Monday, April 25, 2005

do you look left or right?

Danny's away for a few days, and I'm so sad without him! I didn't realize how used to & how comforted by his company I'd become. Well, it'll be nice to kind of spend some time alone...although I hope it won't be TOO much time...I miss him!

Anyway, I'm pretty engrossed in Coercion, which has pointed out some pretty crazy things regarding brain function...stuff I know I've learned before in my intro psych classes, but I'm always awestruck by the things they know about how our minds work, and how uncanny it is when you notice that the scientists are right!

For example,
"Programmers can reach...conclusions by watching our eye movements. The brain is divided into two hemispheres: The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and deals with logical, rational functions; the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body and is believed to carry out creative and emotional tasks. If I ask you to add 127 and 667 in your head, chances are you will look up and to the right -- because you are accessing the left hemisphere of your brain. If I ask you to think about how you felt the first time you made love, you will probably look up and to the left.

"NLP [Neuro-linguistic programming] books call these eye motions "accessing cues." NLP practitioners use these cues to understand more about us than our words might indicate, however well we have attempted to edit ourselves. If a car salesman asks if you like a more expensive model better than a cheaper one and you look to the right before answering no, he knows you're lying.

"Much more deviously, programmers can exploit those visual accessing cues to enhance their powers of persuasion. According the principles of NLP, neural cues work in both directions. Thus, if a person looking to the left is accessing emotional centers in the brain, then a salesperson should stand to your left when he wants to appeal to your emotions. If he wants to appeal to your rational sensibilities, he will stand to your right. (Try sitting on the right side of a movie theater. You will be forced to look toward the left to see the screen, and you will be more likely to engage emotionally. Sit on the left for documentaries.) By properly positioning your eyes, the coercer can access the part of your brain that suits his needs."

Douglas Rushkoff, Coercion
--WHAT?!? Well, I'm definitely going to try that movie-theater thing. But it just bugs me out that people can be using me (everyone!) to their advantage just by the position they're standing in. Oh good lord I hope this book eventually points out ways that one can avoid being so coerced...!

Currently Reading:

TITLE: Coercion: Why We Listen To What "They" Say

AUTHOR: Douglas Rushkoff

TITLE: Rule of the Bone

AUTHOR: Russell Banks

TITLE: Game Coding Complete

AUTHOR: Mike McShaffry

No comments: