Prerequisite Knowledge: The Basic Mechanisms of Behavior
|News to person, |
“A plane crash happened today.”
|Planes are dangerous.||I feel fear when I board a plane.||I cannot sleep on planes.||I am tired and shaken when I land.|
|Ad to person, “image of a fast car and several women”||Fast cars will get me love.||Fast cars are cool!||I purchase a fast car.||Fast car sales rise.|
This table was adapted from What to Say When You Talk to Your Self by Shad Helmstetter.
Programming (learning) -> Beliefs -> Feelings -> Actions -> Results.
Going further, attitudes (emotions) are large-scale beliefs that apply to many things.
This emotion scale was created by David Hawkins. It should be noted that ALL of these emotions are necessary in life. For example, things like anger, shame, and pride can provide valuable boundaries. However, certain emotions like desire are more “exploitable.”
How Corporations Control Behavior.
Corporations (like other institutions) are experts in the art of behavior control. If they can program a new idea in your mind, then they can eventually change your actions.
I’ve gone ahead and made some examples of programming – along with some self-created “opposite” advertisements.
Obviously, all of these ads are fallacies. Budweiser / Spotify contain good and bad traits.
Things are rarely black-and-white. Budweiser has benefits and consequences. Spotify has benefits and consequences – so on and so forth. In any case, corporations actively engage in trying to program our minds.
How Cultures Control Behavior.
Cultures can also control our behavior.
If you grew up in Sparta or Athens, would your behavior be different? If you grew up in the United States or India, would your behavior be different?
So, where do cultures come from? Who decides what culture controls behavior? People actively create cultures. The culture’s players cannot be separated from the culture.
In this advertisement, McDonalds’s is portraying pleasure. You DESERVE to take a break! By advertising this message, McDonald’s is subtly influencing the American culture to be a consumer-culture.
Even if you look at your friend groups, there are cultures – fitness, partying, learning, etc.
In short, our cultures can program our behavior.
How to Take Back Our Power!
If corporations and culture can program your mind, you can also program your own mind.
Sadly, this is difficult, because you have pre-existing programming.
For example, let’s say I have the goal of working more (to help others). This means that I have to counter the existing cultural belief inside of me.
“I want work to make me feel like a hero, but work just makes me feel tired.”
This chart is adapted from On your Own Side by Aziz Gazipura.
This is where attitude (emotions) come in.
If you can gain mastery over your attitudes and put in the work, you will be able to effectively make change in your life. Unfortunately, many rich and poor people are trapped in attitudes of fear, pride, desire, etc. This allows corporations to exploit them…
Why this Entire Article Does Not Matter.
If you stop eating at McDonald’s, drinking alcohol, and listening to music, it would make a big difference in your life. Now, if every person made this decision, it would make a HUGE difference in the world.
If everyone cooked meals at home, McDonald’s would immediately cease to exist. McDonald’s only has power, because we gave it power – same for the super-rich bards and the carcinogenic drink companies.
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes and a advertisement showing the bard Post Malone on boxes of alcohol. The king (and all institutions) are raised up by the people. While you can choose who you raise up, you cannot influence large population groups. The big influencing has to be left to the policy-makers (regrettably).
In conclusion, many organizations try to influence our behavior. However, we can influence our own behavior. We should just be cautious about trying to influence other people’s behavior, because that requires large-scale policy change.