Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Power Of Suggestion

Have you ever wondered about the power of suggestion and how it might impact your life??

I read somewhere once that "only crooks and grave robbers play on our unfounded insecurities and use those to manipulate and control us." I wonder if the power of suggestion is really that strong??

In the 1950's a professor of psychology did an experiment to test his theories with regard to "social pressure." and to see if such pressures could make a person say something that was obviously incorrect.:

Here is a synopsis of the test results that I found at the wikipedia site:

This experiment was conducted using 123 male participants. Each participant was put into a group with 5 to 7 "confederates" (People who knew the true aims of the experiment, but were introduced as participants to the naive "real" participant). The participants were shown a card with a line on it, followed by another card with 3 lines on it labeled a, b, and c. The participants were then asked to say which line matched the line on the first card in length. Each line question was called a "trial". The "real" participant answered last or penultimately. For the first two trials, the subject would feel at ease in the experiment, as he and the other "participants" gave the obvious, correct answer.
On the third trial, the confederates would start all giving the same wrong answer.
There were 18 trials in total and the confederates answered incorrectly for 12 of them, these 12 were known as the "critical trials". The aim was to see whether the real participant would change his answer and respond in the same way as the confederates, despite it being the wrong answer.
Solomon Asch thought that the majority of people would not conform to something obviously wrong, but the results showed that participants conformed to the majority on 37% of the critical trials. However, 25% of the participants did not conform on any trial. 75% conformed at least once, and 5% conformed every time.

Interesting that over one third of the people tested conformed with the obviously wrong answer. I guess they wanted to be part of the group. They felt comfortable in the first couple of tests and began to bond with those around them. Peer Pressure is what it is..

So what groups are you a part of? Maybe it is a Religious group? Political ? Are you Conservative? Liberal ? Maybe it's a combination of them all. Maybe religious people tend to find themselves locked into a conservative political group because they find that the liberal groups that are around tend to be at odds with their conservative religious views. After all, Liberals might as well call themselves Communists, right ??

Where do we form our opinions, beliefs? Do we come up with them ourselves or are they formed within our groups??

Maybe we share opinions that are popular and promoted by our favorite media outlets? Take Glen Beck for example. Here is a guy that has great popularity. If you are a fan of Glen Beck then it is likely that you are a conservative.

He describes his show as a "Fusion of entertainment and enlightenment" He has suggested that Obama's Health Care reform is a means by which he can effect reparations for slavery. If you are a fan of his then it is likely that you believe that. One because you like Glen Beck and two because you want to be part of the group that likes Glen Beck. Peer Pressure, just like in High School !! Cool (-:

His shows are filled with moral outrage and apocalyptic views of the future. Basically if you are part of his fan base, his group, then Glen Beck can scare the shit out of you. That is certainly not his primary purpose but it sure helps the ratings.

I am wondering these days where all the conservatives get programmed and I think I am on to something even bigger then Glenn Beck !!

Talk Radio !! Did you know that among Americans 12 and older, that 90 Percent of them listen to radio each week. That is more than the Television, Newspapers Magazines or even the Internet.

Through 1700 radio stations across the US, some 50 million Americans are listeners of the news/talk format every week. GUESS WHAT ??

Of the 257 News/Talk stations owned by the 5 top commercial station owners:
91 Percent of those stations are Conservative
9 Percent are Progressive or maybe prone to expounding on more Liberal Discussions of the daily news.

Which group are you in??

I got these stats from this report: The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio. Read it if you dare!!

Of course if you like Glen Beck then you will likely dismiss me as a rabble rousing communist. That is, if you want to stay comfortable in your group of peers, even if they are wrong about so many things!!

Bottom line here is be your own group and step away from the traditional biased media and start trying to find the real problems in America. One of them is the News. Another is the Insurance Companies. Is Obama the enemy, I don't think so. The Savior, no. But he is someone trying to make a change? Unfortunately in this political climate that we live in. The money being thrown at Washington's legislators from the private sector will only dilute and muddy the change.

We need to make Health Insurance AFFORDABLE for everyone.

I didn't say FREE, I said Affordable.

Don't let the crooks, (The Insurance Companies) win.