The Dark Arts of Media Manipulation

Learn about the sophisticated psychological techniques, that are used to covertly control our thoughts and opinions.
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (51 ratings)
2,397 students
The ability to defend themselves against increasingly sopisticated techniques in mass manipulation.


  • No previous knowledge required.


What will I learn?

How to defend myself against increasingly personally-targeted propaganda techniques, which work by tapping into our deepest thoughts, fears and desires. 


While no prior knowledge is needed you must:

·     approach the course with an open mind.

·     be prepared to leave your comfort zone.

·     practice self-honesty.

·     apply what you learn, because this course is really about everyday defence.

Description of the Course

The main focus of the course, however, is on self-development, so the short video lectures are supplemented by a great deal of additional material including links to videos, articles and self tests.  These give you the opportunity for active involvement, as well as for further personal study, allowing you to adjust your learning path according to your own interests and needs. 

By the time you have completed the final self-examination, you should not only have acquired a great deal of in-depth knowledge of the modern ‘propaganda machine,’ but also the ability to accurately assess your own vulnerabilities to all of its workings.   

Who this course is for:

  • This course is for anyone who is prepared to consider challenges to their deepest held beliefs

Course content

4 sections18 lectures1h 6m total length
  • Introduction
  • Edward Bernays: The Master Manipulator
  • Bernays: Fear as a Political Tool
  • The Manipulation of a Generation of Women


Retired teacher
Sandra Peddle
  • 4.2 Instructor Rating
  • 51 Reviews
  • 2,397 Students
  • 1 Course

Hi! My name is Sandra Peddle and I am on a mission!

I have long been passionate about the need to expose the ways in which the public are manipulated through the media, but this has become even more urgent, as it seems that we get almost daily news of yet another onslaught on democracies of the western world by representatives of the Far Right propelled by the needs of big business.  

I was once a media professional.myself.  Indeed, I have a diploma in advertising writing and  In the early 70s, I worked as a copywriter, before moving into Fleet Street as an editorial assistant/feature writer.

In 1974 I decided to go to uni to become a teacher and I retired in 2017 after 20 years’ experience of teaching and examining A level (i.e. pre-university) Media Studies.  For the last 10 years this has included a module called "We Media and Democracy."

I was shocked when through continuously developing contemporary materials for my students, I learned about the "Secret Government' going as far back as Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, who first coined the phrase. I became even more disturbed as I learned how sophisticated psychometrics and use of the social media enabled individual manipulation on a mass basis. 

The techniques being used against us are often aimed at by-passing our conscious minds, but I firmly believe that your best defence is knowledge and self awareness, so I devised this course.