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Manipulation through language. (Read 169 times)
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Seeing is believing. I

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Manipulation through language.
Feb 23rd, 2021 at 5:35am

Manipulation through language.

ello Smiley

according to a recent study result from today, 30% of German teenagers (survey of 30,000 ninth graders) are averse to hostile towards foreigners.

One of the most important books I got as a child from my father's bookcase was "How to lie with statistics". The core thesis of this book was: Don't trust any statistics that you haven't falsified yourself Wink.

Prof. Schwarze from Göttingen was later one of my (written) teachers at the university. He explained vividly that one could establish a statistical connection (correlation) between the population of white storks in Lower Saxony and the birth rate of small children. As the population of white storks increased (period about 10 years), the births in Lower Saxony also increased. He brought this example in his books Statistics I + II for Economists to point out the problem of unsophisticated statistical surveys.


If one considers the above statement that 30% of the German youth in the ninth grade are simply xenophobic, the question (and complaint) arises in me, why this today day in and day out is broadcast on the radio, on TV and every popular gazette takes this survey as a topic.

How would it be with the - numerically correct, but linguistically diametrically differently formulated - counter-statement?

70% of German young people in the ninth grade have a neutral to positive attitude towards foreigners in Germany.

Same numbers, different words. And thus a completely different sensation in the reader/listener.

I would like to call on all of us to walk through the world with a critical eye and to be mindful of possible attempts by others to manipulate us. Personally, I use long stretches of my everyday life to lie comfortably on my bed and review in my mind what impulses, thoughts and feelings I have encountered during the day. Admittedly: Not everyone has the time for this. But if you do this kind of (self-)reflection, it might be easier to separate the wheat from the chaff.

So let's stay true to ourselves - and stay attentive Smiley

Kind regards,


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