Wag The Dog

An analysis of social psychology elements in the film, “Wag the Dog”.

This paper outlines key social psychology principles found in Barry Levinson’s 1997 film Wag The Dog. These principles include heuristics, perceptions and changing people’s beliefs and attitudes.The paper discusses where these principles were used throughout the movie.
“In a democratic society such as that of the United States of America, it is essential for those who want power to be able to sway and persuade others. No truer is this statement, than when in the context of the elections for the position of President of the United States. In Barry Levinson’s 1997 film Wag The Dog, it is only two weeks till the presidential election, and scandal is taking over the attention of the media. The incumbent president has a sex scandal on his hands that will surely affect the amount of votes he receives on election day. In order to deflect this unwanted attention, he hires a man named Conrad Brean, who has the ability to manipulate the media, and persuade the American people to think a certain way. By focusing on heuristics, social norms, and cognitive persuasion, Brean is able to alter the way people view the president, and garner their vote for the election.”