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25.09.2007

Psychologists accuse politicians of using techniques for manipulation

   

A conference held in Dnipropetrovsk and attended by political analysts, civil servants, psychologists and doctors considered the use of manipulative techniques in election campaigning and their impact on the public’s mental health.

Scientists suggested that elections generally have an adverse impact on Ukrainians’ mental health. They say that the techniques which politicians use in their campaigning are to blame, as well as the behaviour of politicians during the campaign. According to Professor Ludmila Yuryeva, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, mutual recriminations, lack of respect for their opponent, as well as the constant use of words like “crisis”, “confrontation”, “dissent”, and “poverty” develop in the majority of the population a feeling of insecurity about the future and a negative attitude to politicians as a whole.  People try to protect themselves from negative emotions which lead to an increase in “social apathy” and to diminished confidence in any social or State bodies. At present, in the run-up to the early elections, sociological surveys demonstrate a record level of such apathy. The number of members of the public who don’t want to vote or who haven’t decided who they’ll vote for is at an unprecedented level of over 50 percent.

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