propagandist uses which he can obtain jTea1«^ be simple^ clear^ apd all prpri<. public speaking should not be overlooked. Political writers from Plato to Lenin and Hitler have tried to generalize from their own experience and the experiences of others. In the religious field there are countless treatises describing the techniques of religious denominations. The propagandist eternally repeats his asser^'i'^"^ The propagandist's rule is toavoid_argument^ The contemporary propagandistcan and does tap gjmnlarfH all the_ac. labor organizations.j siiggrsH<^n«. lawyers. missionary societies. pr actically all lists of "principles'* are nothing more nnr than descriptive statements of what p ropa- . press agents. public-relations counsel. These generalized accounts vary all the way from descriptive classifications based on one campaign to classifications derived from a host of propaganda undertakings. The point I wish to stress less is this.liis_sul4e^cts.

hovi^ever. however. Such experiments have been tried and with some success. J^i^ problem is to know when and how to use them. The validity of such generalizations depends on their taking account of the total situation. Our knowledge of the practice of science of is essentially propaganda. sired. dp. Their value to us personally increases as the specific practices are described in terms of situations and under conditions which approximate those we confront. but one thousand times seven. of descriptive One is reason why it is so difficult to determine the precise eflfect of particular propaganda appeals and techniques is that public opinion molded. not of "seven devices" to win " and influence people. is The only way all that scientific prin- ciples can be deduced by ascertaining what occurs employed. t hat is to jcnnw precisely under what conditions they will pr ndnre thp r^. Propaganda practices list cannot be reduced to a of "seven devices" or a set of "thirty-six important for us to remember that a description of something is not necessarily a scientific principle. Most of the literature today on the primarily descriptive. By increasing our knowledge about this we shal l be transfornL: grjpnrp ing thejTt of propaganda nt^ ^ j =^ .andistsda Such principles. but the body of truly scientific principles increases in slowly.. not by propaganda alone. The practical value propaganda studies should not be underestimated. rapidly expands.«.102 An Introduction to Public Opinion lists ^.]^]t<. an art. number very The is Propaganda subject propaganda is in a very rudimentary state. but by the combined influence of a great many different factors. Students are aware." It is cannot be complete. friends as distinct from the science of propaganda. when a selected influence or method is other factors remaining the same.

the contacts one In 1931-32. legislation and investigated the impact of their pressure upon into contact with Socialists. A few weeks' study of these newer formations revealed it that the in phenomenon of pressure-group activity. with the help of Mr. and other cities. studied the organization. room at the Hotel The principal purpose of my visit to Germany during to retrace the summer and find out what effect the rise of National Socialism really had upon the functioning of these economic pressure groups. Hanfstaengl I obtained a personal interview with Hitler in his Kaiserhof. Munich. headquarters of the old Federation was the central office of the new. spent a year in I Germany with my family studying the influence of economic groups on the public policies of that country. Marked changes had also taken place in the business formations of of 1937 as a steps Guggenheim Fellow was my the country. Incidentally these studies brought me most of the political parties. although were the same of many men who had The officials of the Reichsgruppe Industrie been at the head of the old Federation German Industry. no longer . as a Fellow of the Social Science Research Council. as existed in Germany 1931-32 and as we are familiar with 103 it in this country. the Labor Front.Propaganda and Dictatorship PERSONAL cussion with impressions of a country are so largely determined by makes that it is appropriate to preface this dissome mention of the scope and nature of personal experiences during my visits to Germany in 1931-32 and again in 1937. Frankfort. I found that old trade union federations had disappeared and that the labor forces had been amalgamated in a superorganization of the working forces of the nation. including the National In December. Stuttgart. I interviewed the officials of important business federations. and agriculand policies of these groups. 193 1. and administration. trade unions. the Food Estate. activities. In Berlin. tural associations. I found that agricultural associations had been superseded by an all-inclusive Nazi agency.

motion picpropaganda. I visited public and private schools. the opinions of adults.104 An Introduction to Public Opinion longer a land of competing pressure groups existed. That being so my interest centered upon this phenomenon of government and political pressure. an all-inclusive formation which has taken the place of a multiplicity of youth groups that existed at the time Hitler came into power in 1932. and the effects. outstanding examples of the modern art of civic education and I propaganda. Germany was no but a land of political pressure. Today it has a membership of more than 7. The work of the Ministry of Propaganda. the Agricultural Estate. I tried to find the source of it. I spent going on several days at the headquarters of the Hitler Youth organization. instead of being channels through which special interests felt made their influence upon government. were now the instruments by which government exerted pressure upon these interests. economic. proved to be only a part of the national crusade to win the people of to National Socialism. It is Germany the primarily concerned with the minds of the masses. labor camps. and the press — all instruments of propaganda I effectively mobilized under the control of the Ministry. attended the Nazi Party Rally and the Harvest Festival of the Peas- ants. leadership schools. and one of those unique castles where the cream of the young men of Germany undergo a three or four years' course of training to prepare them for the highest positions in the social. art. I interviewed officials in charge of the German radio.000 boys and girls between the ages of ten and eighteen. literature. witnessed the mammoth anniversary celebration of the founding of Berlin and Hitler's reception of Mussolini. For several weeks I explored Dr. the stage. In many respects Nazi propaganda is like all other propaganda . in the schools No less important is work and among the youth of Germany. interviewing the officials of the eleven divisions into which this amazing administrative branch of govern- ment is divided. I spent considerable time in the official library of this Ministry. and the business formations which served as propaganda channels for the Ministry. however. a marvelous collection of materials for students of From the Ministry of Propaganda my search took me Labor Front. the way it operated.000. The new organizations. back to the tures. Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda and Popular Enlightenment. and political life of the state.

national resources of the German The creation of a Ministry . the encouragement of large families all are intended to strengthen the German people quantitatively and are vanquished. population policy. but not. an era of competing ideologies. The emphasis upon phy<-ical training. The persecution of Jews stems from the belief that Jews belong people is to a different race. the the desire for colonies and armament program. social. The Four-Year icies. the foreign-trade polmore territory aim to enlarge the people. constitute the basis for internal policies of the German government designed to strengthen the German people physically. that life is essentially a struggle among them. The more closely one studies the Nazi propaganda machine the more conspicuous become the similarities of it to such worldwide propaganda efforts as those of the Roman Catholic Church and the Communist party. however. I should hasten to add. and psychologically. if and that the survival of the German possible only Jews on the Christian Church is justified. morally. The former attacks on Communists were rationalized by arguing that Communism ignores the race idea. and spreads beliefs which undermine the unity and strength of the German people. according to Nazis. and religious. From these two institutions National Socialists have borrowed many ideas regarding organization and method. 105 Propaganda Is characteristic of the age in which we live. and that to be successful in this struggle for survival a race or a people must be strong. regarding content. The attack — qualitatively so that they may survive in this inevitable race struggle. and its corollary the notion of race conflict. eugenics measures. In important respects. differing in kind for survival if — not in quality. Plan. economic. and I should like to it call particular attention to four re- spects in which first may be differentiated from others. the Nazi propaganda campaign is unique. In the place there are the doctrines of National Socialism. The race idea. A fundamental tenet of National Socialism is the "race idea" the notion that the world is populated by distinct races and peoples. because the Church preaches the doctrine of the brotherhood of man and denies the inevitability of race conflict as a condition of survival.Propaganda and Dictatorship political. Most of the specific governmental measures taken by the German government in recent years are reflections of this racial outlook on life. emphasizes the doctrine of class struggle.

it demands your complete 2. 3. as their service in labor members of the Hitler Youth. the comprehensive system of civic education. a refusal to admit that the world is so large and It is fruitful that all types of peoples can live together peaceably. surrender to the cause. an loy- Order. this absence of cosmopolitanism. basic difference betw^een especially the Christian. By itself this aspect of Nazi propaganda does not call for special emphasis. . composed of specially selected and carefully trained converts. it violates the fundamentals of In the second place. 5. This is true of religious movements. The Leader is always right. You are a representative of the party. one of the most serious attacks on Christianity for it is commendable to make a nation fit physiand psychologically. Never waste time in idle chatter. 6. The program is your dogma. mental. But when this is done without centuries. Nazi propaganda its is exceptional because of worldwide character. materially. but in relation to other aspects it assumes great importance. demonstrate physical. but take hold and help. Be proud but not arrogant. and the minute regulation of expressions of opinion serve to strengthen the wills. The National Socialist It is party is not a party in the American sense of the word. many political organizations such as the Communists and numerous social. To be admitted the ap- must subscribe to the following dogma. scattered throughout the world. alty to and bound together by mutual Socialist party is one leader. 4. Nazi ideology and other philosophies is this race conflict view. Membership in the National now limited to those who. German people by unifying their The of life. nor in self-gratifying criticism.106 An Introduction to Public Opinion of Propaganda and a Reich Chamber of Culture. Other movements have had and do have worldwide ambitions. Never violate discipline. Ordinarily cally. economic. regard for the rights of other peoples Christian ethics. and humanitarian undertakings. and moral capacities of leadership. plicant 1. and during camps and in the army. an unwillingness to accept Christian beliefs re- garding the brotherhood of man. govern your appear- ance and behavior accordingly.

Members are encouraged to take an active part in the political. as well as German consular agents in scores of American cities. in a particular country. and the Communist Internationale than to our ow^n Republican and Democratic parties. There are members of the National Socialist party in every counUnited States practically all official representatives of the German government are members the Ambassador and his diplomatic staff. man belongs to the party. representatives of professional and labor organizations. Ley stated in 1937. including military and commercial attaches. curtail criticism of German policies and activities. 12. most German citizens coming to the United States are also National Socialists journalists." is The National Socialist party more closely analogous to the Masonic Order. the Catholic Church. To make certain that all visit German who for one reason or another foreign countries. 9. upon the objectives the moment. and through it Germany and the German people is right. he gives that he has to the party. It comprises an elite which speaks for and acts for the German people. Whatever serves the interest of the movement. 11. in return.Propaganda and Dictatorship 7. In the — to determine precisely the number of party members citizens. and social life of the country in which eral they seek to Germany. Do to your comrades as you would have them do to you. and prevent government action by foreign countries that will obstruct the carrying out of these policies. business men. a true socialist you must be a real comrade. In battle be steadfast and discreet. The party gives him everyall thing. 107 As Loyalty and unselfishness are the first commandments. 10. if. Owing to the totalitarian character of control exercised by the Nazi party over all phases of life in Germany. What do Nazi that they do party members in foreign countries do ? It is clear what they are told to do by their superiors in The and scope and nature of their activities depend strategies of the propaganda campaign at promote favorable attitudes toward National Socialism. As Dr. shall be exemplary repre- sentatives of National Socialism the party has established a special school in Berlin for this purpose. "Upon admission to the Order the body and soul. Courage is not recklessness. In gen- . economic. 8. The secretive character of the Order makes it difficult try of the world.

Ministries translate the wishes of the party into legal terminology vise the execution of policies. (2) supplies the active leadership. and the major strategies as well as the minor tactics of the campaign are determined by Hider with the advice and counsel of his general staff the supreme council of the party.108 An Introduction to Public Opinion activities. they reside. Each of them has represen- ." means to this end. physically. (4) walks of life. as a prelude to extending ultimate aim is German population and The always to strengthen the people morally. materially. The head of the organization is the Leader. but in grate propaganda tions. and psychologically. The It party has at least four important functions to perform: (i) as the general staff to formulate policies It serves and devise It strategies. Nazi propaganda movement is the thoroughness and efficiency v^^ith which it is organized. It is essential to keep in mind the respective roles of party. Navy. its principal efforts are directed to obtaining this control. As ties the dean of cabinet departments. with representa- country of the world. (3) serves to unify and inte- activities throughout the matrix of group formacontrol over official agencies of Wherever the party has it government. Air. to become leaders in organized community The aim at first may be to extend the cultural area of the German German and Reich merely political areas. not only for official agencies of all government. Commerce. translates the aims of the party into treaties and agreements and supervises their execution. the better to fit them for survival in "the inevitable struggle of peoples races. tives in practically every and super- The Foreign Office. Similarly the Ministries of ture. Where it does not. It is through this council that Hider coordinates the The tactics of the moment are only A third outstanding feature of the — campaign. Germany official agencies of government are in the hands of the party and are used as instruments of propaganda. Agriculand and Welfare translate relevant policies into legal terms supervise the carrying out of programs. In directs their activities. official agencies of government and unofficial agencies of government. representatives of the Foreign Office abroad have general supervision over the propaganda to activi- of other departments and agencies within the country which they are accredited. War.

The public-school teachers of Ger- many constitute a veritable army of propagandists. all boys and girls will be subjected to a uniform. The period of secondary education was shortened from nine to eight years. standardization. attached. all youth organizations have been dissolved or amalga- mated with the Hitler Youth. are taking place in ization. as a rule. in Moreover. In Germany all schools are now under the centralized supervision of the party through the Ministry of Education. highly integrated program of civic training within the framework of National Socialist philosophy. Changes in the organization of the German public-school system were introduced to simplify its structure and bring about a greater degree of centralized control. of National Socialist education anti-intellectual- anti-individualistic. Public schools are extremely important channels of propaganda in any country.000 young people between the ages of ten and eighteen. The Ministry of Education functions in a corresponding to the public-school with respect system of Germany. an inclusive association of more than 7. and in objectives. One public-school system was to provide teachers imbued with the spirit and aims of National Socialism. to the particular 109 German Embassy manner it or Consular office. was overemphasis upon purely intellectual training the love of knowledge for its own sake. is are indoc- and an agency and The philosophy istic. educational opportunities have been equalized and plans adopted for doing a better of the difficult problems encountered in trying to unify the job in selecting and differentiating the studies of qualified students.Propaganda and Dictatorship tatives abroad. In general. and anti-cosmopolitan. relatively more — . changes in organmethods of instruction.000. and uniformity. From now on. in personnel. All members of the teaching profession in both primary and secondary schools must now be members of the National Socialist Association of Teachers. Virtually all private schools were abolished. Through the National Socialist party brings the formal education of young people into tune with its general policies. is This Association trinated a channel through of control which teachers supervision. Profound changes have been and Germany's educational system. To remedy this defect. and many types of public schools were eliminated. according to the Nazis. One of the principal defects of pre-National Socialist education.

It is also a community bound together by fate and century-old struggles. There is and color. perform intellectual feats of rationalization. from the National Socialist point of view. It is also a community of wor\. as well as his intellectual capacities inspires students to lead the life of true National Socialists. but the leader who. Liberals may be willing to applaud the zealous efi^orts of educational leaders in Nazi Germany improve the physical well-being of young people. But the great gulf separating National Socialism and liberalism is the difference that exists between efforts to improve the lot of humanity in general. by his example. The is community whose welfare places above that of the individual's not the peoples of the world irrespective of race particular people alleged to work. and to produce well-rounded personalities. is Wherever possible the work is of the classroom made a part of the life of the community. The National Socialist teachings with respect to cosmopolitanism to make the student community-conscious. One system is of the primary tasks of the Nazi educational make him community and that community welfare comes before personal welfare. are of less importance. National Socialism rejects the idea of an inclusive humanitarianism. hence the emphasis upon the study of biology. eugenics. but a be bound together by blood. . to feel that he is a part of the offer the most glaring contrasts it to our own liberal ideology. the drill master. for universally applicable Christian ethics. The ideal Nazi teacher is not the savant. or the intellectual genius who dominates his classroom because of his erudition. no place in their teachings for inter- nationalism. It is first of all a community of blood. and ethnology.110 An is Introduction to Public Opinion emphasis now being given to physical training and character build- ing and less to intellectual exercises. dian to live in everyday life the ideals of National Socialism. to develop their character. The idea of community is fourfold. and those confined to strengthening and glorifying one people at the expense of others. his devotion to National Socialism. The ability to memorize facts. They may even support the attacks on individualism and selfto centered intellectualism. hence the emphasis upon German history. the attack Closely related to the Nazi attack on intellectualism on individualism. which is exemplified by community work projects in which all pupils take part. And finally it is a community of opinion. destiny. and culture. his physical fitness.

from the Catholic ists have Church. The same methods will not necessarily be followed in China. The ministry consists of eleven principal One of these purely administrative. social. in South America. and establish rather tenuous arrangements with dissident and rebellious groups. and in the United States. personnel. engaged Division 7 deals with German propaganda abroad and is actively in creating favorable attitudes toward Germany in foreign countries. promote cleavages and differences of opinion. the Ministry of Propaganda occupies a unique and key position among them. religious. channels all other agencies of government as well as private groups use. officials in With the help of and the country to which they are assigned these agents make careful reports of the state of public opinion. has a staff of specialists supervising Nazi propaganda throughout the world. follow closely the statements many. One method frequently employed is to encourage criticisms and doubts regarding the efficacy and future of the existing system of government. and promote economic. and in fostering better relations with other countries. and from World War experiences with propaganda. It is important to remember that methods vary from country to country to meet the particular public-opinion situation. and legal questions. assistants government and has agents in most foreign countries. Germany. friendly relations among youth. National Sociallearned much from Communists. Another method of weakening the unity and strength of foreign countries is to promote factionalism and disagreements over and other types of groups with similar groups in matters of purely domestic policy. It maps general campaigns and of other departments of It integrates the foreign propathat of private ganda work agencies. Often attempts are made to organ- .Propaganda and Dictatorship 111 Although all government agencies and ministries in Germany serve as propaganda instruments for the National Socialist party in its efforts to make the German lies people strong psychologically. disseminate information and writings of individuals regarding Gerabout Germany. in presenting Germany's point of It view. concerned with de- partmental finances. in silencing opposition. v^hich Its significance in the fact that to it has been assigned complete control over the channels of communication. The technique of National Socialist propaganda abroad is frequently misunderstood. is and individuals must divisions. cultural.

tertainment for workers low Evening courses are instituted low prices. about 20. he faced the difficult problem of overcoming the class conflict tradition which had been instilled into the minds of the laboring is classes by Marxists for decades. Division ii of the Propaganda Ministry supervises cultural propa- ganda for mass organizations. and by assisting the workers to do the things they have always wanted at very to do. but into any kind which members can be reached easily and Communist method of boring from within. Women's organizations in Germany. Nazis follow the responding groups in other countries. seek to establish friendly relations with similar organizations in other countries. Strength through Joy eradicating this tradition. and associations in the professional field. This procedure also followed with respect to youth organizations. Nevertheless its underlying purpose is propagandistic. especially the propaganda work of that huge leisure-time organization of German workers. Facilities for And a vigorous campaign to improve working conditions has been launched.000. Strength through Joy.000. Another method which has proved very effective is to promote closer ties between non-political organizations in Germany and corof association through quickly. This is di- \ . by occupying their leisure time. often creating an inter- national organization for this purpose is if none exists. Joy and Work. to replace Marxian sport have been enlarged. and its international affiliate. Special theatres at have been established to provide enprices. Attractive excursions are organized. and the traditional device of dividing and conquering. Except for one other division all remaining sections of the Propaganda Ministry deal with channels of communication.. When Hitler destroyed the trade unions and employer associations and undertook to weld the working forces of Germany into one mammoth labor organization. In short. are also members of the Strength through Joy. not hi •' ize Germans and German sympathizers necessarily into National Socialist organizations.112 An Introduction to Public Opinion in foreign countries. It the instrument for seeks to break down the barriers between employer and employee by diverting the minds of employees particularly from the class-struggle idea. All members of the German Labor Front. There are many commendable aspects of this campaign from the liberal point of view. ideology with the philosophy of National Socialism. for example. sport leagues.

pass supervise activities. which supervises the organization Strength through Joy. It is upon proposed legislation. however. as a super- federation of associations in the communication field. all of which are directly responsible to some agency of government and indirectly to the party. Enough has been said to indicate the thoroughness with which activities. agrarian transportation policies. official is done by these unofficial or semi- organizations. Through its various divisions Berlin maintains close contact with the propaganda offices of all semi-official and unofficial associations throughout the country. for example. Ministry determines policies. questions of foreign policy. National Socialists have organized their propaganda The functional organization of the central headquarters of the Ministry of Propaganda serves as the model for the work of the Ministry in the various geographical subdivisions of the Reich. theatres. supervises. economic questions. 1933. an institution created in September. in the sense of direct appeals to the masses for support. the radio. Most of the active propaganda work. As previously indicated. integrates. Each functions relationship with a corresponding division of the German Chamber It is of Culture. public health. legislates necessary. press. 113 which is in a class by is itself. the function of the Chamber of Culture to execute policies and to enforce legislation. of Division ii. and in general assume the role of general staff. national symbols. counter- propaganda. The when and controls. state celebrations and festivals. German minorities abroad. This is true. literature. Much of the actual propaganda work in Germany not carried on directly by the Ministry. art. Division 2 left to is other was created to deal with these. motion in close pictures. of such widespread public importance that they cannot wisely be agencies.Propaganda and Dictatorship vision 2. prescribes general rules. and travel. and music. There are some propaganda undertakings. tion of the the func- Propaganda Ministry to determine in the final analysis the law governing these several fields. It subdivided into twelve bureaus dealing with important national exhibitions. But it usually leaves to other agencies the preparation and distribution of propaganda material. seven of the eleven divisions of the Min- istry deal with channels of communication. The Food Estate .

In his writings Hitler has stressed the importance of the spoken as con- word. the necessity for simplifying appeals. it constitutes only a part. its propagate doctrines by philosophy. We tain periods in their history. economic. there is really nothing new in the art or science of Nazi propa- ganda. No. has such resources. Goebbels are very familiar to any student of World War propaganda. Nazi propaganda is set apart. The distinctive . therefore. studied closely the techniques of Communists and Roman Catholics. and it is probably considerable. It has the full of the state behind it. religious. and taken a few lessons from business and commercial advertisers in this country. Nazi propaganda is so inextricably bound up with the activities of the totalitarian state as a whole that it is proper to say that it is being supported by all the resources of the state. No organized movement. And all National Socialists repeat the obvious fact that propaganda is only a means to an end. by it its from other attempts to worldwide character. unless we include the cause of democracy during the World War. unless it is Communism or Fascism. or has had. National Socialists have simply profited from their experiences during the World War. and adapting them to the mentality of the masses.ll'^ An Introduction to Public Opinion in the sphere of agricultural policy. and proportionally a small part. and special-purpose groups generally. and the leader in a propaganda campaign. For the Ministry of Propaganda is only one branch of a propaganda machine which includes all other departments of government as well as numerous unoflBcial organizations. also dis- power do not know how much of Germany's national income is allocated to the Ministry of Propaganda. It is and by the thoroughness with which tinctive because of the resources at its is organized. or for that matter the propaganda of political. the Labor Front in the field of labor policy are illustrations. of the total used by the National Socialist party to spread the gospel. He distinguishes between the role of the agitator. and that it is to be trasted to the written evaluated accordingly. Whatever this sum is. The discussions of propaganda in Hitler's Mein Kampf and in the writings of Dr. or Catholicism and Mohammedanism at cerdisposal. commercial advertising. Communist propaganda. Are the methods employed by the National Socialists unusual? I do not find them so. the organizer.

states in the traditional sense. According to this view all groups should be allowed the maximum degree of freedom to propagandize. consistent with the rights of others. The degree of success of . and governments will ultimately become merely instruments for propagating the views of whatever groups control It may be that. the resources available. This will be similar to the situation before the our western The conflict between church and state during the Middle Ages will be finding its counterpart in the new struggle between democratic and authoritarian ideologies. to serve as neutral. all ideological conflicts. Government in a democratic state. them at a given time. Their function so the argument runs. The spread of dictatorial propaganda provokes a number of questions of special importance to American citizens. wide efficiency of the organization. the world- and the disciplinary Nazi propaganda to date is due in large part to these features. should be a continuing agency for balancing the interests of conflicting parthe arbiter of social justice. and the fact that the movement has had a vigorous and exceptional leadership in an environment inviting such leadership.Propaganda and Dictatorship features of 115 Nazi propaganda are the doctrines themselves. Liberals like to think of the state and its government it. Should official steps be taken by the United States to outlaw such propaganda ? If dictatorial propaganda is permitted in the United States may it not undermine and endanger the very existence of democracy itself ? What is the proper relation of government to propaganda in a democracy scale of operations. territorial state will lose much of its significance as a sovereign a struggle between tional relations will ical become body and internaworldwide ideologrise of groups rather than a contest between state system. instead of being an instrument for propagandizing causes. as being above the multiplicity of competing groups within is.f* National Socialists look upon the government of a state as merely an instrument to be controlled and used for the purpose of propagandizing the Nazi faith. because of the growing intensity of race. Government and enforces rules governing intergroup activities. When this occurs the national. Many liberals subscribe to much the same point of view and wish to use the government as a tool for propagating their conception of liberalism. class. recon- ciling the conflicting aspirations of is competing groups. It prescribes . balancing agents.

would be sufficient authority to control the an international government with activities of other international organizations. and the ideal answer according to many. and the like. and National Socialism. dictatorial propaganda. and prob- ably postponed action along these lines for some time to come. international labor organizations. now poses the liberal ideal. the organized efficiency. or the midst. to the unwillingness of the United States to support has seemingly blinded the world to the realities of the present situation. due in part it. But none of them possessed the resources. There was no .116 An Introduction to Public Opinion ties. to reconcile differences The existence of such is a government and enforce decisions prob- ably the best guarantee of the preservation of the democratic ideal of freedom. The best guarantee of is however. government with sufficient jurisbetween groups whose op- and force to adjudicate conflicts erations are international in scope. One answer. backed by hitherto unprecedented resources. diction the existence of such a freedom and the preservation of liberalism. places the problem in a new light. Before the rise of Communism. administration. in- on seizing control of governments with territorially limited and using them for their own ends. and adjudi- cation. To be sure there were some representatives of international groups in our members of religious organizations. of determination of Fascist and Communist groups. The rise of international groups. biter. how^ever. Fascism. This ideal of a neutral government. only if contending groups are sub- ject to the jurisdiction of the government and can be forced to abide by the decisions of the tent jurisdictions arbiter. exercising the function of arcan be achieved. the democratic ideal was workable. The failure of the League of Nations. international chambers commerce. question whether such governments can continue to function in ac- cordance with the solely propaganda in the United States emanated from groups over which the American government had jurisdiction. But the advent of worldwide. and with respect to which the government of the United So long as competitive States could function as arbiter. worldwide organizations with enormous resources at their disposal for competing in our own propaganda arena did not exist. a continuous process of legislation.

not on government in the abstract. but on an organization of their To meet the ideological attacks of other groups they can formupersuasive. thing liberals can do under present circumstances is to rely. cohesive and disciplined. These forces are international groups. local agitation. cialists. The United States is fortunately somewhat removed from any immediate or serious threat to its democratic way of life. Liberal leaders have been unusually alert. with adequate resources. therefore. and Fascists with an equally efficient organization of their own. The people of the United States have not been called upon to make the sacrifices that other countries have. controlling the opinions of those that control the opinions of public officials. to protect liberalism are almost certain to discover. The present system of independent national units is inadequate. An international league of the surviving liberal is parties throughout the world indicated. If. A supremely efficient organization. They can match the efficiency of National So- Communists. A worldwide campaign cannot be successfully countered with scattered. class. The force of dictatorial propaganda has not been felt to such an extent.Propagaftda and Dictatorship 117 reason to suppose that individual state governments could not enforce compliance w^ith whatever rules they prescribed. to a relatively small group of elected alone. howthe liberals in among . an international order of liberals. and a positive program for setting up the international machinery needed to guarantee the reign of law in the international field. cutting across state lines. inspiringly led. their state governments. efficiently organized. The onslaught of dictatorial propaganda cannot be met without a positive program. late a program equally To combat w^orldwide organiza- tions such as the National Socialist party they too can organize on a worldwide basis. Ultimately the world will have some form of international gov- ernment. Liberals who look to officials. and economic conflicts of all kinds. And they should be able to obtain sufficient resources to carry on an effective campaign to keep governments in democratic hands. isolated. cannot be efficient one. capable of preserving law and order in a world torn by racial. realistic challenged without an equally This answer to the problem will probably sound more Europe than it does here. that stronger forces dominate the situation. is The effective antidote to dictatorial propaganda. sooner or later. One ow^n.

I believe we shall have to display some of the ever. a we believe is just and right. to face the problem of dictatorial same energy and solution that vitality that characterizes the dictators in mobiliz- ing public opinion behind a positive solution of concrete problems. .118 An we wish Introduction to Public Opinion propaganda and sincerely wish to make a liberal contribution to the improvement of international relations.

if what their motives are. Democracies believe in propaganda. and it. pamphlets." cause he seeks to promote 119 . The fact that a propagandist uses such devices as "name calling. No. mail boxes." "plain-folks. magazines.Propaganda and Democracy States has THE United the world. and to decide." are names of things or persons. Dictatorships believe in it but prefer to have only one kind. There casts. is And I pre- that the San Francisco World's Fair spent comparable sums for the same purpose. believe in having too. but to evaluate — to find out who are doing the propagandizing. country in the greatest propaganda density of any By propaganda density I mean the ratio of the volume of propaganda to size of population." "nut. I have ever made such calculations. News- papers. is really no difficulty about detecting propaganda. Take name calling. Russia. and I do not believe that there is any particular social menace in using stacking." "card and the "band-wagon" device does not prove that the is socially menacing. In I do not know that point that there they can be made. the it difficulty not to detect propaganda. for example. art galleries. is am merely trying to stress the more propaganda in this country even than in such propagandaruled countries as Germany. for example." "glittering generalities. the quantity of ideas projected by means of various kinds of symbols divided by the census figures for population. No person trying to disseminate ideas can avoid the use of some of these devices. or Italy. which propaganda to accept." "testimonial." "gangster. libraries are overrunning with it. that I Now I am not asking you to believe fact. lots of it with plenty of variety. books. spent at least a quarter of a billion dollars to have their propaganda detected. motion pictures. we can. radio broad- lecture platforms. Propagandists want us to detect Those who cooperated in that gigantic enterprise known as the New York World's sume Fair of 1939. billboards." "transfer. What harm is done if I call a person a "sap" if he is a sap and you and I know that he is ? Nouns like "sap.

f* allowing each and every person to express his opinions propagate any ideas he wants to. and adverbs Scientists —calling names —nouns. is should always be remembered." extent. But are they telling the truth } Why do those who believe in democracy favor the practice of freely. You have perpetrated a wrong. are founded." Public opinion social causation. that personal and social ing and speaking. We all are agree. I have is at- operated one. not an ultimate cause. We cannot is "In the beginning was public opinion. I realize that our poor old language I is often an imperfect tool for transmitting ideas. I is we have something know that at last we am sure. the problem of separating the good from the bad. But all suspect we shall go on of us. The supposed culprit tached to the machine and then asked a series of questions more or less related to the subject matter of the supposed falsification. Of course I you is am not a sap. You know how it works. They accept Hume's dictum that "It is on opinion only that governments is. that truthful propaganda is good and to false propais ganda bad. If it is true that scientists have finally discovered a mechanical device for distin- guishing truth from falsehood there. And they also agree that opinion to a considerable the product of propaganda to —the conscious. adjectives. Students of I submit that propaganda will be elated to on the way toward a solution of the great problem of propaganda.^^ Or do they favor the practice Have they any reservations ? Fascists and liberals agree that in the final analysis public opinion should be the deciding authority in questions of public policy. But hitherto we have been puzzled lie know which which. It only one link in an endless chain of may be true that . using if word symbols like. however. and these changes pre- sumably indicate whether he is telling the truth or not. to . this "infernal" As the answers are given machine is supposed to register changes in blood pressure and respiration. that public opinion say.120 An if Introduction to Public Opinion call me a sap and the fact of the matter is something different. deliberate at- tempt by persons and groups to propagate ideas and doctrines and It mold the minds of other people. Possibly the manufacturers of detectors have the answer. for a long time. I am all for greater precision in our think- them. you have invented a machine known as a lie detector.

" but the more important question on what is opinion itself founded ? The fundamental opinion rules in the difference between the role of is propaganda and not that public public opinion in dictatorships and democracies latter and not in the former. the ultimate standard of values. what is in the public interest and what is not. Unfortunately. Public opinion is. which is under any form of government. It is the role of propaganda. The sad gandists do not. the court of last resort. In a democracy it is for the masses to determine what is and what is not good for them. he or he enters to the is handicapped by deficiencies that have no which. perfect freedom of propaganda does not exist. The democratic theory of propaganda states that if individuals and groups are allowed to propagandize freely the best opinions will survive. the harmful consequences may be checked by the activities of other propagandists. and never was presumed to work. is best. and must of necessity be. it. The if best man it cannot win a race race. but that propa- ganda freedom is supposed to exist in one and not in the other. In other words. And I want to specify a first few of the reasons why. than it will if they are subjected blindly to only one. there- not the role of public opinion. If a dictator misleads his people the result may be catas- trophic. If a few leaders of opinion in a democracy do this. this does not always happen." a condition points of view before they make decisions.Propaganda and Democracy "It is 121 only on opinion that government is. true function of the propagandist is The to help citizens is make propa- wise and intelligent decisions. relation whatever purpose of the for public opinion to find out The purpose of the race among many ideas. is founded. however. that differentiates dictatorship from democracy. will work better if citizens inevitable are given an opportunity to weigh the relative merits of different Liberals believe that "rule by public opinion. The situation is not quite racy as it fact that many is so unfortunate in a democ- is in a dictatorship. what is true and what is false. fore. In the place many propagandists are unable to present their views to any considerable number of people. if the competitive race for the support of public opinion is not open to if all is comers on an not allowed to equal enter basis. however. The democratic theory will not work. because there safety in numbers. .

funniest. to fabricate. but in terms of its appeal man. but skill in and elucidating the fail to assist logic of the case. or can get the cratic theory assumes that the competitive race for public opinion will be surrounded by conditions. consciously undertakes and to produce emotional rather than rational is responses to his appeals. Propagandists often decisions the masses in reaching intelligent on matters of public policy not because of inability but because they simply have no intention of doing so. They may even have the financial resources needed. practices. It is not the lack of I skill in dramatizing ideas mobilizing facts. Instead of make . or arousing emotions to which interpreting facts. tries to confuse us. the true logic of the case he is trying to promote. The purpose of the competition is not its is the most sensational. They have beliefs and ideas which may be very sound and if presented to the masses with the skill other propagandists employ would gain wide acceptance. Any idea which cannot compete successfully because its supporters are unable to mobilize sufficient evidence and logic behind it deserves to lose.122 An Introduction to Public Opinion not in terms of the amount of amount to of physical force at to the rational mind of money spent in its behalf. motion pictures. or the command. are. demo- determine which idea ring. victory to the and rules that will insure more rational rather than the less rational ideas. This is the supreme test. He uses all sorts of wiles to divert our attention from the real merits. This the kind of propagandist who arouses the ire of so many popular commentators on the subject. most stirmost publicity in terms of newspaper space and radio time. radio. but many would-be propagandists cannot reach the masses because they do not know how to do so. But ? what is the situation Many propagandists are financially unable to use the channels of mass communication for spreading their ideas. An alarming trend of recent years has been the progressive centralization of control over these instruments of mass impression newspapers. but — lack the capacity for presenting their ideas to the masses in terms they will understand. This type of propagandist deliberately to distort. refer. He draws red herrings across our thinking paths. Not only that. He never tells us who he is or what his real motives He tries to us emotionally drunk with excitement during parades and mass celebrations. He tries to gain prestige for his cause by artificial means. and properly so. In other words.

investigate the validity of the complaints. Such a commission should be adequately financed and competently staffed. Private institutions such as the Institute of and no efforts is official Propaganda Analysis. official. principals are. We may work as the democratic thesis ever to should. such as place of residence. with limited funds at their disposal authority. what are these people doing and how are they . citizens reach more rational Several years ago Congress all passed legislation providing for the compulsory registration of agents of foreign principals representatives and in propaganda activities in this country. There are some meth- ods of propaganda which are so obviously hindrances to clear think- ing that they should be outlawed. are tremendously handicapped in their practices. many such exposures are true. Publicizing unfair practices merely to expose these good as far as it goes.Propaganda and Democracy trying to all 123 make it easy for us to analyze his case logically he resorts to sorts of logical fallacies and artful devices to mislead us. comparable in some respects to the Federal Trade Commission or the Securities Exchange Commission. These propagandists were compelled by law to register with the Department of State and fill out special engaged information blanks. to make periodic audits of unfair propaganda practices. tion is. perhaps. their violation. But this is not always As in the field of business competition so in the arena of comif petitive propaganda is it may be necessary to formulate and enforce be compelled to do this it rules of fair competition. con- tinuing body of this One illustration will suffice. but does it go far enough ? There is need for a federal commission. Any citizen may examine the registration and obtain a limited amount of information regarding these propagandists. Now this is splendid as far as lists it goes. scribe remedies. In sufficient to cure the evil. who their and what salaries they receive. I and pre- wish to lay special emphasis upon the need for an sort. Among other things it would undertake to define the meaning of "unfair competitive practices" entertain complaints regarding . to show how useful it could be in helping decisions on matters of public policy. The cases crusade of the Institute of Propaganda Analysis and similar efforts to expose this kind of propaganda are commendable. The important queshowever.

are they exerting on our newspapers. research workers continually enlarging the scope of their knowledge propaganda activities in specific fields. But what is Japan doing? Spasmodic congressional investigations of propaganda and lobbying are economically wasteful and in many cases socially worthless. What influence. It would certainly have an up-to-date library of information regarding all the important groups seeking to mold public opinion in the United States and would be What doing? What doing? What is the British Council in a position to make it timely reports of their activities. it is necessarily superficial and based largely on I have just secondary sources. Japan. But American citizens to know not only what doing. and investigators. for example. making historical surveys. of course.124 An it ? Introduction to Public Opinion doing This legislation should have paved the way for a continu- ing survey of foreign propaganda in this country. Historical studies of this sort have their value. in many cases event lose tions of much of their usefulness. Italy. and assembling existing data. A permanent commission. of would have a staff of trained . I suppose. This it is equally important for is Great Britain Russia. Germany. is and other countries are doing. radio. In view of the all prevailing international tensions in Europe and other parts of the world to it is obvious that potential belligerents are doing are the Nazis doing? they can are they win the support of American public opinion. an interesting and important subject. particularly of congressional investigations unfair practices. And even more important. One means of the outstanding shortcomings of our present system of exposing propaganda practices. Owing to lack of funds. and motion pictures ? What ideas are being disseminated? What methods are employed? Are . been reading a recent bulletin of the Institute for Propaganda Analysis entitled Britain Woos America. would have much of the needed material available at all times. Congressional investigations. is by the and private institutions inevitable untimeliness of the reports they issue. if any. coming several years after the Most congressional investiga- propaganda and lobbying are of this kind. on the other hand. but as instruments for helping the public to arrive at intelligent decisions on current questions of public policy they are lamentably deficient. but also what France. Such committees are forced to devote too much time to getting under way.

instances of unequivocal distortion and misrepresentation. This it is trying to influence public opinion by methods which obstruct rather admittedly a general the than promote clear. Most of us would agree. Refinements is come with the English the consideration of specific instances. competently staff ed. Debatable questions will arise. what propaganda practices? How can we define them? The same kind of question was asked when the Federal Trade Commission was established and efforts were made to raise the level of competitive business practices. But I believe that experience will show more . will Many five to four decisions have to be accepted. This way common law developed. some who will ask. however.Propaganda and Democracy unfair practices used? 125 What influences are being brought to bear upon our own pubUc officials and leaders in other spheres of life? Within the past few years we have had a number of excellent studies of World War propaganda. this And is I think we will also agree that the task of getting one that only a governmental agency. but a starting point. What we really need. especially those that do not wish have their activities exposed. are equally penetrating analyses of propaganda designed to involve us in the present European war. The way to proceed is not to start with I know are unfair the most doubtful cases imaginable and try to line possible draw Let us the narrowest start between fair and unfair practices. and with substantial authority. I realize that many interests will to oppose this sugges- tion. and Peterson. that information of this kind would be very helpful and would serve to clarify public thinking on public issues. do believe that we have reached a point where organized attempts to influence public opinion on matters of public policy have become activities vested with the public interest! The democratic But thesis simply will not work unless the race for public-opinion sup- port is brought out into the open and that there are is subjected to certain rules of the game. In general. I think at once of the studies by Lass- well. and ask sincerely. and it is the way a common law of unfair competitive practices in the propaganda arena can develop. can perform. with the as obvious cases. I think. rational is and rather will abstract principle. Hence my plea for a permanent government commission information '• to do the I job. an unfair competitive practice might be defined thinking. adequately financed. Bruntz.

Frequently they become. an opinion or a fact? It seems so obvious to us that we often forget there are those who challenge the statement. but indispensable plant. However imperfect are. But I man is. there is much that can be done to assist the public directly in arriving at more intelligent decisions. instinct. are taught of straight . early liberals believed that man's reason was about the best tool he had for use in his search for truth. the tools of other propagandists. deny the efficacy of to think with their blood. suspect were more fully aware of man's emotional disposition than we suppose. intuition.""*^ Education is propaganda. a reasoning as well as a feeling being. Some educators obviously forget They propagate some particular economic philosophy or social and political gospel. or other alternative guides of conduct. They realize that men think with their emotions as well as their minds. A liberal education educator is is an experience with a philosophy of education. unconsciously perhaps. in the general scheme of things. Responsibility for the failure of propagandists to perform their function as they should or misdoings. and choose between good and bad. weakly. and social dogmas. But they were optimistic enough to believe that the most flagrant abuses of emotionalism could be that early democratic theorists "educated" out of a people. whatever that Germans means. but as it happens to be the only thing by which we can test authority. political. rational capacities of the average man.126 An Introduction to Public Opinion general agreement on practices than what are and what are not unfair propaganda many of us suppose. we should tion man's reasoning powers cultivate assiduously this tender. The educator Is this insists that there is a definite social value in logical thinking. Hence the emphasis upon general educa- and a nationwide public-school system. is not attributable solely to their own doings same time that efforts are made to raise the level of competitive propaganda and outlaw unfair practices. But these gospels are not philosophies of education. The art logic. the At Liberals believe in the efficacy of reason. Some Fascists. and however difficult it is to improve them. and that democratic theorists of the early nineteenth century probably over- emphasized the reasoning. nevertheless. The propagandizing a philos- ophy try to of education — his views regarding the place of the mind this. for example. As one writer has stated "Reason is untrustworthy. They are economic.

a fact that there are so many unemployed in the country. and that premise only one step in an endless search for truth. It is sometimes asserted that the best antidote to propaganda true propaganda. But the argument and persuasion have been known strategies and tricks to logicians for cen- turies. in secondary schools. It ganda is only begs the question. however. about information and facts. it is is fact. Its efforts show that a real need for of more instruction of this kind exists. I liberals believe that logic we have for channeling thought would place instruction in logic. and throughout our educational system be given a more thorough training in logical analysis. course logic. that the . They should learn how to use these basic principles to clarify their own thinking as well as to detect fallacies in the think- ing of others. The Institute's "seven devices" are only a few of the tricks in the kit of propagandists. particularly our elementary to ignore this fact. In the face of the growing creasing number it is of propagandists I and the in- volume of propaganda imperative. that stu- dents in elementary schools. believe. This logic to may necessitate some rewriting of textbooks on at different adapt them to the understanding of students will not necessarily levels in the educational system. by itself. If this statement means that the best antidote to false propadoes not advance us very truth and far. Of truth. The difficulty that facts do not It is speak for themselves. Something should also be said. among the more important needs of the American public today. and secondary schools. show the way is to Logic always starts with a premise.Propaganda and Democracy thinking is 127 really the art of logical thinking. we seem Why should courses in logic be reserved for the exclusive use of university feasible and graduate students? Would it not be and eminently worth while to teach the fundamental printhroughout our entire educational system? is ciples of logical analysis What better safeguard there to the onslaughts of illogical and irrational propaganda appeals ? The Institute of Propaganda Analysis has done a splendid piece of work in popularizing a few of the devices that propagandists sometimes use to muddle our thinking. It is reasoning from the facts that counts. In our public-school systems. therefore. for what what is falsity ? is We simply revert to this great imponderable. But does provide one of the best criteria processes.

the basic principles of logical analysis. propaganda has a real and a vital function to perform and I have tried to explain what that function is. and train students in the use of. have tried to show that in democratic society. But so what? What do these facts mean? Where do we go from here? It is because of the meaninglessness of isolated facts that I emphasize the importance of reason. Fact-finding characteristic the work-way of scholarship Perhaps little to today. Many of those conditions I do not exist. propaganda freedom will serve the interests of democracy only under certain con- ditions. The quantity of avail- able facts is a bit appalling. of logic. believe that a greater effort should be made to explain. in the propaganda arena.128 An government Introduction to Public Opinion is federal spending so much for relief. SecI ondly. too I fact-interpretation. and that Hitler demands die return of German colonies lost as a result of the World War. Without attempting place I to offer a comprehensive panacea have presented two very concrete first proposals for improving the situation. In the favor the establishment of a federal commission to formulate and enforce rules governing methods. It must be clear that. . I hope I have not given the impression that have the answers to I all questions raised during the course of this lecture. even in democratic theory. not content. as a tool for combinis ing facts and premises to reach a conclusion. we have given too much atten- tion to fact-finding.

It may is call for is a substantial modification of personal and corporate tensions practices. not a static. The cause of our difficulty may too much understanding rather than too little. inflexible standard. of public relations confronted by a paradox. To do this we must be alert to study and analyze our rela- with the public and adjust them to public-opinion trends. As individit and organizations we mold to our wishes. This process of adjustment may call for two very distinct types of approach. is APPROACH the end of our discussion of the background We have argued a that public relations term which refers to those aspects of our to personal and corporate behavior having widespread social implica- We have said that the basic problem of public relations is bring these relations into conformity with the public interest. Intergroup to. as well as follow it. It extremely shortsighted to assume that are the result of. the end product of innumerable influences that and mold In a democracy particularly. the best definition available of what that public interest is is. real insight misunderstanding always the cause of public disfavor. We direct have also noted that public opinion It is itself it. And we have asserted that public opinion provides. in the last analysis.Public Opinion and Social Control WE tions. Public dissatisfaction with our conduct may have a valid tions basis in fact. these circumstances we have before us two major responsi- We have the duty of providing ways and means for adjusting those aspects of our personal and corporate conduct which have widespread implications to public opinion's concept of the public interest. public opinion is subject to an incessant battle of uals competing propagandas. causes of public At a recent the question meeting of the McGraw-Hill Public Relations Forum was asked: Why have the most disastrous strikes oc129 . The distrust may not be imaginary and fanciful. may be due and often and be possibly thorough understanding. We use it as it a standard of corporate behavior and simultaneously try to make conform Under bilities.

In company with authoritarians. They give employees and the public a clearer pic- ture of corporate activities and motives than they would ordinarily have. Very often. assuming that these "best programs of public relations" are primarily informational in character. however. Moreover. that man- agement has taken for granted that the causes of unrest are imag- inary rather than real. but endless chain of social causation. once we have brought line with public opinion. Lack of adjustment calls for an en- tirely different type of may stem from a failure to understand exactly what the real implications of corporate behavior are.130 An Introduction to Public Opinion curred in plants supposedly having the best programs of public relations? The answer it is. merely one link in an The real point of difference be- tween the democratic and authoritarian point of view is that the former believes that the best way to improve the quality of public . the process of adjustment approach. all laws. It is in cases of this kind that informational pro- grams like those of General Motors. liberals recognize the importance and power of public our relations with the public into a duty as citizens opinion —the fact that all governments. United States Steel. We have and members of a national community to assist in making that public opinion what we think it ought to be. all institutions. customs. and standards of right and authority wrong derive their from public opinion. and many other corporations have value. A careful study of corporate behavior practice in terms of their actual effects and upon employees might show^ that the source of the difficulty was not lack of information or un- derstanding on the part of employees but the natural consequences of corporate practices themselves. morals. provided that they are honestly and intelligently executed. But I cannot stress too emphatically the need for searching analyses of the total situation in each case to the differentiated end that real causes are Our responsibilities from the mythical. As one writer has stated: "The basic problem of public opinion is not to find out what it is but to make it what it ought to be." Democratic theory has some very definite things to say about the place of opinion leadership in a democracy. do not end. the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. however. both liberals and authoritarians realize that public opinis ion does not have a spontaneous origin.

Official agencies of government stress the importance of leading as well as reflecting public opinion. Group A increases its appropriation for advertising and publicity. Competition for opinion control becomes intense. Group A manufactures news. Business executives and group leaders. like all principles. and purchases time over broadcasting networks. as well as governments. whereas the latter maintains that the best way to achieve popular enlightenment is to rest responsibility of leadership in a small group of supposedly wise men. Large corporations are revising public-relations policies. Group A modernizes its "public-relations" work. and a more ominous struggle for control over the minds of men. apply only under certain conditions. Group B follows suit. And what results? What must necessarily be the ultimate social consequence in terms of national well-being ? . Democratic principles. Propaganda begets propaganda. Liberals believe that improvements in the quality of public opinion are much more when the masses are confronted with competing propagandas than when they are subjected to only one. What happens upon to us. a more intense. stages demonstrations. There occurs a race not unlike the international armaments race. and improving their methods of dealing with these publics. when innumerable groups suddenly and launch out ? begin to realize the importance of public opinion courses of competitive propaganda officered by specialists is The answer obvious. therefore. a race for superiority in weapons of aggressive propaganda which may be as disastrous as the race for battleship supremacy. an era characterized by a shrewder. Propaganda —the conscious dissemination of ideas and doctrines likely to occur has. labor unions and pressure groups generally. Trade and professional associations. Group B does likewise.Public Opinion and Social Control 131 opinion is to provide an arena in which the maximum opportunity exists for presenting different points of view. a definite but distinct role to play in both theories. are awake to the importance of a multiplicity of public opinion. are taking stock of existing practices and devising more refined methods for securing public support. however. studying their publics. produces motion pictures. What are these conditions ? We have entered a new era in the life of democracy. Larger and larger sums of money are devoted to this purpose. Group B "sees" them and raises the ante. however.

In this race of competing propagandas. The competence of the public to decide wisely depends largely on the degree to which pressure groups enlighten the public mind. the proper function of the propagandist is in reaching rational conclusions public policy. The social success of be measured by the yardstick of popular enlightenment. but rather their contribution to all the enlightened thinking of Americans. than befuddle their fellow men. have a public service to render since they are affected with a public interest.132 An I Introduction to Public Opinion to assist us As all see it. This is the first condition essential to decentralized. Pressure groups identify their interests with the public interest. The problem is to mini-^ . The public interest is always an interest and more rational decision on matters of general public significance. from any social point of view. but they also on important matters duty to perform for their of our clients. group leaders sometimes overlook the fact that. the social effect of in a wiser irrational appeals may not be quite so disastrous. But in a democracy. not upon the extent to which they arouse animal instincts. real freedom to propagandize ideas and doctrines regardless of their acceptability to us. This identification cannot be substantiated simply by a stroke of the pen or by waving a wand. Perfect freedom. is where opinion leadership is where the individual we must establish and maintain the best standards of competitive propaganda and be ourselves responsible for what we have done. In a dictatorship where responsibility for opinion leadership is centralized and monopolized in a supposed elite. Propagandists have a to be sure. has never existed and probably never will. Under our democratic system they are responsible for opinion leadership. Another condition is freedom. This social responsibility is as definite as the social responsibility and seems today perhaps even more vital. the important thing is not of the lawyer the success of their own enterprise. cratic thesis propaganda must The demo- simply will not work unless the plane of competitive at a propaganda can be maintained high level. and himself compelled to choose. the successful operation of the democratic thesis. unless propagandists are true to their social responsibilities and seek to enlighten rather. The real success of a propaganda campaign cannot be measured by column inches of newspaper publicity. amount of fan mail. number of telegrams received. Of increases in sales.

political. expression of opinion. elaborate rules regarding procedure. never an accomplished station at the Freedom to express opinions is always condi- tioned by the freedom of others. DemocIt is always an ideal in process of being realized. aims of democracy.Public Opinion and Social Control mize. so far as possible. But mass publics can be reached effectively only by instruments of mass impression. space in a newspaper. Emotions cannot be pletely divorced far as com- from thought processes. go even farther in defining unfair practices of propaganda. so many instruments to to for arousing the emotions of the masses that democracy may have If. Nevertheless. This is all is a not censorship. and prescribes rules of the game. protect juries from the wiles of special pleaders in the courtroom. These We cannot all use one broadcasting same time. There are also many artificial barriers to free is Freedom also of expression limited not only by formal censorship. but by the financial inability of many to use modern instruments of communication. occupy the same rostrum. use the same may be called natural obstacles. particularly agencies of mass impression. it is true. Democratic theory also assumes that the arena of competing propafacilitate rather ganda will be surrounded by conditions that than obstruct rational processes of thought. The for establishment and enforcement of standards of fair practice familiar procedure under our democratic system. legislation to promote truth in advertising interferes Special pleaders now have available. It is to that extent they defeat the for this reason government against libel and that are examples. and economic system. for specific persons and ideas are not arbitrarily apart and banned. Democratic theory assumes that all ideas and doctrines have substantially an equal opportunity of being presented. set We may discern already problem in the fact that some appreciation of the during the 1936 presidential campaign the national broadcasting companies formulated editorial policies to . The problem use is to find ways and means of equalizing opportunities to them under our existing social. in so propagandists rely upon emotional rather than rational appeals. however. fact. Laws slander. how much more necessary are rules governing the activities of special pleaders in the national arena of public opinion. and the questioning of witnesses are imperative. racy is 133 artificial obstacles to that freedom. the presentation of evidence.

Some often. Information to be useful and presented the so that it can be digested. Before one question is acted is upon many to others are injected into the proceedings. Issues are not defined. the reader of New Yor^ Times or the Herald-Tribune puts his paper aside sys- with a helpless feeling of intellectual bewilderment. any. gigantic reservoirs of information. however. no calendar of cases. no rules of evidence. As previously noted. The competence of public opinion to function satisfactorily in a democracy depends not only upon the adequate presentation of alternative opinions and upon the degree to which emotional stimuli are absent. that competence seems much It is greater today than ever before. Too however. related to the particular problems with A mere increase in amount may confuse must be organized of our newspapers are rather than enlighten. flicting that the quality of opinions improves as oppor- tunity for considering alternative points of view increases may re- The ability to weigh the if relative merits of con- opinions satisfactorily presupposes conditions that often do not exist. of information available to the masses. Special pleaders talk as often and as long as they wish. that makes for public enlightenment. hearings. Pleadings are for the most part ex parte. The the silver screen. The information must be capable of being under- stood by the masses and which they are concerned. not quantity of information. No attempt made bring the protagonists together. very few. No time is set for the There is no order of business. is The quantity of information available today very great. Freedom of dis- cussion as a principle of democratic liberalism does not mean the absence of any rules which may improve the quality of that discussion. schools. the competence of public opinion is to be measured in terms of information available. but terizes the some degree of order out of the chaos for stuno such departmental and curriculum orderliness characbanquet of facts for adults. A large proportion of the population attends the public air. . Our school tems do try to bring dents. Libraries are overflowing with Reading matter is abundant. The assumption quire qualification.134 An Introduction to Public Opinio7i effect of minimize the baneful total emotional appeals. rules of special pleading exist in the arena of public opinion. and the press provide additional If sources of information. but also upon the character and amount it.

The predisposition to think with one's feelings frequently stimu- lated and strengthened by the use of symbols words. available the ordinary citizen does not always avail himself of He. All it can reasonably do. Freedom of opinion is not an end in a means an end — the enlightenment of public opinion. We cannot assume that conditions exist which do not. and are extremely useful in translating opinions into will. pictures. access to it. it is It is discussion. may not have study it. Often the respective functions of will and emotion are confused. objective criteria for making this decision. that emotions are controlled and assigned their proper we must face the facts place when this is not true. is to decide to which of the "inside conflicting groups" directly concerned with the problem it will give its support. dramatic stunts — —emotionally toned to the detriment of reason. that they have the opportunity to weigh intelligently different points of view when they do not. It is for social scientists to provide the public with a few simple. An- other is the difficulty of applying these criteria to specific situations and securing agreement as to their mode of application. In the chaotic efforts are world of competing is propagandas deliberate made to aggravate this confusion. that opinion in early democratic theories was too even under the best circumstances the public is incapable of judging the merits of an issue.Public Opinion and Social Control 135 One to its of the pressing problems of our times is the ordering of public itself. In considering the proper role of public opinion in a democracy and deal with public opinion as it is. But emotions do have an important role to play in the life of the state as well as in the life of the individual. personally. But are powerful what role? They implements to action. There is also the problem of drawing a definite line between outsiders and . In spite of the quantities of information it. He believes that the role assigned to public idealistic. One is the difficulty of finding such a list of easily recognizable criteria. Emotions and feelings are generally regarded as impediments to straight thinking.'*^ There are many difficulties with Lippmann's analysis. We cannot assume that the masses have information when they do not. he says. can accomplish purpose only as abuses are avoided and order brought out of the chaos. He may not have time to to these matters or the ability to understand No one has given more thoughtful consideration than Walter Lippmann. it.

One frequently and often casually offered educaa Formal education. Training in the uses and abuses of logic will assist them to avoid the worst pitfalls of irrationality. Techniques and information are outdated almost before graduation. there aligning the problem of inducing the public to abandon its practice of passing itself upon the merits of particular issues and merely on one side or the other. like. The dimensions of far beyond the range of man's natexpand listening At the same time that technical developments . so far as it is affected by formal education. and the the parties involved virtually comprise the entire population.136 An On Introduction to Public Opinion insiders. Today's mass opinion. It seldom provides the citizen with the necessary equipment either in techniques or information for meeting rapidly changing social situations. public-school education can give students a knowledge of the historical development of the world in which they live. was impracticable excommunities of five or six thousand people did not take account of the future impact of technical developments in communications upon the scope and nature of human contacts. view will tend to develop a spirit of tolerance and patience. however. touches the lives of citizens for few years. is largely the product of education of fifteen and twenty years ago. Democracy is entering an era when the town-meeting idea is being projected into the national arena. But formal education cannot give the answers to many specific social problems with which students will be faced Exposure to different points of twenty years hence. war. other suggestions have been made for improving the quality is of mass opinion. few thousands. in the sense of direct rule cept in small by public opinion. a method of approach to problems that is always useful. Radio now makes it possible to address audiences of forty and fifty millions as effectively and conveniently as speakers in earlier days presented their views to gatherings of a democracy have been extended ural voice. is Moreover. questions relating to unemployment. Many tion. Formal. It can also give them an attitude of mind. The lag between the time when efforts are made to educate young people and the time when they are in a position to use effectively what they have learned is considerable. Plato's conclusion that democracy. taxes. a background of information always helpful in solving current problems.

however. by petition or in some other way. and election considerations often force them to gloss over real issues. Today the people can listen to discussions of national questions and act upon them much as they did in earlier town-meeting days. however. classification With orderly would come more significant statements of issues. they do it only periodically. sion be How may the character and methods of public discus- improved? first In the place there is need for a clearing house of ideas and bright. systematically arranged order of business. they make it possible for the masses to convey their responses to rulers almost as speedily as rulers ideas to them. eliminate duplications. all The ordinary citizen cannot as a rule examine sift the less this for and programs and from the more important. no rules of debate. A moment's reflection. reveals that the nation is ill as a whole prepared for collective action of this sort. revamp and integrate others so that they could be presented to the public in a systematic manner. One of the primary functions of such a clearing house would be to arrange and classify these ideas. The it is imperative that the method questions should be important. of selecting. And they should be phrased so that the answers mean something. no careful formulation of questions. formuand presenting the questions submitted be improved. Unfortunately. Political parties also perform this function to some extent. extent our legislative bodies serve this purpose.Public Opinion and Social Control 137 and seeing areas. it fails ing candidates for public If the badly as a mechanism for defining and stating issues. They should be such that the ordi- nary citizen might reasonably be expected to have an opinion upon them. any ideas or plans he has. a reservoir into which individuals and groups with new ideas can pour their questions. It is communicate their now feasible for public officials to present ques- tions to the masses one day and obtain answers the next. opinions. There is no definite time of meeting. We have a number of private agencies engaged in polling . None no of the safe- guards for facilitating collective discussions and deliberations in town meetings exist. To some Anyone free to bring before them. There must be some agency to ideas do is him. However well our election machinery operates as a device for selectoffice. public is to be asked to express its opinions on matters of national interest lating.

the unimpeach- will continue to be guided beliefs. Undoubtedly the best antidote to lished by the best scientific evidence available. scien- - Many tific. verifiable by scientific ex- perimentation. cannot be answered in un- equivocal. even. social scientist. one vital question elect to accept Which propaganda and to follow? Is it possible to select many competing propagandas there criteria to indicate those that are socially desirable are which causes from the ? Are good and which are bad } an objective. problems in modern society. As social presumably detached. answer. on. encompasses only a small part of the field in which we must act. disdaining to be bothered by questions of values. ignoring. It could be made an integral and socially useful part of the democratic system as a w^hole. From he the point of view of the individual citizen. we are content to and experiment. interest This machinery could be made to serve the public quately than it more ade- does. classify. we prefer to view social behavior as the psychologist examine the history or the intimate behavior of rats Impervious to social and the physiologist and mice. whose philosophies and ideologies have played an important part in social evolution. our describe. the subject is: and shall object of propaganda. Until all truth it is ques- would be is revealed . analyze. factual terms. who it devote their lives to the search the socially immunized The world owes much to those for new facts and principles. Even if it were possible test to abolish all types of propa- ganda.138 An Introduction to Public Opinion public opinion. indispensable. beliefs in ideals truth of in the last analysis be reduced to able demonstrations of validity. but the costly machinery employed for sampling opinion is too frequently used for trivial purposes. Credit must also be given to leaders of opinion. or used in such a little way that the results obtained have or no practical significance. fact estabMost of the pressing however. looking down upon life a world of struggling men and women. The function of is the searcher for truth. But does not owe everything. but The by search for facts and principles must go meanwhile the which cannot actions of great masses of men and women and values. propaganda is fact. own fate. consequences. are prone to evade the compelling social necessity for scientists. desirable. Absolute truth. simply because the ideals and purposes advocated could not be subjected to the cold tionable whether this tube of scientific experiment.

a number of others the social utility of which may be matters of debate. if properly considered. This will leave. cause. perhaps. that we should disown the function of opinion leadership and withdraw to the sanctuary of demonstrable facts and principles ? Like the question of life and death. in our estimation. behind it? from apby social or by personal interests? Do they speak from a first. and the means advocated for realizing these objectives. be an individual one. Does it follow that. a careful answer to these questions will resolve the major difficulties at least and avoid the most serious mistakes.or from a second-hand knowledge of the subject? Are the objectives. represent a more intelligent and more socially motivated group than those who advocate the program ? These and similar questions. in the final analysis. better than the one we now enjoy. or we can choose from among the varied propagandas those to follow. faith in that seems to be. however. We can withdraw into that inner circle where only alleged facts and principles reside. This conand more particularly the teacher of the social sciences. Theoretically ards by clusion leaves the citizen. Which propaganda? A moment's reflection reveals that there are no hard and fast standwhich good and bad causes may be differentiated. we can ask cer- tain questions as a basis for guidance. Who is advocating the pro- parently. some future state though it cannot be proved to be so. realistic.Public Opinion and Social Control there will be a place for faith. because there exist no infallible standards of truth. of the situation. the choice will. in a confusing situation. any and all propagandas are indifferently valid? Or does it mean. even 139 some ideal. will at once eliminate many causes from our support. Although we may never be sure that we have chosen the best and only way. generally approved. gram. as distinct Are these real leaders of opinion motivated or are they subject to considerable criticism? ticular cause ? Who oppose the par- Do they. the answer seems to be faced with many philosophical barriers. or platform? is Who actually. common-sense view how- ever. And so. . Without established stipulating that and valid any cause to elicit our support must be beyond the shadow of a doubt. A more practical. suggests a reasonable course of action. the fundamental problem which any sincere attack on the subject of propaganda encounters sooner or later is the question.

best that man must rely on reason. We may be able to raise the level and standards of competition. what reason we have will survive. in our selection of the causes to support. In the last resort. necessary to balance relative values.140 An Introduction to Public Opinion The democratic petition of thesis assumes is that. and at least improve the chances that fore. on the may be found in the realm of intelligence and prudence. We should. at least in many instances. the validity of the goal sought must be balanced against the social utility preserved by insisting on the non-use of certain means. will prevail. Quite he is labeled bad because of the methods employed to gain public support. and the pertinent principles are applied. however. We cannot abolish propaganda. The social dangers of unwise choices are greatly mitigated by the operation of whatever forces give reason a chance to prevail over emotion. the best. Students of propaganda have shown no little industry in unearthing evidences of deliberate misrepresentation. Certainly. if free and unrestrained comto formulate a defini- propagandas best. concealment. Furthermore. But public and. in means but it is also of ends. Just as. thereand appeals attempt to reject propaganda propagandist is that neglects reason only to emotion. If It is not the necessary nor often the the sincere promotion to be invalid. tion of Without attempting state that all what is we can anything which impedes or to interferes thesis with the freedom of propagandas tends make the unworkable. and other is evi- dences of public lying. Evaluation of methods of propaganda an evaluation not merely so. what may be of ideals and shall called unconscious lying. after all the facts are in. private lying a trait peculiar to modern times. actual method employed. that which are subsequently total found we is probably find that the less amount is of deliberate deception much of than is supposed. for that matter. distortion. causes we eliminate from our consideration is. in any pragmatic sense of the term. A is often said to be socially reprehensible because as frequently of the cause he promoting. those influences which serve to raise the level of competition its from the emotional to the rational work all to advantage. There tices of this is no doubt as to the existence of pracnot kind. assured. if we decide that means employed to further the aims of the Amerithe . Here again common sense and reason must be our guide. passing judg- ment upon means employed by propagandists.

in broader meaning. ? What does an intelligent awareness of propaganda imply In the first place it calls for an awareness of the extent and character of propaganda. Assuming the social utility of a regime of tolerance. I believe. the variety of philosophies. and oftentimes the most socially useful truth is merely an intelligent opinion or a prudent this course of eleven lectures I belief. Other lectures have ex- plained the concept "public relations" in terms of actual corporate and individual practice today. the propaganda methods employed become a problem of encouraging those techniques which appeal to the reason and suppressing those which are non-rational. But of even greater importance is the necessity for an awareness of the philosophical issues involved. not enough to em- phasize the bad. of conviction and persuasion that have proved efficacious in promoting causes. causes. an awareness of the fact that the basic problem follow . Throughout have tried to clarify the concepts "public opinion" and "propaganda" and show their re- lationship to the subject of public relations.Public Opinion and Social Control 141 can Red Cross are valid. In the second place it calls for an understanding of the methods employed. of competitive propaganda and assuming fursocially reprehensible. What I have tried to do is to weave the multiplicity of practices into a mosaic unity in order that we may understand not only what it. the various types of reasoning. In other words. All too frequently . ther the desirability of as high a level of rational discussion as possible. to state once more the several propositions I. It the tricks and subterfuges employed. advanced and explained. as we see it. its Public relations. Where facts are not available there must be an unending search for the best opinion in whatever field we are working.^^ is: Which propaganda is shall we For we must very consciously follow some kind of propanot enough to It is ganda stress if we are not to be led about like sheep. Wherever possible. and ideologies that have been significant in world history. as means. we have little cause for condemning the same means. if used to further a cause which we regard as means which are used to believe are condemned simply further a cause in which we do not because we do not believe in the cause. we are doing but also why we are doing It is appropriate at this time. facts must be sought. the search for truth must go on. refers to those aspects .

essential to its proper functioning. have not only the duty to conform to public opinion but and the opportunity to mold and guide it. collectively. its make it. Only as we seek in every way do we free ourselves from the dangers possible to improve quality of conformity. and the conditions 5. 2. and corporate behavior which have relations is social implica- The basic problem of public to bring these relations into conformity with the public interest — a public interest which is constantly being redefined by mass opinion. is In the final analysis. We also the responsibility 4. . In so doing we need to to be aware of the it social significance of propaganda —the role which is assigned in democratic theory. 3. public opinion what we.142 Aji Introduction to Public Opinion of our personal tions.

. Norton E. N. 1939). George. 11." Public Opinion Quarterly. 1939.. Ibid. 7. H. 1935-38. of the Bell System.. "Public Relations Policies 2. Quoted in Gallup. Club of — First in the Order of Business." Peterson. 19:123-4 (February. 1937. Long. March 23. F. 10:339-350 (March. 1932). statistical New 9. Public Opinion 13. 14. p. 119-20 and 123. York. 1914-1917." Address. 143 .... Griffiths. Paul W. "Twenty-Five Years of Direct Legislation in California. H. See HoLcoMBE. Edwin A. in "The Concept Political of Public Opinion in Political Theory" in Essays History and Theory in Honor of Charles Howard Mcllwain. the Science of Politics. 1925). op. Neutrality. Sedman. E. Claude. Industry's No. The best. 1936. George.Notes 1. DiBRELL. is 15. Press. John Price. 16. 1939). 2:373-398 (July." Public Opinion Quarterly. 1938. Garrett. "Public Relations — Jones. First 8. American Political Science Review. "Toward a Science of Public Opinion. 1937. Surveys. R. 1937). i Job. 1937). York: Inter-River For a summary of the results of these surveys see Institute of Public Gallup. Propaganda for War The Campaign Against American Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1:1:7-23 (January. District Conferences of the Through the Trade AssociaAmerican Trade Association Executives. Paul A... Cambridge: Harvard University Press." Address. — New 4. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Noel." and Robinson. "Big Business Finds a Soul —The Growing Importance of Public Relations." Ad- dress. 1939. 12. "American 10." an excerpt from Round Table on Political Statistics at the National Conference on R. A. June 15. David McLaren. and Church. 14. Virginia "Some Interpretations of Public Opinion. Louis. UnpubHshed manuscript. "Public Relations St. 1:4:5-22 (October. CoTTRELL. p. cit. 1938)." 5. White Sulphur Springs. At the Bar of Public Opinion. 3:30-45 (January.. 3. 13. Thomas W. C. concise summary of the evolution of the concept Palmer. 18. 1939). "Industry's Public Relations Job tion. in Democracy. 17. 19:83-88 ff.. 19:6 (March. — Jones and Church. pp.. Advertising 6." Social Forces. Opinion a — Public Opinion Quarterly. Parry. 1939. p. TwentyAnnual Convention of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Allport. the report of the "The Meaning of Public Opinion. 16. Fortune. April 22. (March. Fortune. Public Opinion Quarterly.

New York: Holt." in Propaganda Activities and Promotional —An Annotated Bibliography by Lasswell. 1934). Public Opinion 12. L. 34. H. Julian Public. "Recent Developments in the Straw Poll Field. 1939). November. 7:375-385 (1936). Detect Propaganda. James. and (May. 24. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 22. 26. 1925. 36. 37. 40. 42.. Gordon. New York: Knopf. New "A Statistical Survey of Public Opinion. Harold P.144 An Thurstone. Maxey.. Review Company. "The Press and the Woodward. p. 29. York. Stuart A.. D. New York: Macmillan. See note 19. P. Allport. 1:1:97-105 (January. Walter. other aspects of 352. 1933.. 39. Lawrence. England in the Nineteenth Century. 1936. Vol. "The Study and Practice of Propaganda. H. Edward Political "Psychology and Propaganda." Social Forces. 90:178-91 (March 17. Gosnell. H. Studies. 1932.. 33. Robinson.. 1922. F. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1935. The interest New York: Macmillan. 1935. E. 1927. Claude E. LuMLEY. Worcester: Clark University Press. V.. York: Century. 1937).. 25. DooB. pp. 32. D. 19. 798-844. Brooks. 222.." New 28. ]. C. Robert C. 1927.. 10. Introduction to Public Opinion and Chave. C. General and Specific Attitudes." in A HandbooJ^ of Social Psychology. p. Lectures on the Relation between Law and Public Opinion in New 23. GosNELL.. Getting Out the Vote. "The Genesis of Attitudes. L. p. New "How to S. Gosnell. Institute Propaganda Analysis. Modern Democracies. 20. No. Public Opinion. Robert H." Journal of Social Psychology. A. Gault. and Robinson. E. Lowell." Public Opinion Quarterly. H. Quantitative Methods in Politics. and his Propaganda. 27. 1939. 41. The Measurement of Attitude. 12:526-537 (May. pp. in War and Peace. "Factoral Analysis of the Relation of the Press to Vodng in Chicago." Public Opinion Quarterly.. Rice. 1937). Quarterly. New York: Macmillan. Bryce. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 30. 1937). National Industrial Conference Board. "Quantitative Newspaper Analysis as a Technique of Opinion Research. Scholarly in public opinion than the degree of unanimity expressed has produced a variety of definitions of the term stressing different aspects.. Consult Cantril. "How Accurate Were the Polls?" Public Opinion 31. p. 3:327-36 (April. Lasswell. for The Propaganda Menace. 154. 1:3:45-56 (July. Hadley. 176-7. Social Psychology. Lippmann.. 1928. i.. Bryce's American Commonwealth — Fiftieth Anni- versary.. 2. L." Social Science. 1937)." Monthly Letter. 1905. 1937. Vol. 1923. York: Macmillan. 179:88-95 Annals of the American Academy of 1935). "By Public Opinion I Mean. Quoted by special permission of the publishers." L. H. No. New Republic. 6-7. A. Problem of Government. New York: Crofts. I. 1:4:42-52 (October. 1929. Princeton: Psycho- logical 21. New York: Holt. See Childs. Leonard W. 1923. 38. . pp. Dicey. editor. 35. p.

The Phantom Public.. Angell. 1939. pp. Public Opinion Press. Walter. Harwood L. in a Gallup. York: McGraw-Hill. Vol. Federal Trade Commission. Everett Dean. 1927. The Meaning of a Liberal Education. 1922. The Public Mind. 1930. William. 261-403. New Science of Public Opinion Institute of Public Opinion. Gardner Ainsworth. Friedrich. "The Reliability of Public Opinion Public Opinion Quarterly. 1928. The Public Opinion (1937-1939)- Quarterly. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. L. William. New York: Columbia University Palmer. Public Opinion. 18." Warner. 49.. Public Relations Bernays. Claude E. James. SELECTED REFERENCES Public Opinion Albig. 48.." Atlantic. and Smith. 3. Propaganda. New York: Macmillan. Vols. 43. 47. 1936. Norman. Princeton. class of 1939. 1939. "Rule by Public Opinion. Ch. Graves. Albig. 159:693-701 (June. 157:755-764 (June. Kent. New York: William Morrow. "Public Opinion Polls. Public-Opinion Polls American Institute of Public Opinion. Cam1-3 bridge: Harvard University Press. Daniel. Odegard. American Commonwealth. New York: Macmillan. 1936).. Frank. R. George. New York: Columbia University Press. Princeton: Princeton University Press." Sociometry. 1889. W. Peter H. 1939... 1939). Lucian. Hadley. "Summary Report on Efforts by Associations and Agen- . Straw Votes. Robinson. Public Opinion.Selected References 145 Casey. Norton. The author is indebted to one of his former students. Princeton: Princeton University Katz. 1928. The America?! Public Mind. B. 1928. Princeton: American Childs. New York: 44. The Measurement. Public Opinion. Walter. and Cantril. 1935. Surveys. New York: Harcourt. "Education and Propaganda. New Bryce. Lippmann. Ch. II." Atlantic. 46. "The Concept of Public Opinion in Political Theory. B. 1926. 1938. Carl. pp. New York: Dutton. New York: Appleton. Democracy. New York World's Fair Political Behavior. 1932. 1937). Press. 1925.3-2. D.. Edward L. New York: Liveright. Lippmann. 3:376-390 (July. Readings in Public Opinion. for activities of the much of the factual data regarding the propaganda 1939. Paul A." In Essays in History and Political Theory in Honor of Charles Howard Mcllwain. 1:155-79 (July-October. Brace. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1937)45. Martin.

266 —Part —Employer 17 tional Association of Office. 1938. Propaganda 1935- — Its Psychology and Technique. David McLaren. 1933. 1939. Activities —An L. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1935. "Pressure Groups and Propaganda.. York: Inter-River Press. editor. Doob. New York: McGraw-Hill." Atlantic. D. New York: Century. Paul.H6 cies of Elective An U. Alden S. and Smith. and Church. Preface to Public Relations for Industry. Milton. and Gas Utilities to Influence Public Opinion. D. 1937)- Lasswell. Lasswell. and Sklar.. Harwood Harwood L. The Propaganda Menace. and 'Citizens Committees' NaManufacturers. New York: Holt. "Hearings pursuant S. ••Lumley. editor.. B. Walker. H. 1935)- Childs. Hospital Public Relations.. H. R. Subcommittee on Education and Labor. 1934... Friedrich. 179 (May. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. L. S. A York: McGraw-Hill.. 1939. B. New York: Harpers. At the Bar of Public Opinion. 1938. New New Mills. Chicago: Physician's Record Company. Carl Joachim.. Frederick E. Public Relations for Business. John Price. 1938. Introduction to Public Opinion Jones.. Propaganda and Promotional Annotated Bibliography. to Res. Propaganda and Dictatorship. Government Printing Associations — Propaganda Childs. Biisitiess Finds Its Voice. 1939.." Washington: Government Printing Office. Harold D. McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. Leonard W. Senate. U. 1936. Wright. "Education and Propaganda." Annals. S. 159:693-701 (June. . S. Propaganda Technique in the World War." Washington: U. New York: Knopf. Casey. 1927.

40 DiBRELL. 72 3. 98. 73-74 Brooks. Vladimir L. Jeremy. 93. 37 Hanfstaengl. Hadley. 144 Bruntz. Adolf. 145 Griffiths. 145 DoLLFUs. 37 DooB. Emory 40 GosNELL. 99-100 L. 38. Chave. J. 36-37 Hitler. 37. a. Crum. V. Paul. 144.. W.. R. E.. D. F... 52. F. W. 53. Ernst.. 30-31.. 47 Gersdorf. E. 40 Allport.. 3. 95 Calhoun. ioi Lewis. Paul T... 36 Angell.Name Index Adams. 145 Kent. 145 HoLcoMBE. 35. 100 Allport... 37 L. 145 Austin. loi. 56. David McLaren. 114 Bernays. Christian. Noel... George C. Leonard W. Karl.. Ralph J. 37 EsMEiN. G. M. 52 Hume. 95 Bauer. 120 Christensen. 103. C. Floyd H. 64 Ancillon. 8 Clark. George. 37 S. Clyde R. 56 Katz. 52 40 Dewey. 35. Bogardus. Harold Graves.. Harold D. 31-32 Creel.. John. 145 Garve. L. quoted note 7 Bentham. 33. 34. 37 Bluntschli. Edward Biedermann. 72 John Price. 3. George. Arthur. George. C. 103 Hegel. 125 Bryce. 114 HoBBES. A. 37 Bentley. Frank King. 104. Norman. James. Thomas. Robert H. a. 83-84. W. Daniel. 49-50 Brooke. Franz von. Friedrich. 34. and 14 4.. quoted notes Cottrell. A. notes 8 and 14 4. Carl von. Carl Fries. Henry Thomas. F... 144 Cherington.. 40 Holtzendorf. 76 Albig. John.. 37. 47 . quoted note 4 W. Wilhelm. 145 Casey. 68. Samuel... Gordon W. Charles.. Jackson. 37 Goebbels. 37 Bancroft. 93 Crossley. Andrew. William. 57-58. 62.. 38 147 Dicey. Edwin A. 37 Friedrich. Garrett.. quoted David. 36 Gault. Arthur N. 52. 95 Cantril. Buckle.. George Cornewall. 47. 38 J. Lasswell. 84-86 125 quoted note 3 Lenin. 37. Rudolf. Jakob. 77 Jones. 38 Gneist. Paul W. 37 Church. 87 Gallup. John C. Robert C. 38 30.

A. Theodore. Everett Dean. John. 37 Vail. 51 Robinson. Edgar. 86-87 Stahl. Thomas W. H. G. 37 Taylor. 40. Jacques. 35-36 Locke. 146 Necker. 38. 37. John. Gabriel. 37 Woodward. H. W. C. R.. Chester C. Friedrich Julius. 95 Martin. 95 Pascal. Graham. Paul. 79 Smith. quoted note 5 S. Lowell. Rock. Woodrow.. 51-52 Wright. 36 Odegard. 95 E. Ferdinand. 19-20 Lumley. Tocqueville.. Long. ioi 32. 37 Roper. 47 Mills. W. 107 LiEBER. 37 Marshall. Bruce L.. John. 37 Stern-Rubarth. 95 Thurstone. 145 MacKinnon. Louis L. 37. 35 Warner. Morton 143 36. Jean-Jacques. Walker. 36 Willoughby.. Alexis 38 ToNNiEs. Claude. 37 Rousseau. 145 3. Virginia. 37 Wilson.. Theodore. M. 135- Elmo B. 38 Urquhart. A. Alden B. Karl.. 95 WiELAND. 136 Rosenkrantz. 69-71 Wesley. 61-62. Henry Sumner.. 35 Palmer. 35. Frederick.. 37 Maine.. Karl. 125 Rice.. Blaise. 38. Stuart A. 52 LiPPMANN. A. Wallas. W. Paul Parry. Lucien. 145 Peterson. David. Julian L. Walter. 95 Ritchie. 76. D.. Robert. Thomas. 146 . John. Peter H.. 37 Tarde. Sedman. 146 37.. 40 40. 146 Sleyster. 63 Sklar. 37 Marx. 15 Voltaire. Jr. 32 Ley... Lawrence. 145 Paine.148 Name Index Roosevelt. Milton. C. Francis. 63. 95 Maxey. Plato. 62 de.

72 Telephone System. role of American Council on Public 24 propaganda in. 78 American Farm Bureau Federation. public relations 15 quoted. theory of. 132- American Gas Association. 7 of. 51 German Food Estate. 61 relation of dictatorial propaganda to. Civil Liberties Union. 91. 126 effect Argument. 103. Bandwagon Bell of. 54. 91 Colutnbus Dispatch. 90 American Sugar Refining Company. 91 American Institute of Public Opinion. 104. 2 re- Fortune magazine. 77 Congressional investigations. 78 American Medical Association. 116- American Legion. polls. 124 organization of. 87-88. 31 Economic developments. functions 14. strategy of. 51. theory i. obstacles 132-133 Chamber of Commerce of the United States. Attitudes. 93-95 on public relations. 78 Education. growth of and tions. definition of. public lations of. Freedom. 58. 93 Democracy. 121 Book Company. 20. 48. antidotes to. effect of polls. 55. 56. library 104 of. 65 to. conditions of 135 its success. 115 of. 121-123 Dictatorial propaganda. 103. 38. of Industrial Organizations. 130 polls of. 57. 26. 62 Nazi philosophy 109-110 Electric Utilities Exhibit Corporation. 109 German Ministry of Propaganda and Popular Enlightenment. relations. 21 of. 53. 51 Colgate-Palmolive-Peet.Subject Index American Anti-Slavery American Society. 56. 90 American Telephone and Telegraph Direct legislation in California. 77. 104 German Labor Front. straw polls of. 61. 78 118 19-20 effect on democracies. 6 effect on pubhc rela- 26-31. American Peace American Sales Society. 2-3. 56 polls. straw Cincinnati Enquirer. 93 General Motors Corporation. theory 119. 78 Counsel on Public Relations. lo-ii effect on public Company. 65-66 115-118 Relations. 77 American Federation of Labor. 51 Chicago Journal. 112 German Ministry of Education. and propaganda. 91 Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. 15. 52. polls of. 77. 130 Anti-Saloon League of America. 38. 111-114 149 . 52. straw Congress 15. 6 of.

effect on public Civil rela- Nadonal 78 Service Reform League. 89-98 98. 8-10 of. 126 and education. agencies public relations. 109 94 expenditures of. on. 96 of. 69 Mass impression. 50-51 as indices of public opinion. strategy 92-93 National Association of Manufacturers. importance of. 17. 77 Nazi Party. public New York World's of. 90 Institute for Propaganda Analysis. 89-98 organization of. by 90-91 New York World's Fair. 124. Multiple-factor analysis. 108 Nazi Party rally. 119-128 and dictatorship. 95-98 77 Population growth. 73-74 Labor polls of.150 Subject Index relations of. 109-110 Propaganda. straw polls of. 75-78 New Yor1{ Times editorial on polls. advisory Guggenheim Foundation. department of library and research German Peasants. 116 use of. propaganda technique spectacles of. 105-106. 39 definition of. 9 uniformity of. 22 Harvest Festival of Hitler 103 committees 93 of. 103-118 86-88. 132 influence Germany. 6 Press. doctrines features of. 131 Nazi propaganda. Literary Digest. 119 Youth Organization. 129-130 formation of. 90 press department of. alleged principles of. 83-84 world-wide extent 106-108 evaluation of. Fair of 1939. 62-74 of. 104. 127 Interest groups. claims of. 73-74 Organization. 68-69 Motion pictures. 78 National Electric Light Association. Persuasion. 107. 51-52 League of Nations. 105-106 defined. strategy of. 19 influence of specific factors on. 15 National Grange. see Newspapers 102 National Council for the Prevention of Pressure groups. 57 symbols and slogans use of sex appeal. 54 Logic.11 density of. 98 of. 80-83. and democracy. 106. 47-48 of. effect on conflicts of. 104 104. 108-114 19-120 resources of. 119 detection of. art of. 42-43. 97 function in of. tions. 139-141 history of. influence of. 17-19 Newspapers. compedtion. 55-57 . 1 organization of. 16-17 Government. 52. 25. 114 Doob of. 37 relations. 127 Opinion. see Interest groups War. acdvides abroad. chardng changes in. immediate determinants 67 Medical Society of New Jersey. 75 effects of. feature publicity bureau of. Harvard University. 61-62 McGraw-Hill Public Relations Forums. 98. 111-112 doctrines of. 104 of. study by Gosnell. 103-104 on public opinion.

elections. 132 Public interest. of. of. 21. of. 19 Social Science Research Council.Subject Index Propaganda Institute 151 {Continued) of Propaganda Analysis on. influence of polls on. 26. 14-16 Propagandists. compulsory programs 123-124 scope of. 40-46 origin of term. 55 Lasswell on. 129-142 Television. 38. 49-50 dangers of. 4. 78-79 Public relations. 84-86 sampling techniques usefulness of. 121-123. 13 theories of. polls. 37 Socialized medicine. 79-88 unfair methods of. 57 Public opinion. 16-17 definitions of. 129-131 of. 79-80 of. 32 59-60 of. 41-42 responsibility of. 2-4. 63 research on. 17 World War propaganda. 133-134 role in democracies. 75-76 attempts to define. 68-74 social control of. 58 United States Steel Corporation. War 51-52 referendum. as lation. 57-59 of. 35-38 Public-opinion indices. 14-15. 47-48 competence Fascist of. 23-24. 130 Bryce on. 13-14. 4-12 Publics. as problem of govern- regulation of. 123-126. 58-59. 123-126 problems registration of. 103 meaning relation tions. i. 37 Lippmann on. 38. public- newspapers. Public-opinion polls influence of. 77 as shown by public-opinion of. 50-51 Public-opinion polls. 35 to Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 56-57 {Continued) 80-83 laws to prohibit. as a means of social control. effect on public relations. 6 of the medical profession. 38. 89-92 Reichsgruppe Industrie. 126 ment. 19-20 origin of term. 2 studies of. 38 as criterion of public interest. 53-54 influence of interest groups on. 57 of. Sacred Congregation for the Propagation conof the Faith. 45-46 role in dictatorships. 54-55 relations policy of. 121 strategies of. in democracies. 37. 57 on. 89 Fortune magazine on. 75 and liberal theories trasted. 9 Reich Chamber of Culture. 120-121. Radio Corporation of America. 54 random method of. 52-53 Lumley problem on. 130-13 Sampling public opinion. 16. political law and institu- 76 Stereotypes. improving quality 134-138 method of. 31-32 shown by direct legis- Radio. 24-34 Roman Catholic Church. 37. 103 Representative government. Peterson . development World Court. 7. strategy of. kinds of. accuracy of. 40. 26-31 8-9. proportional 62-74 formation of. 39. 106 definidon 32-34 Publicity.

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