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[evol-psych] Re: Mind virus could give us shopping bug

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  • Jerrod Hansen
    Sent: 31 March 2000 05:27 Subject: Re: [evol-psych] Mind virus could give us shopping bug The link didn t work for me, but I tracked down the article. Marsden
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 31, 2000
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      Sent: 31 March 2000 05:27
      Subject: Re: [evol-psych] Mind virus could give us shopping bug


      The link didn't work for me, but I tracked down the article. Marsden
      is blatantly lifting Doug Rushkoff's ideas about media influence, and
      his grasp of social psychology is weak. (He claims to get a whole
      group of people staring into the sky simply by planting one person
      staring into space. This result is dependent on the number of initial
      cohorts and relies on an actual object, not empty space).

      For those interested in Rushkoff's ideas, his books Media Virus
      (1996) and Coercion (1999) detail his thoughts about media virus and
      his reaction to the embracing of the concept by advertising agencies.




      "ian pitchford" <ian.pitchfor-@...> wrote:
      original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/evolutionary-psychology/?
      start=3604
      > THE OBSERVER
      > Mind virus could give us shopping bug
      >
      > Tracy McVeigh
      > Sunday March 26, 2000
      >
      > It may prove to be the most successful new selling technique the
      capitalist
      > world has ever known. The 'mind virus' is the latest form of consumer
      > brainwashing.
      >
      > A mix of psychology and Internet technology, the aim is to create
      social
      > epidemics by feeding the right information, or virus, into someone's
      mind.
      > Once implanted, it can make the most useless of gadgets seem
      essential, the
      > most unnecessary accessory irresistible. It is a money-spinning dream.
      >
      > That is the claim of psychologist Paul Marsden, who believes he can
      help
      > businesses to trigger shopping crazes for their products.
      >
      > Full text:
      > http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/observer/uk_news/story/0,3879,151154,0
      0.html
      >




      ______________________________________________________
    • Julie Coultas
      ... I agree that the number of initial cohorts is important *but* there is no requirement that an actual object needs to be present. People will impose meaning
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 2, 2000
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        On Fri, 31 Mar 2000, Jerrod Hansen wrote:

        >
        > The link didn't work for me, but I tracked down the article. Marsden
        > is blatantly lifting Doug Rushkoff's ideas about media influence, and
        > his grasp of social psychology is weak. (He claims to get a whole
        > group of people staring into the sky simply by planting one person
        > staring into space. This result is dependent on the number of initial
        > cohorts and relies on an actual object, not empty space).

        I agree that the number of initial cohorts is important *but* there is
        no requirement that an actual object needs to be present. People will
        impose meaning on a situation and the size of the initial cohort is
        often reason enough to stare up at the sky or up at a building. Milgram
        ran this type of experiment in the 1960s (reported in large number of
        introductory social psychology textbooks). I have 'replicated' his study
        in 3 different locations in the UK. The size of the group staring up at
        'something' seems to be an important factor. However city size also
        needs to be taken into account.

        I ran these series of experiments because I had found an interesting
        effect of group size on imitative behaviour in a previous experiment set
        up to test a gene-culture coevolutionary model.

        BTW in order to run these experiments it requires more than 1 trial. I
        sent groups of 3, 4, and 5 out 5 times to stare up at a building (15
        randomly ordered trials x 3 locations = 45 times).


        Milgram, S., Bickman, L., & Berkowitz, L. (1969) Note on the drawing
        power of crowds of different sizes. Journal of Personality and Social
        Psychology, 13 79 -82

        Coultas, J. (2000) Milgram Revisited: The influence of group and city
        size on imitative behaviour (submitted paper)
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