Perception in War of the Worlds

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Perception in War of the Worlds

Perception in War of the Worlds

Back in the early 1900’s, radio was one of the most popular ways of communication. The general public relied on the radio to give them the latest news around the country. Particularly, in 1938 the world turned upside down when broadcaster Orson Welles mislead his audience by deceiving them, giving them false information that caused nationwide panic. In Welles’ delivery, there were some mistakes in perception, which lead the listeners to genuinely believe what they were hearing. Perception is described as “the process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting data from our senses.” These mistakes in perception include, tone in the storytelling technique the audience heard, what the listeners saw and how the sense of sight manipulated them, and lastly the details and how it affected their thoughts.

The tone and storytelling techniques used definitely affected how the listeners heard and processed the information. It is said in the documentary that the script was purposefully written to mimic a real emergency broadcast. So the listeners just heard a lot of fast paced talking, and loads of information which translated in their mind as something very serious and breaking news.