Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Third-Person Effect in "1984"

In the first chapter of George Orwell's "1984", Winston Smith attends the Two Minutes Hate and sees a film clip of Emmanuel Goldstein, "the Enemy of the People", as he engages in "his usual venomous attack upon the doctrines of the Party". Goldstein's speech may be "so exaggerated and perverse that a child should have been able to see through it", but it is also "just plausible enough" to make it seem like "other people, less level-headed than oneself, might be taken in by it." This is the "third-person effect", in which one thinks others are more likely to be fooled by things than one is liable to be fooled oneself. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 29 April)

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