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  1. Nicholas DiFonzo

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0715

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

DiFonzo, N. 2010. Propaganda. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Rochester Institute of Technology

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Propaganda is goal-oriented communication that employs (to one degree or another) deceptive tactics. The term derives from the Latin word propagare, meaning to spread plants to new locations. To spread propaganda originally meant to disseminate information in order to promote a cause, idea, or action (Rogers, 2007). In modern times, propaganda has taken on pejorative connotations: dishonest communication, factoids, rumors, misinformation, dirt, lies, distortions, deceit, manipulation, psychological warfare, and brainwashing (Jowett & O'Donnell, 1986).


  • attitude shaping;
  • communication;
  • information;
  • media;
  • propoganda