Just how subtly and forcefully we’re influenced by unconscious urges is readily apparent (or should be) in the effects of mass advertising. Unconscious emotions are reflected through media images plainly designed to evoke pleasurable feelings and associate them with a product or idea — like Pavlov’s dog. In fact, the modern cult of psychological media deception sprang from the physiological studies of Ivan Pavlov.
In a famous detergent study, subjects were given three different boxes of detergent and asked to try them all out for a few weeks, then report on which they liked best and why. One box was predominantly yellow, another blue, and the third was blue with splashes of yellow. In their reports, the subjects overwhelmingly favored the detergent in the box with mixed colors. Their comments included much about the relative merits of the detergents, but none mentioned the box. Why should they? A pretty box can’t make the detergent work better,right? But in reality it was only the box that differed—the detergents inside were all identical! When quizzed about the reasons for their decisions, the subjects proved completely unaware that any of those factors had influenced them.
Few of us admit that we’re being fooled, and even though we may realize marketing is designed to fool us — we know it, they know it… it still works! That’s how dependent our thinking is on subconscious processes.
The science of manipulation has advanced the influence of a fantasy world so ingrained, that it has become accepted as a fact of life integral to our culture. It does have a bit of reality behind it – mechanistic half-truths. Yet like everything in our modern culture, mostly facade. The entire process has become circular – as the uncomfortable cognitive dissonance it engenders drives us unceasingly toward its very diversions which conceal its design.
The political and economic concerns which drive our culture, however, are not designed to encourage conscious reflection of our subconscious drives but to ensure that it won’t happen. Unscrupulous, manipulative, selfish egocentric obsessed drives for shallow ‘worship of the beast’ are celebrated.
- The Manufractured American Mind (zengardner.com)