You may not realize it, but you are programmed to act just like a trout. It has become such a part of the culture that the programming goes unnoticed most of the time.
Program People to Act like a Trout
When we are online, we chase after the trending items, the flashy things. We act just like a trout. And, we have short attention spans, just like a trout. Our fishermen understand our psychological triggers. They make the right lures. For example, they use a variety of things from celebrity endorsements and brand recognition to fear, greed, and sex appeal. The play on our social fears. They appeal to our greed. This kind of manipulation is what psychologists call behavior modification.
They track our aliment with products and issues. Not surprisingly, they can use this alignment to advertise things we are likely to buy. So, we act just like a trout that follows a flashy lure resembling something we think is edible. But, just like the trout, we often find out too late that we’ve been deceived. The hook is in our mouth. This is the goal. This is how they program people to act like a trout.
How Does It Work? ― Behavior Modification
What we describe above is the goal of behavioral modification techniques (1). The processes or techniques that can achieve this goal center on two areas. Eliciting an emotional response to peer or social pressure. Or, by triggering our basic fears. Sometimes they use both.
It’s not your fault. A great deal of effort goes into this type of psychological conditioning. What they do is look at what they are trying to sell and then ask what emotional link or fear can we use to drive people to buy our idea?
Our short attention span has been cultivated through years of exposure to advertising. To optimize the effect, you start early in life. Program people when they are children, then exploit their habitual behavior for several years. This is the goal of behavior modification. We are accustomed to choosing flashy things. This strategy started with the early programming of television. Commercials were short one-minute sales pitches. Then they got shorter and more subliminal. The researchers did their homework.
And, consequently, they mold advertising to fit short periods. The news media picked up on this as a way of boosting ratings. The format of News has become fact-spinning to derive emotional response. So, what people think is news, is a series of short sales presentations. Someone is paying to have them sell specific ideological points of view.
Who is to Blame?
There has been a lot of money invested in shaping our buying and information consumption habits. This is why advertisements are short. When you program people to buy you want to do it quickly. Therefore, those in control of the cultural narrative want to, need to make us customers. They have learned to use images that immediately catch our attention, messages that fit our short attention span. Advertising time is expensive and the sellers want you to make a buying decision quickly without weighing all the options.
The programming of the cultural narrative isn’t new. Western organized religion pioneered these tactics as it formed the megalith that would be the Abrahamic religions. These are of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (2). These belief systems are the result of the rebranding of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions. These systems spend a lot of effort projecting the idea that their doctrines, superstitions, and ceremonies make something spiritual. It must come from them. Otherwise, it is evil.
I realize most people won’t finish this because it’s too long. Sorry, about that. If reading this offends you, then you need to ask yourself why. Is it because this assessment is correct? However, if you’ve made it this far, we hope you grasp the need to question the cultural narrative. As a result, there is a paradigm clash. It’s a tug of war between ideologies. Most people don’t recognize it because it’s been going on for so long. Learning to recognize and handle this conflict is a necessary skill in our modern world.
The techniques of behavior modification are not evil. They are tools. Clinicians use the same tools to help change bad behaviors and make people happier and more productive. But, religion and our commercial culture use these tools for their own ends.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey (3). Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.
(1) Psychology Today, Dec 13, 2019, Understanding What Makes Behavior Modification Work, Daniel Marston Ph.D.
(2) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(3) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia