Very interesting Jerome,
Like this quote from the site,
During the Korean War, the American public was introduced to a new idea: Brainwashing. This word was invented to explain the unexpected acts of treason that were committed by a few American soldiers who were captured. For the first time in our history a significant number of our captured soldiers willingly cooperated with the enemy. It was a jarring shock to America and it caused people to try and figure out what had happened.
The first speculation was that the enemy had used a clever combination of torture and punishment to beat our soldiers into submission. The evidence suggests otherwise. The brainwashing sessions did not necessarily include torture, but rather featured a lengthy debate between the captured soldier and a skillful questioner. And the debate was about America and American beliefs about freedom, democracy, and equality.
Amazingly, many of our soldiers had great difficulty defending their political and social beliefs. They believed that democracy was the best form of government, but they could not explain why this was true. And their captors merely attacked these simply held beliefs until the soldiers began to doubt their validity. After that the road to "treason" was easy.
The lesson learned translated into important changes for the American military. New soldiers began to receive more extensive political training along with the typical military instruction. No soldier would ever hold naive beliefs or be unable to defend America verbally or militarily.
These ideas translated into one of the most interesting persuasion tools ever developed. The most important question was, "How do you get people to hold a belief more strongly?" It was obvious from the war experience that mere education was not sufficient training to strengthen important beliefs. You can lecture people about the joys of capitalism and they can learn the lecture well enough to pass a true-false test on it, but when the real world mounts a serious attack on the information, many learners will crumble.
How do you get people to hold a belief or attitude more strongly?
Inoculation theory, that's how.
The main point of Inoculation Theory is: Attacks make beliefs (and attitudes) stronger. To understand this theory, we need to draw upon a medical analogy
"I will have to read more"