The Gaslight Effect:How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life by Robin Stern


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This book presents us with thorough research on a manipulation tactic called gaslighting. Where does this name come from? During the initial stages of her research, Dr. Stern couldn’t quite put her finger on the phenomenon. Despite this, she knew that it was there, and it was real. Then, she recalled the term ‘gaslighting’ that had occasionally been used since the release of a 1944 film called Gaslight. In this film, a husband convinces his wife that she is insane, in order to take her inheritance. At first, the wife maintains her grip on reality, but as he manipulates her perceptions of reality, she begins to believe that what he says is true. His main argument centers on her hallucinating that the gas lights in their house are dimming, while in reality he is controlling them. The husband in the movie is consciously manipulating his wife in order to obtain her tangible property. However, in real life the one doing the gaslighting – the gaslighter – often doesn’t realize what they are doing.