Jefferson and Unconscious Emotion

During Jefferson’s search for the correct verbage for the Declaration of Independence two authors influenced his train of thought – John Burgh and James Sheridan. Burgh and Sheridan both made reference to Unconscious Emotion – a speaker stirring the emotions of his audience.

Joseph J. Ellis, author of American Sphinx, states in his text that Jefferson had one version of his Declaration seeded with quotation marks. Ellis surmises that Jefferson was experimenting with Unconscious Emotion. Further on, Ellis suggests that this is still used in politics. If he is correct, I can think of two political candidates who might have used this – John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.

I was unable to find any direct reference to Unconscious Emotion other than studies pertaining to dreams causing pain, pleasure anxiety, and facial expressions.

Though it was never stated in so many words I came to suspect that Unconscious Emotion and Subliminal Suggestion are closely related.


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