Sunday, March 21


I have been researching famous lies, and also common lies. I have been discussing with people what they think are lies told often, why you would lie, and who you would lie to.

Why we lie is what interests me here. I have done some more research on this:

Real Simple - The Truth About Lying

We lie to:
Save face - if you've gone wrong, this is a weakness. You don't want people to see your weaknesses. It's self preservation.
Shift blame -  because nobody likes being in the wrong, or being in trouble.
Avoid confrontation - nobody likes uncomfortable talk, or people feeling bad.
Get one's way - for personal gain. a completely selfish act.
Save someone's feelings - because telling someone a lie is easier if the truth may hurt their feelings. some people react badly to some truths
Make oneself feel better - for reassurance

It seems that a lot of lying is tied to self esteem. We worry about how we seem to others. This backs up my theory that if you play on people's insecurities, you can control them.

Sunday, March 14


I've had a little research session that has given me a number of resources to look through. I started off reading bout propaganda, and the reasons behind it, and then went on a little investigative journey.

I started off here:
Propaganda Leaflet Archive 
Nazi and East German Propaganda

Both full of amazing resources. All propaganda plays on people's strongest emotions, whether it be fear, or love, it's all a bit scaremongery. This is why it worked so well.

Propaganda Techniques
Techniques are designed to fool the audience. They appeal to emotions rather than reason.

Propaganda Critic
This has told me that propaganda does not have to be as blatant as a swastika. It can be as subtle as a joke.

Chinese Propaganda Posters
All very powerful, positive imagery

More links:
Wiki - Nazi Propaganda
Wiki - Japanese WWII Propaganda
Wiki - Soviet WWII Propaganda
Wiki - American WWII Propaganda
Wiki - British WWII Propaganda
Visiting Edward Bernays
History is a Weapon by Edward Bernays
How Americans are propagandized about Afghanistan
Is Government Propaganda Legal?
Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia: Propaganda
Two Ways of Looking at Propaganda
U.S. Navy Recruiting Poster Archive
U.S. Propaganda in the Middle East - Early Cold War
World War Posters
Sacred Congregation of Propaganda
The Dogma Collection
Wiki - Lie
Wiki - Media Bias
Wiki - Misinformation
Wiki - Music and Political Warfare
Wiki - Political Warfare
Wiki - Psychological Manipulation
Wiki - The Sleeper Effect
Wiki - Cognitive Dissonance
Wiki - Crowd Manipulation
Wiki - Deception
Wiki - Disinformation

These resources are all starting to lead me to the same conclusions - that persuasion is all about weakness.

Thursday, March 11


Social Experiments

The Weapons of Influence research has lead me onto experiments which relate to the psychology of influence.

The Milgram Experiment
This shows that people are more willing to obey orders if they are given by an authority figure. Even when the orders conflict with their conscience.

The Asch Conformity Experiment
People are influenced by others, and will deny the evidence of their sight just to conform.

I'm very interested in the subconscious mind. People can be easy to control if you just know how to.

Monday, March 8



Lies are all about persuasion. You must influence people to believe that what you are telling them is true.

Robert Cialdini - Weapons of Influence

From this source I have found useful information about ways to influence.

People will be more likely to believe false information if:
It has come from an authority figure
If they trust you
If they see that other people believe the information

Friday, March 5


Adam Curtis - The Century of  the Self: Happiness Machines

BBC Four Documentaries - The Century of the Self
YouTube Channel - The Century of the Self Playlist

We watched this in class a few months ago. It has inspired me for this project and I have watched again several times since. I am fascinated by how Edward Bernays knew just how to control the public, and how to make peoples desires overshadow their needs.

This links in with my chosen trigger - 'Untrue' as Bernays was a master of misleading and persuasion.

"If propaganda could be used for war, it could certainly be used for peace."

Wednesday, March 3


Statement of Intent


Progress and Achievement
During this course I have realised the importance of research and development of ideas. To be an expert in the subjects you are working with and be fully aware of what you are trying to achieve is fundamental to any project, and enhances the final outcome hugely. I have also been able to pursue my interest in learning about communicating with an audience, and the psychological side of design and advertising.

I have been inspired by Dan Eatock’s work, and can relate to his obsession with themes and collections. I admire his way of looking at the world, and his ability to spot coincidence and contradictions in real life, from his photographs which show coincidentally matching colours in everyday situations, to transforming a pun to a physical form by making a London Underground ‘Tube ticket’ into a tube shape (Dan Eatock, 1998).

Watching and discussing The Century of the Self (Adam Curtis, 2002) in the studio has encouraged my interest in the methods of modern consumerism and attitudes to superficiality. I am interested in how people have let their desires overshadow their needs without hesitance, and how easily lead we really are.

Project Proposal Aims, Methods and Realisation
For the final major project, I focused on the word ‘untrue’. I want to concentrate on how the public are communicated with, and how easily people believe what they are told. I see this project as an opportunity to conduct experiments on how people react to false information, and how easily they trust sources, depending on how official they seem.

I intend to achieve this by experimenting with lies. I will research lies throughout history, how they have been told and how people have reacted to them. I will think about telling my own lies, and see how people react to them.

I will look at propaganda and persuasion from different cultures and times throughout history, and study the effect that it has had, and how it worked.

I have been, and will continue to take inspiration from the programme ‘The Bubble’ currently running on BBC2 “which plays on the fact that some news stories are so hard to believe you'd think they'd been made up.” (BBC, 2010)

Throughout the project, I will record people’s reactions to my work, by presenting it to an audience at various stages. By carrying out experiments, I will be able to see the effect of my work in real situations. I will be writing a blog for the duration of the project, so that I can reflect on my thoughts and progress.

  • Adam Curtis (2002) The Century of the Self. London: BBC.

  • Dan Eatock, Tube Ticket [Online]. [Accessed 27 February 2010]

  • BBC (2010) The Bubble. BBC Two Programmes. [Online]. [Accessed 1 March 2010]
  • Tuesday, March 2


    I have decided to stick with the idea of 'Untrue'.

    I have realised that there are a lot of questions to be answered with this topic, and a lot of areas to explore. I think I will learn more and have more fun with it.

    Things I want to find out:
    How easy is it to make someone believe a lie
    How are lies told?
    When are people more inclined to believe a lie?
    How far can you go with lying?

    Monday, March 1


    Brief: UN

    I have explored ideas using the trigger 'un'. I used words beginning with 'un' as a base then used those to generate new words.

    My two favourite ideas are:

    Unimportant - bringing the stuff in life that nobody cares about to the foreground


    Untrue - experimenting with making people believe false information, and how this is acheived