The Critic: A year of fear

2 April 2021


This brilliant piece from clinical psychologist Dr Gary Sidley very nearly hits the UK governments covert psychological strategies (ie manipulation) of the public during the pandemic right on the head. Perhaps we at CogRes might think it’s even worse than the good doctor fears!

The British public’s widespread compliance with lockdown restrictions and the subsequent vaccine rollout has been the most remarkable aspect of the coronavirus crisis.

The removal of our basic freedoms — in the form of lockdowns, travel bans and mandatory mask wearing — have been passively accepted by the large majority of people. Furthermore, the proportion of the general public expressing a willingness to accept the Covid-19 vaccines has been greater in the UK than almost anywhere else in the world. But has the government achieved this widespread conformity through the unethical use of covert psychological strategies — “nudges” — in their messaging campaign?

The public were bombarded with fear-inducing information with the help of the mainstream media

A major contributor to the mass obedience of the British people is likely to have been the activities of government-employed psychologists working as part of the “Behavioural Insights Team” (BIT).

Read the full article on The Critic website

State scientists deploying fear, shame and scapegoating to change minds is an ethically dubious practice that in some respects resembles the tactics used by totalitarian regimes such as China

See also

Optimising Vaccination Roll Out – Dos and Don’ts for all messaging, documents and “communications” in the widest sense

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