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East German use?[edit]

I recall film director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck discussed the use of such a tactic by the Stasi (for example, stealing just one plate from a cupboard, taking the sheet off of a bed) in a radio interview. This was apparently done to someone with a family history of mental illness, who was already concerned about developing such an illness himself. Obviously a radio interview with a film director is not a reliable source, but it's something for the writers of this article to look into.--Pharos 22:11, 26 April 2007 (UTC)


Wtf is a picture of a gas light doing on an article about gaslighting which is a physchological tactic? XM 13:28, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

LOLOL I love it, please, no-one change it.:) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Merkinsmum (talkcontribs) 01:25, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

Indeed, that his hillarious on so many levels. Was the person who put that image there, trying to gaslight the readers of this article? I read the article and thought "am I insane, or does this image not belong here?" Then I smiled and basked in the irony of the situation. I love it! XM 15:44, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Whatever the intent of the person who included that, we can be certain it was not to give people something to joke about and make light of a tactic used to terrorize someone and induce mental illness. Grow up. This stuff happens, it won't be funny if it happens to you. Batvette (talk) 02:13, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


Why is this not included under the category for torture? John Coxon 11:18, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Simplified Definition[edit]

I rewrote the lines that said Gaslighting consists of a systematic use of "terrorism" because that's far too general and loaded a term; It's misleading and confusing. The simple clear definition of Gaslighting is the attempt to drive someone crazy. Also Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, and the Holocaust are not examples of Gaslighting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:00, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I'll rewrite it later but I have to disagree that it's not an applicable definition. Wiki's page on terrorism starts with: "Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion."[1] There is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism.[2][3] Most common definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants."

Clearly gaslighting and its related forms of abuse are meant to create a sense of terror in a subject. I think you dismiss it because it lacks a component of violence, but the violent acts which permeate many forms of terrorism are of lesser importance than the fact they are employed not as tactical gains themselves, but to create a sense of terror when they are done. When the lights dim clearly the victim experiences terror. She is being terrorized. You may find it mislesding because of your own preconception of what terrorism is. Batvette (talk) 02:28, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Rewrite intro?[edit]

The introduction to this article really doesn't explain properly what gaslighting is. I had to read to the examples in the 'Cultural connections' section before I actually understood the concept. I think rewriting the intro to better define the topic would be a good idea - it's fairly unclear, and the first sentence in particular is very difficult to understand. Terraxos (talk) 23:52, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. The whole article seems to be straying heavily away from the topic - we don't need a definition of stalking, or torture. I've cut it back to the cultural examples, and restored an earlier version of the lead. --McGeddon (talk) 13:21, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

CoS gaslighting citation needed[edit]

A possible article to be cited can be found here with a discussion here. I have no experience with citing souces in Wikipedia, and this may not be credible enough of a source, so I'll leave it to a more knowledgable user to work out. Walther Atkinson (talk) 05:33, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I edited the date for the first colloquial use of the term gaslighting. I changed it from "at least the late seventies" to "1971 or earlier." However, I don't know how to create the following citation - perhaps you can add it for me?

TV Series: McMillan & Wife Episode: The Easy Sunday Murder Case Release Date: 1971.10.20 Location of Quote Within the Video: 1h1m54s (approximately) Quote: "Are you trying to gaslight me?" spoken by Sally McMillan to her husband, Stuart McMillan, after he held onto his second shoe instead of letting it fall to the floor. [She was waiting for the sound, which didn't arrive.] (talk) 22:03, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Original research and tone[edit]

We need a source describing the behaviours in the "Examples" section as specifically being "gaslighting", if they're to stay in the article - a paedophile teacher accusing a child of lying seems extremely tangential. I can't find a source to support the claim that this is known as "triangulation gaslighting".

This article could also use a rewrite for tone, to avoid constructions like "gee, that's odd, I could swear I remember doing XYZ". I tried it here, but it got reverted. --McGeddon (talk) 16:14, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

This article looks good[edit]

Thanks for writing it; it's new to me. Despite such failings as you see in the article, it has great merit. Describing these behaviors to others is tough, given how calculating, subtle, and deliberate these people can be - so thanks again for the words. IKnowYouNow (talk) 10:56, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Gaslighting is central to all fraud[edit]

Gaslighting can be verbal or written statements. It can be mail fraud, perjury, contract scams or public corruption. The gaslighting technique is "intent to mislead for improper purpose" and the common denominator in all forms of fraud.

In politics Gaslighting is commonly the main vehicle used to deceive the public, example: negative ads and smeer campaigns sway voters. Once Gaslighting starts it's hard to correct and spreads a lie as if true.

Recognizing and identifying Gaslighting in all its forms is a matter of public awareness, for if left undetected this fraudulent technique "intent to mislead for improper purpose" threatens the rights and privileges of citizens and menaces the foundations of democracy. 00:51, 12 October 2009 (UTC)Kimberley Bukstein — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Rosemary's Baby is a fine depiction of Gaslighting....[edit]

I also feel that Rosemary's Baby is a very accurate portrayal of this concept. —Preceding unsigned comment added by A muchko333 (talkcontribs) 17:39, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

This is a very abused term - lets not contribute to its misuse[edit]

Most of the info in this section is from this blogger who states:

How do we know [if we are gaslighted]? If you consider answering yes to even one of the following questions, you've probably been gaslighted:

Does your opinion of yourself change according to approval or disapproval from others who play an important role in your life, such as a spouse, parent, family member, bestfriend?

Do you dread having small things go wrong at home - buying the wrong brand of toothpaste, not having dinner ready on time, a mistaken appointment written on the calendar?

Gaslighting is an insidious form of emotional abuse and manipulation that is difficult to recognize and even harder to break free from.

And why the media references - this is a media creation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:56, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Which section are you talking about? The current version of the article seems adequately sourced. --McGeddon (talk) 12:01, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

My comment was general - I was calling into question the legitimacy of the term in clinical use. If you see the general use of this term on web sites, its describes anything and everything. I wanted to show that in the quote I provided about.
I rearranged the article, created a definition section, modified the technical quotes to be in there true context which is pretty narrow.
I do think the Florence Rush paragraph in the "Description" should be pulled. It provides no information and the Florence Rush book is an insignificant and poorly written work. I didn't pull it because I didn't want to over reach.
The "examples in media" - like the reference to the Six Million Dollar man - seems trivial. I think the section should be pulled or at least the Six Million Dollar man reference.
Thanks - I'm new to this. Not sure on the formating. (talk) 11:56, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Gender bias[edit]

Could this entry be more balanced in regard to gender references in two-person scenarios? There are several examples referencing husbands. Of course the etymology should include reference to a husband, as the play/films are the source of the term, but otherwise I don't see how psychological abuse can be assumed to flow in only one direction.

For one, the mention of a MALE therapist. I'm not sure how this gender reference adds anything to the example, but I suppose it is a quote so must include the modifier.

For another example, Jacobisq's edit on Oct. 23 2010 added this reference.

Hilda Nelson may have been speaking about women in particular in that passage (I haven't checked the reference), but it does not seem to apply "with respect to women in particular." Anyone (male or female) could be seeking to acquire ordinary levels of free agency by trusting their own judgements. Just because (or even if) Nelson's writing is gender-biased, this article doesn't need to relay that bias.

How about a case of a wife or a mother? Statistics do not reveal that males are the larger population of abuse perpetrators. It is just a cultural assumption towards which this article is leaning.Ryanrockets (talk) 19:47, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

I have deleted the reference to Gass and Nichols 1988 paper. If you actually read the article by Gass and Nichols, on the first page they assert that "studies show that up to 2/3 of all males have affairs" without citing any source. Their article is clearly gender biased!

I have also deleted the reference to Jacobson and Gottman. At present the Wiki says "Jacobson and Gottman report....". Jacobson and Gottman's book is NOT a journal article and they are NOT 'reporting' peer-reviewed data as such. On page 130 of the book they begin a story of a husband who slaps his wife in the face and gets the help of his neighbor (who was present) to deny it ever happened. While this event is consistent with gaslighting, the authors are NOT asserting that this specifically a male behavior, but that is the way it comes off in the article. If it is replaced after my deletion, it should be made more gender neutral, such as, "physically abusive spouses may gaslight their partners, even flatly denying that they have used violence." Blomberg (talk) 19:18, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Film/play reference[edit]

I have not seen the film, but according to this comment on a book on Amazon called The Gaslight Effect:

" As a minor quibble, I would also like to point out the author was mistaken when she referred to the 1944 film, Gaslight, by saying that the husband's most sinister act was to purposely turn down the gas to make his young wife feel even more insane when she's see the lights go low. He didn't turn down the gas for this purpose - the gas was automatically lowered when he turned on the gas in the house next door. Gas arrived to entired communities shared via pipes. His wife saw the result that less gas arrived to their lights - effectively dimming them. However, he was unaware this was happening. It marked his entering and leaving of the house next door."

The entry suggests he performed the act intentionally, which it sounds like he did not. Gaslighting was just his denial that the phenomena was occurring even though he knew it was? Ryanrockets (talk) 20:52, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

In the film 'Gaslight', the husband does indeed 'gaslight' his wife - moving items into bizarre locations, taking possessions so she thinks she has lost them... and then returning them to where they had been... But, the dimming of the gaslight is an inadvertant byproduct of the husband sneaking into the house's sealed attic room to search for jewells supposedly concealed there. He says he is going out, yet each time the wife notices the light dim 5 minutes later. It is because the husband has turned on the gaslight in the attic, which dims the lights elsewhere in the house. This dimming is what helps her to realise he is doing underhanded things. He never dims the lights intentionally and he doesn't even realise it has happened or that his wife noticed it. Format (talk) 21:36, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Reference in pop culture (House MD)[edit]

Well, since I heard about gaslighting I have found the term being used everywhere lately (as is often the case.) In the new episode of House MD (season 7 episode 12 "You Must Remember This") Doctor Gregory House is upset about his friend Wilson buying a cat, as he sees it as Wilson's way of quitting the dating scene. House decides to hide ragweed in Wilson's house so Wilson would attribute his allergies to the cat. Wilson knows that House is somehow involved and says to him "I am not allergic to cats, you are gaslighting me." House admits this to be true. I thought it was a good example, and since the word is actually used, I thought maybe it could make it in the main article. Thanks Wikipedia for getting me through college by the way. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:43, 17 February 2011

Robin Stern[edit]

Claims she invented the term [1]. Any other sources back her up? Someone have access to the OED? Thmazing (talk) 17:41, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

seems unlikely - book added as further reading anyway. Penbat (talk) 17:56, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

"Shoot" and "Work"[edit]

The article contains the line "Popular XM radio show 'Ron_and_Fez' provides a daily example of gas lighting, between the hosts and to the listeners. The entirety of the show is designed as a work on the audience and some cases a shoot presented as a work." Shoot? Work? I don't understand these terms in this context. KASchmidt (talk) 11:58, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Gender Bias in this article is abusive[edit]

The gender bias is completly abusive in this article, and outside the scope of the meaning of the term. Using wiki to promote male bashing is a bit abusive. All sections promoting this usage in this way should be deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Gaslighting online[edit]

Has any research been done into this? It seems people with a lack of morality and excellent language skills can pull that off pretty well. At least that is how I've seen it. Rather post here than try any "original research" on the page. Electricbassguy (talk) 07:47, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Change to "Resisting" Section[edit]

I am not English. I found the final sentence of this section very confusing and using a term "gaslighter" which was not explained. I have made the English less horrible. Out of principle, I do object to this section anyway, as Hilde Lindemann is "arguing" (presenting only a point of view) and surely there is no room for "mere opinion" in lieu of harder evidence. I think this entire section should be taken out as its only feet is an opinion by a person who I do not think is medically qualified to count as an expert.

I also do not like subjective gender politics polluting the facts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:49, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Psychologist, Psychiatrist and Doctors of All Kinds Engage in This Without Knowing Perhaps[edit]

The patient complains about a symptom or maybe interpretation of behavior on the part of somebody. The doctor or advice giver then responds insistently using their "expert" opinion that the patient is wrong about their perception, because of course they know better. This causes the patient or advice receiver to doubt their perception or at the least, resent the practitioner, for failing to appreciate the patients possibly correct perception. I have been under psychological counseling for 34 years and have only found maybe 1 counselor out of 20 that respects my point of view and perceptions, instead of reflexively "shrinking" me and really adding to my psychological issues at worst or making my life more difficult rather than aiding it at best. So now I have a term for it "gaslighting". (talk) 06:00, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

This really needs to be cleaned up[edit]

There's a heavy, APA-style feel to this article (and many other psychology-related topics.) Like "Hemingway and Gellhorn" argue that... Or "Laurel and Hardy write in a 1932 footnote on the back of a napkin...." This kind of citation is not appropriate generally. A footnoted citation is all you need. Identifying the author with an in-text citation only really matters in limited cases. Even when people disagree about a certain psychological topic—which is often— who did the research is usually not the important thing. What's important is where views differ. TL;DR: Wikipedia articles are not APA-style research papers.Fluous (talk) 22:41, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Removed "Steely Dan" quote[edit]

Random quote from a terrible Steely Dan song is not very relevant to a serious topic; just because a pop star used the word in a song doesn't mean it should be mentioned here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

A quote in isolation tells us nothing, sure. But we have the band putting it into context, and a documented instance of someone noting that "he'd been hearing the term "a lot" in the previous few years, and that he believed the term to be local" for a particular year and city seems enough of a data point to be worth mentioning somewhere. --McGeddon (talk) 16:30, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

Coma Prank[edit]

Should there be a section on the internet meme which encourages people to try and convince strangers that they are in a coma

It would be interesting to know if people previously in coma's have found it difficult to arouse themselves from their state due to an awareness that the surreal features of their condition might be due to gaslighting rather than their psyche alerting them to the need to wake themselves. (talk) 19:28, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

No, this has nothing to do with gaslighting. --McGeddon (talk) 19:56, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

The Archers[edit]

Excellent storyline illustrating this has been going on in the long running BBC radio serial The Archers

This has been a chilling portrayal as Helen,s (the victim) world has slowly shrunk as Rob (the perpetrator) slowly isolates her from family and friends and has her doubting her own perceptions.Stainless316 (talk) 12:40, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Who in the world dropped a new Cold War 2.0 propaganda point in this article?[edit]

Hi, i haven't entered any discussion in wikipedia before but was extremely horrified to see a piece of political pov about Russia (specifically from an Adam Curtis film based on the writings of think-tanker Peter Pomerantsev). There is absolutely no reason for something like to be on a wikipedia page for a serious form of psychological abuse. I don't know what the protocol here is (sorry) but I thought I would bring that to the attention of whoever manages this page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:643:8403:B1C0:F485:6CB7:3518:E18F (talk) 02:51, 7 September 2016 (UTC)