Another overused word
. To my understanding, brainwashing
is a term that first came into use
during the Korean War
when captive American soldiers denounced their government
and its intentions.
The process is not as casual as the current use of the
term would lead one to believe, but involved deprivation
(for example, locking the prisoner in a completely dark
room for days, denial of food, water, and sanitary facilities)
in addition to psychological techniques based on Pavlov's
work on the conditioned response.