A reporter looked into how headlines change our thinking. You won't believe what happened next


#1

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#2

I see what you did there.


#3

Um…they just figured that out? Almost all American print media operates on a headline/copy dichotomy where the headline is designed for the kind of people who can only read about three sentences before their eyes lose focus, and the rest is generally normal journalism (if dubious in relevance).

[Headline]
OBAMA: DANGEROUS CRYPTO-MUSLIM KENYAN SOCIALIST APE-MAN

[Para 1]
Is it possible that President Obama is actually a dangerous crypto-muslim Kenyan socialist ape-man? This question has recently been circulating around areas of the internet.

[Para 2]
However, actual research suggests that Obama is not, in fact a…etc. etc.

This way “each side” gets what they want out of the newspaper, and no-one drops the paper over partisan differences, and more importantly, no useful information is ever conveyed.


#4

I’ve learned to manage cognitive manipulation by misleading headlines using this one weird trick.


#5

Would you kindly make a comment about clickbait?


#6

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