Carlton Patrick, University of Central Florida, is publishing Evocative Advocates and Stirring Statesmen: Law, Politics, and the Weaponization of Imagery in volume 2 of the Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture (Fall 2018). Here is the abstract.
This article shows how descriptive imagery can be used to hijack evolved psychological instincts and prejudice the judgments of others, particularly in the legal and political domains. By mimicking the cues that represented threats to our ancestors, those wishing to color the perception of others can subtly trigger the affective responses that evolved to help navigate ancestral threats. When this happens, logic may be unseated in favor of deep-seated instinctual responses, often to a problematic degree. In this way, lawyers, politicians, and activists, taking a page out of the playbook of novelists and other storytellers, can weaponize words, images, descriptions, and narratives to (often improperly) sway the opinions of others.Download the article from SSRN at the link.