1. NAME CALLING or STEREOTYPING: Giving a person or an idea a bad label by using an easy to remember pejorative name. This is used to make us reject and condemn a person or idea without examining what the label really means. Examples: "Republican", "Tree-Hugger", "Nazi", "Liberal", "Environmentalist", "Special-Interest Group".
2. VIRTUE WORDS or GLITTERING GENERALITY: These words are used to dupe us into accepting and approving of things without examining the evidence carefully. Examples: "Natural", "Democratic", "Sustainable", "Organic", "Scientific", "Healthy", "Ecological".
3. DEIFICATION: This is when an idea is made to appear holy, sacred, or very special and therefore above all law. Any alternative or opposite points of view are thereby given the appearance of treason or blasphemy. Examples: "God-given right to…", "Mother Earth", "Gia".
4. TRANSFER: Transfer is when a symbol that carries respect, authority, sanction, and prestige is used along with and idea or argument to make it look more acceptable. Examples: American Flag, University Seal, Medical Association Symbol (or something that looks like it). This method is also called GUILT- or VIRTUE-BY-ASSOCIATION.
5. TESTIMONIAL: When some respected celebrity (or alternatively someone generally hated) claims that an idea or product is good (or bad). This technique is used to convince us without examining the facts more carefully.
6. PLAIN FOLKS: This is a way that a speaker convinces an audience that an idea is good because they are the same ideas of the vast majority of people like yourself. Examples: "This is the will of the People", "Most Americans…". Another example would be when the speaker tells a story about a family or people that are "just like you" to reinforce the speaker's point of view.
7. BAND WAGON: This common propaganda method is when the speaker tries to convince us to accept their point of view or else we will miss out on something really good. The Band-Wagon technique is often used in advertising. Examples: "This is the wave of the future", "Be the first on your block", "Act Now!". You might ask yourself "What if I was the only one on my block because no one else was interested (duped)?".
8. ARTIFICIAL DICHOTOMY: This is when someone tries to claim there are only two sides to an issue and that both sides must have equal presentation in order to be evaluated. This technique is used to dupe us into believing there is only one way to look at an issue, when in fact there may be many alternative viewpoints or "sides". Like most propaganda techniques it simplifies reality and therefore distorts it, often to the advantage of the speaker. A classic example is the "intelligent design" versus "evolution" controversy, or "You are either with us, or against us".
9. HOT POTATO: This is an inflammatory (often untrue) statement or question used to throw an opponent off guard, or to embarrass them. Examples "Have you stopped beating your spouse", "When will you pay the taxes you owe?" The fact that it may be utterly untrue is irrelevant, because it still brings controversy to the opponent.
10. STALLING or EVADING/IGNORING THE QUESTION : This technique is used to play for more time or to avoid answering a pointed question. Examples: "More research is needed…", "A fact-finding committee is working on this issue…" "I am calling for an investigation on this failure.." When asked about a tax increase possibility a senator replies: "I have always met the obligations I have to those I represent."
11. LEAST-OF-EVILS is used to justify an otherwise unpleasant or unpopular point of view. Example: '"War is hell but appeasement leads to worse disasters".
12. SCAPEGOAT: This often use with Guilt-by-association to deflect scrutiny away from the issues. It transfers blame to one person or group of people without investigating the complexities of the issue. Examples: "Bill Clinton got us into Bosnia", "President Reagan caused the national debt".
13. CAUSE AND EFFECT MISMATCH: This technique confuses the audience about what is really cause and effect. In fact the causes of most phenomena are complex, and it is misleading to say just one of the following: "Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria", "Tuberculosis is caused by un-regulated capitalism that creates poor working conditions", "Tuberculosis is caused by a lack of effective antibiotics".