[evol-psych] Re: Mind virus could give us shopping bug
- 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:
> THE OBSERVERcapitalist
> 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
> world has ever known. The 'mind virus' is the latest form of consumersocial
> A mix of psychology and Internet technology, the aim is to create
> epidemics by feeding the right information, or virus, into someone'smind.
> Once implanted, it can make the most useless of gadgets seemessential, the
> most unnecessary accessory irresistible. It is a money-spinning dream.help
> That is the claim of psychologist Paul Marsden, who believes he can
> businesses to trigger shopping crazes for their products.0.html
> Full text:
- On Fri, 31 Mar 2000, Jerrod Hansen wrote:
>I agree that the number of initial cohorts is important *but* there is
> 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).
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)