Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To contact support with questions…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can always contact us directly by sending an email to support@p-e-p.org.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Meerloo, J.A. (1963). Coercive Persuasion. A Sociopsychological Analysis of the 'Brainwashing' of American Civilian Prisoners by the Chinese Communists: By Edgar H. Schein; Inge Schneier; and Curtis H. Barker. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1961. 320 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 32:120-122.
    

(1963). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 32:120-122

Coercive Persuasion. A Sociopsychological Analysis of the 'Brainwashing' of American Civilian Prisoners by the Chinese Communists: By Edgar H. Schein; Inge Schneier; and Curtis H. Barker. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1961. 320 pp.

Review by:
Joost A.M. Meerloo

The Center for International Studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sponsored this study of the social psychology of change of influence and attitude. What pressures are designed, what coercive means are used, in the Chinese program of ideological thought reform and reindoctrination? Since the process of brainwashing exists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychoanalysts must go beyond the implied political questions in asking themselves what this extreme of mental coercion means for their theoretical knowledge of psychological change. Even when the authors say that they are not concerned with the political implications of the whole thought-reform movement, every scientist is caught in a web of communications that gets hold of him, consciously or unconsciously, and molds him. People are converted not only in the political field or by religious ideas but their scientific a priori beliefs are also related to the persuasive circle in which they live.

This book is valuable because it gives an excellent summary of the various processes involved. Though it treats the subject mostly from a sociopsychological standpoint, it continually touches the individual dynamics involved and the close connection between political and personal values. The theories of influence which deal with change of ego, self, or identity appear the most applicable. Ample attention to psychoanalytic interpretation is given; the authors consider rationalization, identification, regression, and internalization.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.