‘Dream Team’ of Behavioral Scientists Advised Obama Campaign – NYTimes.com

The Obama campaign may have used persuasion on a new level, what some have called the “stealth campaign”.  Consider part of this team, Robert Cialdini, author of one of the top books on influence and the psychology of persuasion who notes “People want to be congruent with what they have committed to in the past”…leading to specific prompts that guide would-be voters.

“The culture of the campaign had changed,” Dr. Fox said. “Before then I felt like we had to sell ourselves; this time there was a real hunger for our ideas.”

This election season the Obama campaign won a reputation for drawing on the tools of social science. The book “The Victory Lab,” by Sasha Issenberg, and news reports have portrayed an operation that ran its own experiment and, among other efforts, consulted with the Analyst Institute, a Washington voter research group established in 2007 by union officials and their allies to help Democratic candidates.

via ‘Dream Team’ of Behavioral Scientists Advised Obama Campaign – NYTimes.com.


3 thoughts on “‘Dream Team’ of Behavioral Scientists Advised Obama Campaign – NYTimes.com”

  1. As i read this article all i could think was, “I DID THIS ON MY MISSION!”. I remember sitting in trainings with my mission president explicitly teaching us these “techniques”. I think it is important to know the the rules of the game and to know who you are playing with. Obama did a very good job at getting the attention of the American people and instilling a desire to vote. When i saw the title of the article i first wanted to read it just so i could comment and say how it was ridiculous that he used such techniques in an election but the more i think about it the more i say good for his campaign manager to think outside the box and step up their game. This shift in campaigning signifies a new age and, with out a doubt, a more obnoxious political future for all of us.

    This is a scholarly source that analyzes the psychology of campaigns.
    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=CKQJA2RgS8sC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=psychology+of+campaigning&ots=kCxuoDnHFH&sig=eEBEvXVJ9YHeE_2asIMm4AZDXPw#v=onepage&q=psychology of campaigning&f=fals

  2. It was really only a matter of time before elections were seen as nothing more than aligning oneself properly to meet the right indicators. in fact, they probably have been for a very long time now.

    I work in Internet marketing, a field which is becoming increasingly less “let’s ram it down their throats” and increasingly more, “let’s give people what they want.” Honestly, there comes a time in every marketer’s life when they realize that if they push out garbage that people want it will convert better than high quality content that people need. It’s a little bit depressing, but it’s reality (and this dictates most forms of media as we see them today).


  3. The fact that Obama appealed to people’s dislike for the “let’s ram it down their throats” attitude was appealing to voters. I know many people who don’t vote simply because they are annoyed with elections and the media. It was very smart of them to step up to this level of campaigning. However, it is going to be very interresting how politics will move on from this point. We as citizens need to step up our game as well so that we aren’t decieved into something that we don’t want.

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