Appeal to Fear

Let’s say that we show that:
Either P or Q is true.
Q is frightening.
Therefore, P is true.

And then Evoke the Freedom Compliance, mind set. How many more years could we have unqualified people running the government?


An appeal to fear (also called argumentum ad metum or argumentum in terrorem) is a persuasion fallacy in which a person attempts to create support for an idea by using deception, and propaganda in attempts to increase fear and prejudice toward a competitor. The appeal to fear is common in marketing and politics.

Logically of course, it’s nonsense.
As a weapon of persuasion, however, the Appeal to Fear is one of the most successful tools in the war chest. However, it must be used in a measured and appropriate way. Fear appeals are non-monotonic, meaning that the level of persuasion success does not increase in proportion to the amount of fear that is used — i.e.

A study of public service messages on AIDS found that if the messages were too aggressive or fearful, they were rejected by the subject; a moderate amount of fear is the most effective attitude changer.

The combination of a measured Appeal to Fear  in combination or tandem with the But You Are Free (BYAF), tool (also known as the Evocation Of Freedom And Compliance) is currently in the top three persuasion tactics currently understood. What this looks like, is the message of fear is delivered and then at the end, the added message of “But of course, you are free to chose.” Generally, a campaign can expect between a 40 to 60 percent increase in desired results.

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