Currently viewing the tag: "intimidation"


He needed a gun. A big gun, and a SWAT team, and an army, and maybe Chuck Norris. -Matthew Bryan Laube, Ancient Awakening (The Ancient)

Writing Prompt: Write a story, scene or poem about someone who believes that the best defense is a good offense.

Journaling Prompt: What would it take for you to defeat your greatest fear?

Art Prompt: Defense
Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about making preparations for a big event.

Photo Credit: Chris Halderman on Flickr

Revenge Of Return Of The Jedi

Why was it that every villain had to have his obligatory speech before he blew everything to smithereens? -Tina Folsom, Amaury’s Hellion (Scanguards Vampires #2)

Writing Prompt: Write a monologue for a villain who is about to blow everything to smithereens.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you heard or saw someone justifying something bad they were about to do.

Art Prompt: Villain
Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a story about your favorite movie or book villain.

Photo Credit: JD Hancock on Flickr

Interrogation (255/365)

Confessions, when true, are an important tool in convicting criminals. But false confessions frequently play a major role in convicting innocent people. Experiments show that juries and potential witnesses are influenced by confessions even if they know they were coerced. Also in the lab, experienced polygraph examiners, fingerprint experts, and other experts, when informed of a confession, see what they expect to see — that is, evidence of guilt…

To back up these findings with real-life data, the psychologists thoroughly reviewed the trial records of 241 people exonerated by the Innocence Project since 1992. Of these, 59 — or 25 percent — involved false confessions, either by the defendant or an alleged accomplice. One-hundred eighty — or 75 percent — involved eyewitness mistakes. The analysis revealed that multiple errors turned up far more often in false confession cases than in eyewitness cases: 69 percent versus fewer than half. And two thirds of the time, the confession came first, followed by other errors, namely invalid forensic science and government informants.

Kassin believes the findings “greatly underestimate the problem” because of what never shows up in court: evidence of innocence. Told the suspect confessed, “alibi witnesses back out, thinking they’re mistaken,” police stop searching for the real culprit. “We show that confessions bring in other incriminating evidence that is false. What we don’t see is a tendency to suppress exculpatory evidence.”

The study throws doubt on a critical legal concept designed to safeguard the innocent: corroboration. Appeals courts uphold a conviction even if a false confession is discovered, as long as other evidence — say, forensics or other witness testimony — independently shows guilt. “What these findings suggest is that there may well be the appearance of corroboration,” says Kassin, “but it is false evidence that was corrupted by the confession — not independent at all.” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene about a coerced confession and its fallout.

Journaling Prompt: What would it take to get you to admit to something you didn’t do?

Art Prompt: Coercion

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about a coerced confession that was recanted and how the case ended up.

Photo Credit: andrewrennie on Flickr

moral disengagement

“We often hear that people who feel envious of their colleagues try to bring them down by spreading negative rumours, withholding useful information, or secretly sabotaging their work,” says Prof. Aquino, who conducted the study with colleagues from the University of Minnesota, Clemson University in South Carolina and Georgia State University.

However, Aquino says envy is only the fuel for sabotage. “The match is not struck unless employees experience what psychologists call ‘moral disengagement’ — a way of thinking that allows people to rationalize or justify harming others.”

The researchers explain that moral disengagement is most likely to occur when an envious co-worker feels disconnected from others in the workplace. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a character sketch for someone who is morally disengaged. What motivates his or her bad behavior?

Journaling Prompt: Write about an office gossip you have known.

Art Prompt: Morally disengaged

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about moral disengagement and office sabotage. Give them resources to use if they find themselves in this situation.

Photo Credit: bareknuckleyellow on Flickr


Young Waitress at the Indiana Café

All I’m going to say is this: don’t anger the waitress!
In a new study, researchers at USC, Stanford and the Kellogg School of Management have found that individuals in roles that possess power but lack status have a tendency to engage in activities that demean others. According to the study, “The Destructive Nature of Power without Status,” the combination of some authority and little perceived status can be a toxic combination.

Social hierarchy, the study says, does not on its own generate demeaning tendencies. In other words, the idea that power always corrupts may not be entirely true. Just because someone has power or, alternatively, is in a “low status” role does not mean they will mistreat others. Rather, “power and status interact to produce effects that cannot be fully explained by studying only one or the other basis of hierarchy.”

One way to overcome this dynamic, according to the authors, is to find ways for all individuals, regardless of the status of their roles, to feel respected and valued. The authors write: “…respect assuages negative feelings about their low-status roles and leads them to treat others positively.”

Opportunities for advancement may also help. “If an individual knows he or she may gain a higher status role in the future, or earn a bonus for treating others well, that may help ameliorate their negative feelings and behavior,” Fast said. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a character sketch about someone who has power but no status. How do they abuse their power?

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever abused power in order to make yourself feel better?

Art Prompt: Demeaning
Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the phenomenon of power without status and how they can respond.

Photo Credit: luigi morante on Flickr

Charles martele, Béa acquiesce (copyright Johan)

acquiesce verb (used without object), -esced, -esc·ing.
to assent tacitly; submit or comply silently or without protest; agree; consent: to acquiesce halfheartedly in a business transaction

Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in a scene or poem.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you acquiesced against your will.

Art Prompt: Acquiesce
Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Use the word of the week in your speech or article this week.

Photo Credit: Matt&Ju on Flickr


Thanks to Sue Ann Bowling for sharing this quotation!

“If you want to make your enemy into something you can hate, you first remove his humanity.” Mercedes Lackey, Storm Warning

Writing Prompt: Create some inner dialogue for a character who dehumanizes someone in order to rationalize hating them.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you rationalized hating someone.

Art Prompt: Hatred

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how people are taught to hate. Encourage them to challenge their own perceptions by humanizing the hated person/group.

Photo Credit: Furryscaly on Flickr

men buried in paperwork

I love this word!

argle-bargle n. [mass noun] copious but meaningless talk or writing; waffle: bureaucratic argle-bargle.

Writing Prompt: Write a scene or a poem using the word argle-bargle

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you had to deal with argle-bargle.

Art Prompt: Bureaucratic argle-bargle

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about bureaucratic argle-bargle

Photo Credit: Harald Groven on Flickr


Have you ever had someone go crazy, telling you off, acting like a two year old? Read this great description of a female tantrum:

The whole episode started innocuously enough, but soon escalated into one of those foot-stomping, tear-gushing, guilt-stabbing, man-damning rants which only the female of the species deliver so artfully. -Phil Truman, Legends of Tsalagee

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a character who goes postal. Write a scene about someone of each gender doing this.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when someone told you off. Describe how that person acted and how you reacted.

Art Prompt: Tantrum

Nonfiction / Speech writing Prompt: Tell a humorous story about an adult throwing a tantrum.

Photo Credit: M. Pratter on Flickr


Have you ever worked with someone who used intimidation tactics to keep you off balance and to control you? Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, feeling fear when there is no reason. But sometimes, people really are that nasty.

“Lorne wants people to feel insecure,” says an ex–cast member. “It’s the same techniques cults use—they keep you up for hours, they never let you know that you’re okay, and they always make you think that your spot could be taken at any moment by someone else.”
-from Comedy isn’t Funny by Chris Smith

Writing Prompt: Create a character whose motivation is to control the people around him / her.

Journaling Prompt: Write about someone who used intimidation to try to control you or someone you know.

Art Prompt: Intimidation

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about a personal experience with a bully or person who manipulated you through intimidation.

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Photo Credit: Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Ashaon Flickr