Brain-washing

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Brain-washing. Coercive methods of conversion or changes in behaviour. Based on (i) Pavlov's discovery that fear among his laboratory dogs (induced by floods) led to the erasing of certain learned behaviours and to relatively greater ease in implanting new ones; and (ii) the use of deprivation techniques in breaking down political and other prisoners, it was argued that religious threats of hell-fire (e.g.), followed by promises of salvation (accompanied by rhythmic and emotional music), produced conversion by comparable mechanisms.