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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Deception is usually conceived in terms of false statements, but it can also occur when someone’s words are accurately, albeit selectively, quoted out of context. Our chapter discusses the phenomenon of “contextomy” and its effect on impression formation and attitude change. Quotations can be altered, usually by the removal of certain phrases from their original verbal context, to prompt interpretations that contrast with what the source intended. Those exposed to the altered quote may form erroneous impressions that are resistant to change, even when the original context is restored. Cases of contextomy in various communication contexts are described and analyzed.

Keywords: contextomy, attribution, selective quotation, deception, attitude formation

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