Talk:Perception management

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Temporary Parking for unsourced statement: "The BP oil company suddenly makes an effort to advertising and responding to media after the oil spill in the gulf. Many believe this is an attempt to change the perception of the company."

Temporary Parking for non-neutral passage, to be revised:

"Perception management"—also known as "public diplomacy"—is a propaganda strategy for controlling how a target population views political events. For example, US President George W. Bush has misled the public about a policy in order to "protect" the American public. After the Vietnam-War era the administration launched an extraordinary effort to influence how the American people perceived overseas events, essentially by exaggerating threats from abroad and demonizing selected foreign leaders.[1] Phoebe13 (talk) 21:29, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Use by PR and advertising firms[edit]

I disagree , and I think it is told from a neutral and accurate point of view for the most part. But the article is somewhat messes and needs to be a bit more systematize.

-Wilkinson —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sawilkinson (talkcontribs) 15:57, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

See, for example:

The Cherenson Group William Joseph and Associates

I think this page needs to be wikified, and told from a neutral point of view. Reads out too much like a magazine article from some giant company. Thanks if you can clean up this page.

- Colin Omara.

  • If you're referring to the recently-added very, very long quotations, I think they exceed the boundaries of fair use. They bear on the topic, but the editor who inserted them needs to replace them with appropriate short summaries. Dpbsmith (talk) 15:06, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the article needs to be a little more organized, but I do not believe that the article is not neutral. The article is fairly balanced and good evidence is provided for each statement written.
- Wikipedionn

I agree with Colin. I feel that these entries should serve as neutral definitions, not from the perception and opinion. Throughout some of the entries, there is a lot of focus on the negative uses of perception management. For example, the first line of the Perception Management in Media reads “The U.S. Military had been accused of manipulating the media in Iraq in order to achieve their pro-war goals, by secretly paying Iraqi journalists to publish stories written by U.S. soldiers.” Automatically, the reader is drawn to have a negative reaction and assume the worst of the situation. It should have defined the use of perception management in all circuits of media. After this thorough, in depth definition, the entry should have given the example in a neutral matter with straight facts to allow the reader to decide for themselves if it is right or not. I feel that if the source from the Rolling Stones magazine was legitimate and 100% factual, it would survive fine without the fluff that was stated in the beginning. Also, the entry loses validity when it doesn’t show both sides of the spectrum. Furthermore, the majority of the definitions have come from the military’s point of view. More variety in the sources of perception management definitions and a more neutral approach would improve this page immensely.


Azhornedfrog (talk) 05:17, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Weasel words[edit]

There are a couple of statements in here that are a little weasel-like:

  • "This would appear"
  • "critics of the DOD charge"

"This would appear" is a pretty slippery statement. It doesn't make any kind of a stand. It would be better to name people or sources that believe the statement indicates that this is propaganda. To balance out the "is it or isn't it" argument, people or sources who argue against it being propaganda should also be included.

I know there are many critics of this policy who are very outspoken so it shouldn't be too hard to find a firm example of a critic (or organization) that can be named instead of a generic "critic" label, especially in regards to the coffin situation.

Epolk 18:07, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Article comments[edit]

DOD criticism. I guess what they mean about "Article is not neutral is when it talks about the DOD and probably the UFO story. I think the article might be a little bit too harsh on the Department of Defense. However, I would like to raise another question: how would you define neutral? Is it the idea of showing both sides? What if the writer thinks that the other side is wrong and showing their response is just a misleading information; Should you still show the other side? Although, I would agree that showing all sides is important and I agree with the idea that people must decide for their own, I still find it hard to define what's neutral. Kassafwa (talk) 05:10, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

The article is very unorganized compared to other wikipedia articles. There are some facts that are repetitive. The first paragraph of the article sort of plays the role of an introduction to the subtitles, but the subtitles don't go into enough detail that gives the reader enough information to help them understand what perception management is. Also, the article is very biased. While majority of the article covers the facts, there are some contradictory statements placed in the article. Even though there are numerous subtitles that give information, the data is very "on the surface" and doesn't dig deep into the category. There are a lot of quotes used to support the claim written by the editors of this article which is good. The numerous references make the information more reliable in the sense that it has been stated one before and quoted. Overall, this article needs a lot of work in order for it to be counted as a true reliable source. The information presented gives a broad sense of what perception management is in each category, but more information is needed--Starr11 (talk) 18:44, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

The article gives perception management a bad connotation by providing mostly negative examples of how perception management is used. Majority of the examples given describe events where a group of people were intentionally fed wrong information so that either the government or business could profit. For example, the article states that the American government used perception management by continually alluding that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Thus, concluding that it was perception management that eventually led America into an erratic war with Iraq. Is it possible that there are examples of where perception management has been used for good? Gabby225 (talk) 03:05, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

The neutrality of this article is probably disputed because most of the information provided in the beginning present perception management in a negative light. It is said to promote "falsehood and dispair" and is used to "provoke the behavior you want out of a given individual". The examples used also relate to wars, and how the U.S. government used it to promote warfare during Vietnam war and even exaggerated the weapons of mass destruction information in Iraq. Once you get past a lot of negative information ( which most people wont continue to read) the positive and nuetral sections are reached. The sections that show perception management in a positive light are sections of fashion, business/marketing and advertising. The nuetral sections on politics, celebrity, universities and terrorism are neutral in nature. Maybe if the information was placed differently, and information on the benefits of perception management was added, it would seem more neutral Ribbitz (talk) 03:08, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree that a lot of the information is presented with a negative slant. However, I think in many cases perception management is used to spin negative situations to seem more positive. The information, while not neutral, is probably quite accurate. I think the neutrality of the page would be helped by adding examples where governments have used perception management in a positive way. Also, most of the information in regards to the government and military are concerning the U.S. Are there no other countries that have used perception management, either in a positive or negative way? Adding those situations could make the page more neutral, or at least balanced, as well. Finally, the use of quotations in several places demonstrate that the author is, indeed, not neutral. For instance, under perception management and the government, the third paragraph puts the word facts in quotations. By doing so, the author is sharing with everyone that he or she does not believe these are really facts, thus removing neutrality. -- (talk) 14:51, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Jessica

For most articles on this page, I feel they say the governments and politicians use perception management as a tool to achieve their goals, but the governments and politicians didn’t use it in the right way. Almost all articles only talk about how governments and politicians misuse it or how perception management is used in the ways that obey the truth. For instance, for the part Perception Management and the U.S. Department of Defense and Perception Management by the U.S. government, they talk about how U.S. government use perception management to control the media in Iraq War and how the U.S. government exaggerate the treat of Hussein and the Vietnamese Communist Party to achieve a certain goal in American public. It may be posted by people who do not support the Iraq War or the Vietnam War. And in the section Perception Management with media, people select article discusses how Chinese government uses perception management to control people’s mind. But as a Chinese, I feel it is talking the government maybe 20 years ago. It’s true the media is controlled by the government in China, but the news doesn’t obey the truth. And not all media is said as “mouthpieces” of the government. Only few CCP newspapers are very political. Besides, as internet is widely available in China, there have few places to hide the truths. In most cases, if the government lies, people just do not believe it because they can access to the truths by other ways and make their own judgments. But the articles selected in the part perception management in business, marking, or fashion, seem to be happy with perception management used by business people. One says the “Perception management helps to prevent the complex emotional characteristics of communication from changing the original interpretation of the message.” So there are no articles against the use of perception management in business on this page. (by Andrewy8889) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andrewy8889 (talkcontribs) 06:32, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

In a way the informatin will always be some form of nuetral. Perception management is creating a positive perception to cover something negative or creating a negative perception to cover something positive. In a way it all balances each other out except it is used more to cover a negative perception versus a positive. I know that positive views are lacking from this entry, but there are some cases where a negative perception is used positively to cover a negative thing. For example, TheTruth is an organization that makes cigarettes have a highly negative perception to cover such a negative object, so in a way it turns into a positive thing.Jun2011 (talk) 18:06, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Overall the information in the article is clear and descriptive in presenting the different variables of perception management. However, most of the topics focus on the negative aspects of perception management, especially in the military section. There is some good that comes from using perception tools, only if used properly. People need to see both sides of the action, so they can make an unbiased descision of whether perception management is a quality characteristic. KrisSaun (talk) 10:00, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

While it “may appear” that this article certainly slant perception management as a negative concept, I believe the brief overview of perception management at the beginning of the article makes this fair game. Perception management as concept functions to influence others to think about an institution and a manner that the institution “wishes.” This opens the door for negative comments because this often leads to deception and illusion in relation to an institution, company etc. Certainly the elements referencing the department of defense in terms of reporting false information is a negative slant, as well as may other comments made in the page: the universities altering behavior, George W. Bush “misleading the country,” the U.S. military manipulating the media in Iraq and many more… but this is just the nature of the beast. Perception management aims to alter the thought process of already established ideas, it seems logical that there would be exaggerated reporting, even lying on some accounts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Heaton1987 (talkcontribs) 01:59, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Contradict ideas, information without references[edit]

In the first part, definition of perception management, second paragraph, a scholar distinguished "perception management" and "public policy". Then in the third paragraph, "Perception management was also known as public diplomacy in the Reagan Era." This is probably from two different authors. The first one stated his source, but the second did not. Therefore, the third paragraph about perception management is not very reliable. The information given in third paragraph is too generic. However, the second paragraph also needs verification such as who the scholar is and his background. --cothom14 (talk) 02:57, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I think that this article is good because it gives us a general idea of what perception management is. However, the explanations and examples could be more developed. For example, 'Perception Management and Terrorism' leaves us with the sense that it is incomplete. I agree with the statement, but I would like to know more about it see specific examples. The section 'Perception Management and University' tries to apply the term but is too general saying that when people reveal their disabilities it could change other people's opinions. I think that all information that we obtain from others modifies our opinion about them. For instance, if I revealed to someone that I voted for Obama, that I am married, or anything else about my personal life, it would almost certainly alter the way that he or she sees me. This is so obvious that the term 'Perception Management' seems unnecessary.--Sloanzinha (talk) 03:32, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Repeated definition[edit]

Under heading "Perception Management and the U.S Department of Defense", the definition, defined by the DOD, was repeated ,"Perception management includes all actions used to influence the attitudes and objective reasoning of foreign audiences and consists of Public Diplomacy, Psychological Operations (PSYOPS), Public Information, Deception and Covert Action.[9] The Department of Defense describes "perception management" as a type of psychological operation..." This definition is the same as the definition at the beginning of the article. --cothom14 (talk) 03:01, 30 November 2008 (UTC)


Under heading "Perception Management in Media", last paragraph's citation needs to be fixed, under wikipedia rules. --cothom14 (talk) 03:13, 30 November 2008 (UTC)


The neutrality of this article is very debatable. While you could say that the majority of the information presenting in the article invokes a negative view towards perception management, you could also say that the essential idea of coercing people to believe certain things is negative to begin with. An example of this uncalled for negativity would be under the perception management and celebrity column. The information implies that the famous athletes and celebrities only seek out help through places like the William Morris agency when they are in trouble with bad press. After checking out the William Morris website, I found that it is a talent and literary agency for all aspects of the entertainment agency. It is obvious that the majority of their clients are extremely talented, and not just celebrities looking to redeem themselves in the press. Also, I think that this article needs a lot of organization. Many of the topic headlines are related to each other, such as the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. government, and Perception Management in Politics. Also, some of the information could be moved to be under different headlines. --hkofrog (talk) 12:33, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Clearly, any sort of opinion is not neutral, but to further the problem, perception management is a subject that lacks neutrality. Outside of its definition, it is something used to influence emotion, ideas, etc. Like under Perception Management and Celebrities, the writer conveys a message implying that the "famous" sign up with PR firms in order to manage the perception people have on them after a social mishap. It is not neutral due to the fact that the writer is not a celebrity and has not gone through a situation similar to the one they are speaking of. Ironically, the messages and explanations throughout this article are based on perception. Creating a certain perception toward people, things or events is almost inevitable, but the management of it simply never going to be neutral. You cannot have a neutral perspective when trying to speak of it or manage it at the same time... unfortunately for the writer.

-wmr0114 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wmr0114 (talkcontribs) 05:29, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

In support of the complaints above, can we have a section that criticizes Perception Management? This article seems extremely one-sided, and one might argue that Perception Management undermines any ethical integrity that the perception manager would attempt to shield. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eightfoldpath (talkcontribs) 18:18, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Terrible article[edit]

Lots of spelling and other errors, and no NPOV in many examples. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:44, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Temporary Parking/Unsourced Material[edit]

(2 items)

Perception management was also known as public diplomacy in the Ronald Reagan era; however, some people also argue perception management is now an accepted part of international strategic influence.

Perception management occurred as the Iraq War began. Word leaked out that a new Pentagon Office of Strategic Influence was gearing up to sway leaders and public sentiment by disseminating false stories. Facing public censure, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld publicly denounced and supposedly disbanded it. But, a few months later, he quietly funded a private consultant to develop another version. The apparent goal was to go beyond traditional information warfare with a new "perception management" campaign designed to "win the war of ideas"—in this case, against those classified as a terrorist Temporary Parking for review and discussion of NPOV and sourcing, general Wikification, etc.

Health, Sciences and Medicine[edit]

Perception management in the health and sciences is often overlooked because of the strong association with the government, but perception management in these fields is also very important. Health and science perception management may have dramatic consequencies.

One example of a health related perception management is the contamination of water with Mercury issues surrounding Japan. Mercury is absorbed into the acquatic ecosystem from the air and travels up the food chain, magnifying in concentration with each level. The primary way mercury enters humans is through the consumption of mercury-contaminated fish. Mercury is highly toxic and causes neurological impairment, including impairment of memory, cognitive thinking, attention, language, fine motor skills, and spatial visual skills.

Received from: 
"Basic Information | Mercury | US EPA." US Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2011. <>. 

The effects of mercury on human health was first seen in the tragedy of Minamata, Japan in the 1950's. The government covered the release of industrial pollution into the waters for decades. Fish became highly contaminated with mercury. Many pregnant women consumed these fish and gave birth to children with severe health problems. This disease was named Minamata disease, and affected over 2,000 people.

Another government controversy is happening in Minamata currently, depicted in the Academy Award winning documentary, The Cove. Fishers in Taijii, Japan are killing dolphins, and passing the meat off as expensive whale meat. Because dolphins are so high in the food chain, their meat is highly contaminated with mercury. This mislabeling of dolphin meat as healthy, expensive whale meat may induce another outbreak of Minamata disease in the future. Recieved from: "The Cove". Dir. Louie Psihoyos. Perf. Ric O Barry. Oceanic Preservation Society, 2009. Film.

Perception management can also be found in controversies of medical diagnoses. The existence of multiple personality disorder, aka dissociative identity disorder (DID), is still under debate. However, the vast majority of Americans did not know of such a disorder until the publication of the book and production of the movie "Sybil," which is about a girl whose childhood abuse led to the creation of new identities within herself. After the movie was made public, the number of diagnoses of multiple personality disorder skyrocketed. Soon, psychologists were looking at the theory of suppressed childhood memories due to abuse, and searching to bring alternate personalities to the surface with hypnosis. The possibility soon came to light that Sybil's testimony was fake, and people began to reanalyze the thousands of multiple personality cases that have surfaced since. To many people's horror, evidence has been found that the recovered memories of childhood abuse in most cases have been a lie. It turns out that most of these multiple personality diagnoses stem from a predisposition to hypnosis, an unconscious willingness to please the psychiatrist, and a search for a popular diagnosis that was never there. Retrieved from: Ramsland, K., & Kuter, R. (2011). Multiple personalities: Crime and defense. TruTV. Retrieved from


When companies fund scientific research, scientists may use perception management when results do not support the hypothesis in order to continue to receieve financial support for the research. Privately funded research has biases with favorable and unfavorable results; unfavorable results will be delayed in publication until after the favorable data has been released, again using perception management [2].

Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals[edit]

Recent allegations from corporations around the world have shown that the FDA is preventing incredible new devices and pharmaceuticals from reaching market due to extensive regulations. These companies are using perception management to be perceived as wanting what is best for the people. This is creating a lot of pressure from mass media and the population, in general. Meanwhile, the FDA is fighting back with perception management by stating their concerns for the welfare of Americans and by creating fast tracks for certain drugs and devices, which are, of course, much more expensive. It seems that the companies are only concerned for their profits, and the FDA is only concerned for their public image and the revenue they bring in; no one is truly considering what is best for the people.

  1. ^ Robert Parry. November 18, 2004. Bush's "Perception Management" Plan. Last accessed November 20, 2008.
  2. ^