If the public elected politicians with the same thinking that goes into buying a car, would we have a better ride through this bumpy recession we’re in? That may seem an awkward analogy; but, just think about it when voting.
For example, when it comes to electing a politician, studies show that barely half the voting public can correctly identify the candidate’s policies on taxes or healthcare. Some have absolutely no clue. Therefore, a large number of people are potential victims to “Managed Perception” strategies by scheming politicians. As a consequence, these voters make illogical and usually bad decisions on which candidate to vote for.
However, when buying any expensive consumer product, the general public gives a lot of thought to affordability and the long-term benefits of their purchase. Moreover, there’s usually anxiety and some suspicion about whether the information about that purchase is as close to 100% accurate and truthful as possible.
“Managed Perception” is defined as a tactic to get a favorable voter response about a political candidate by providing only selective information designed to “influence emotions, motives, objective reasoning and intelligence so as to result in a behavior that’s in-line with a politician’s objectives, and not the voter’s. It’s not necessarily deception, but getting one to believe something, whatever the truth may be”
As a result, “Perception Management” steers voters into buying a political ideology vehicle that, by engineering and design, is certain to break-down, need costly repair, and finally junked. Unfortunately, “PM” strategies seem to work at the disadvantage of a large number of people, at least in the short term.
The good news is, however, that voters, who find themselves not fully informed and targeted for “PM”, tend to rely on what psychologist call “heuristics” when making political decisions. That means they will vote according to certain personal rules or simple guidelines which help them eliminate the complexities of decision making.
At the top of this list of heuristics is “truth-telling.” Consequently, a politician who exudes with obvious falsehoods is discovered as a “sticky liar,” and dismissed as untrustworthy by voters who rely on heuristics in their decisions.
There are numerous Blogs and other types of public commentary that expose the lies and half-truths being circulated by political surrogates engaged in “Perception Management.” Nevertheless, the practice seems only to increase rather than diminish; the most egregious example deals with Medicare.
A recent editorial by a major newspaper blatantly called the Republican presidential candidate and his nominated vice president “liars” about Medicare. The reason given for this name calling in the editorial was simply based on the editor’s personal OPINION by the newspaper that, contrary to documented facts, the Democratic “Affordable Care Act SHOULD shore up the program’s (Medicare’s) finances”, and not destroy it. And that is a prime example of “PM” at its worst.
 Study by S.J. Basinger & T.K. Hartman and others (Stony Brook University) March, 2006
. Quoted and partly paraphrased from Wikipedia, “Perception Management” article.
 Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 2nd Ed.
 A personal website or online journal