This article is an electronic version of an article originally
published in Cultic Studies Journal, 2001, Volume 18, Part 1, pages 172-207.
Please keep in mind that the pagination of this electronic reprint differs from
that of the bound volume. This fact could affect how you enter bibliographic
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Arousal, Capacity, and Intense Indoctrination
This article considers the process of intense indoctrination, specifying
procedural conditions, internal states, mechanisms of social influence, and key
output behaviors associated with extremely manipulative and coercive programs of
attitude and value change. Most descriptions of intense indoctrination point out
that emotional arousal and stress are integral features of such programs of
systematic persuasion. This article focuses on the hypothesis that this arousal,
coupled with other features of the indoctrination process, compromise the
attentional capacity of indoctrinees and that this impairment of attentional
capacity increases the impact of several social influence mechanisms in such
settings. The research evidence relevant to this hypothesis is reviewed.
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