Brainlocalization Theory



BRAIN-WASHING TECHNIQUES AND THEORY. The goal of the so-called "brainwashing" process/procedure is the production of extreme changes in a person's beliefs and attitudes through the application of methods such as sleep deprivation, induced hunger, pain, social isolation, physical discomfort, use of "good-cop versus bad-cop" interrogations by alternating kind and cruel inquisitors, and use of sensory deprivation. Under conditions of sensory deprivation (SD), for example, the individual is cut off from almost all sensory stimulation from the external environment. The early SD experiments reported in the 1950s indicate that volunteer participants who remained in SD for two to four days exhibited undirected thinking accompanied by hallucinations and fantasies, as well as an inability to distinguish sleep from waking states. The concept of activation or arousal is central to most physiological theories of SD. Brainwashing as a mind-control or programming technique gained widespread attention during, and after, the Korean War (1950-1953) in which the Chinese used a combination of co-ersive propaganda techniques presented to political prisoners or prisoners of war under conditions of physical and emotional intimidation (cf., the Stockholm syndrome or effect -the formation of an emotional bond between captors and hostages when the two parties are in close relationships and under stressful conditions for a relatively long period of time; this effect was identified originally in a bank robbery situation that lasted for five days in 1973 in Stockholm, Sweden; theoretically, the meaning of this effect extends beyond a simple identification of the hostage with the aggressor: it includes the captive's deep gratitude to the captor for being spared extreme physical harm and for being allowed to live). Even though some psychological researchers contend that the essential effects of suboptimal and superoptimal stimulation are similar in nature, it may be suggested that there are significant differences between brain-washing and SD. For example, the method of brainwashing most frequently employed by the Communists in China was dependent on "over-" rather than "under-stimulation" of the prisoner where the lack of sleep, lack of privacy, hard labor, and constant arguing and heckling are the opposite of what the participant-volunteer experiences in a typical SD experiment. See also ACTIVATION AND AROUSAL THEORY; ATTITUDE AND ATTITUDE-CHANGE, THEORIES OF; PERSUASION AND INFLUENCE THEORIES.

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