In the first three chapters of this book the elements of persuasion as a mental process are distinguished, and various forms of false persuasion in individuals and groups are described; it is shown how, from the very nature of the process involved, our persuasion of ourselves is only too apt to degenerate into self-deception, and how our persuasion of others may eaily assume the form of a deliberate attempt to exploit their mental or moral weaknesses. Chapter IV indicates how the tendencies of false persuasion may be counteracted, and on what lines persuasion may be rightly directed. Up to this point the subject is treated mainly in its psychological aspect.
The subsequent chapters, which are closely related to, and follow naturally, the study of persuasion as a mental process, deal with persuasion more exclusively as a form of expression. In this part of the book special attention is given to such modern forms of propaganda as advertisements, newspapers, the cinematograph, the novel and the drama.