Sunday, April 17, 2022

Another analysis of how people become convinced of the illogical, and an exploration of how to converse without getting someone's shackles up/ Tess Lawrie's Substack

Above is Tess' interview with David Charalambous, who is essentially a social psychologist.  Below is his presentation for the World Council for Health.

He also gives courses on learning this material--for free!--and you can donate if you are able. Here is his organization's website.  It is called "Reaching People."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, a very useful and important conversation. Thank you for posting it here, Dr. Nass. And thanks to Dr. Lawrie for bringing these issues on board. We are up against some very powerful and effective behavioral technologies that are being intentionally deployed against our society.

Back in the 1970s, as an undergraduate, I first came upon a couple books by Wilson Bryan Key, "Subliminal Seduction" and "Media Sexploitation". These books describe in some detail the effective strategies adopted by advertisers to affect the subconscious minds of their audiences. Their techniques are designed specifically to bypass the rational and logic filters of our conscious mind, directly targeting our primitive emotional responses instead. This is done largely without our understanding and awareness -- not to mention without our consent.

These books by Key began to open my eyes a little to what was going on literally beneath our noses -- during practically all of our waking media moments. That's when I first started developing a bit of x-ray vision to see through the facade of what passes for our culture...

Corporations spend enormous funds on advertising and marketing. The dollars are astronomical, incomprehensible. Why? The answer is utterly simple: because this advertising works. It influences people. Even against their will, self-interest, personal health, all reason.

And with the huge dollars involved in this enterprise, the advertisers and marketeers have to make sure -- absolutely postively sure, in advance -- that their ads will work. They don't just throw the big money of their ad campaigns out there, hoping they will work. No, they are tested, thoroughly, comprehensively, with all the state-of-the-art understanding of social and behavioral psychologists. These advertising campaigns are conducted for the express purpose of delivering a solid return on their investment. That 30 second spot on the cable news channel may actually have more invested in it than a prime time program.

You may even think you are ignoring it. You may feel like it can't affect you. But the best campaigns -- as in most effective -- are those campaigns whose influence you don't even notice.

They affect everyone, of all ages, even children. In fact, Key describes media campaigns that, while ostensibly aimed for adults, are more covertly designed to influence the product choices of children as they grow older. Yes, it is that insidious.

The books by Key also describe the extent to which media companies -- whose revenues are completely funded by the advertisers they serve -- craft their own platforms and programming to serve the advertising messages nestled within.

The behavioral technologies of advertising have become more and more refined and sophisticated in the decades since the 1950s. And more and more these technologies have been deployed for other purposes as well. Think political campaigns. Think condemics.

The interview between Lawrie and Charalambous describes why facts and reasonable arguments are so often completely ineffective as a counter to the influence of the media campaigns targeting us. Charalambous describes how facts and reason may even have the opposite effect, when they make people paradoxically more resolute in believing their media-indoctrinated falsehoods -- because these falsehoods are being programmed in at a deeper, emotional and subconscious level.

In this context, facts and objective "truth" are facing a formidable challenge. I for one am eternally grateful to Dr. Nass -- and to Dr. Lawrie and all their colleages, for continuing their efforts in the face of these challenges. The marketeers and the culprits they serve may be good at staying one step ahead -- but it is vastly preferable to have the truth on "our" side.