In The Ubiquitous Persuaders, I describe how, in his 1957 classic, The Hidden Persuaders, Vince Packard talks about “Motivational Research” and how “the large-scale efforts being made by advertisers, often with impressive success to channel our unthinking habits, our purchasing decisions, and our thought processes by the use of insights gleaned from psychiatry.” To the reader, this was pretty scary. Particularly when you consider the fifties were rife with rumors of the Red Menace and Manchurian Candidate mind manipulation. As this was in the aftermath of the Korean War and at the time of the McCarthy Congressional hearings, the media was more than happy to ride this wave of paranoia.

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