CT Scan: Critical Thinking Scan
What is “Brainwashing?”
Season 6, Episode 1 • 26-Nov-2020
“Brainwashing” is a highly emotional word that makes for effective propaganda. But what IS brainwashing, anyway? Is it even real? Not everyone thinks so. Originally used to describe communist ‘re-education’ techniques, “brainwashing” can now mean anything from sneaky salesmanship to hypothetically hijacking and restructuring another’s mind.
Up Next in S6: "Brainwashing"
Teaching vs. “Brainwashing”
What’s the difference between teaching and brainwashing? Do churches “brainwash” kids? To find out, let’s define instruction and indoctrination. Instruction involves sharing observable (or observed) facts, explaining beliefs, and teaching how to reason about whether those beliefs are likely true....
Hallmarks of “Brainwashing” Environments
What features do classic brainwashing environments have in common? Robert Lifton, the psychiatrist who first described communist “thought reform” by interviewing prisoners of the Korean War, identified eight brainwashing hallmarks. Let’s take a look, to better recognize potential “thought reform”...
Recognizing “Brainwashing” Messages
How can you recognize messages promoted by “brainwashing,” or subversive one-sided indoctrination, in today’s culture? Here are some questions you can ask, based on the 7 Checks of Critical Thinking, to discern instruction versus indoctrination in everyday messages.