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Laura Temin

Laura Beth Temin SFYB Staff Writer

Mind Control… Is this for real? Could it be true? What do the experts say?

tumblr_m3sdylOIOO1qdo6ouHypnotherapy Mind Control….

Who controls your mind?

If you ask most people who decides what they eat, drink or behave, most would say that they themselves are the decision makers of their own lives. Those who are married might admit that they share the decision making power with their spouse. And those whose work demands that they follow dress codes would say that their employer has a certain degree of control, but all would agree that the sharing of power is a deliberate and conscious decision. And that they choose to accept the influence of their spouse, girlfriend, parent, child or boss with full awareness.

unconscious-mind

But according to research the decisions we make are not governed by our conscious thoughts or logical decisions. In fact you would be surprised to learn that the conscious part of the mind takes a back seat to the unconscious mind which is intentionally and unintentionally manipulated by your emotions.

In an original research article written by Tanya L. Chartrand of Duke University, The Role of Conscious Awareness in Consumer Behavior published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology in December 2004, doi:10.1207/s15327663jcp1503_4  tells us that our consumer choices are unconsciously influenced and that we respond robotically to intentional triggers.

branding

Successful branding causes us to associate personality traits with a product and that these brands or products drive our behavior when the brand successfully represents our desires or aspirations. The goal is to influence buying behavior and strengthen positive recall associated with the brand.  And when done well, the associations that are built with those brands remain in our memories. Think about the effect this has on the formation and strength of habits.

maxresdefault (1)Wikipedia defines priming as an implicit memory effect in which exposure to one stimulus influences the response to another stimulus. In a study at Duke University, participants were divided into groups. One group was exposed to the Apple logo and the other to the IBM logo Each group was exposed to the logo shown 12 times for 13 milliseconds. The flashing of the masked logo is ‘behavioral priming’. Following the exposure, the participants were assigned tasks that measured creativity. Their research indicated that those who were primed with Apple logo, which is associated with qualities of creativity were statistically more creative in their tasks than those who were shown the IBM logo. (See Automatic Effects of Brand Exposure on Motivated Behavior: How Apple Makes You “Think Different” GRA´INNE M. FITZSIMONS TANYA L. CHARTRAND GAVAN J. FITZSIMONS* Electronically published March 4, 2008 https:www.//faculty.fuqua.duke.edu/~gavan/bio/GJF_articles/apple_ibm_jcr_08.pdf

Wikipedia explains “The effects of priming can be very salient and long lasting, even more so than simple recognition memory.[5] Unconscious priming effects can affect word choice on a word-stem completion test long after the words have been consciously forgotten.[5]

The above referenced research states “Consumer brands elicited automatic effects that guided behavior completely outside of the consumer context, suggesting that the automatic effects of consumer brands on behavior may be broad and general in nature.” And that “…exposure to brands may well have a profound influence on social behavior in everyday life. … environmental cues that can affect behavior in an automatic fashion…”

the-unconscious-mind-4-728

Think about what that tells us about our habits, our automatic responses, the decisions we make about the foods we eat, the beverages we drink and the lives we lead.  We believe we are in charge of our lives, our choices and our decisions, but the evidence shows that it is our unconscious associations and motivation that when repeatedly fueled become strengthened and they are the driving force behind our behavior. And very quickly or over time they become our automatic response cycle.

Is that bad news or good news for you?

We have just established that Branding or Advertising is built on the power of suggestion created without our unconscious awareness by associating our personal desires with a person, product or service. Take a look at the Budweiser advertisement below. I cut out of a magazine in 2002 and it represents the concept pretty well.

2015-09-28_10-34-58Without even reading the ad, we get the message that beer is good. Our brain registers youth, attractiveness, sexy, slim, beach, fun, power, confidence and beer.

We see a young, sexy, attractive bikini clad female holding a beer in one hand. Behind her we see part of a young man who is also holding a beer. His body is pressed up against her and she is pulling his lower body close.  Below the ad reads “Confidence is the sexiest thing you can wear.” Beneath that it reads, Live like a King.

They you see a 6 pack of Budweiser beer with the words, Budweiser, King of Beers.

That’s how to tie beer into desire. We don’t spend lots of time analyzing print ads or tv ads they quickly touch our emotions and they make their mark. We subconsciously pick up the inferences. Good marketing builds a bridge between their product (beer) the desired personality traits and drive us to act and to remember them and think of them. They present variations of that message over and over again. Through repetition, the brand/product automatically takes on the associated characteristics.

Can you see how easy it is to develop the desire for alcohol, and a specific beer when it is repeatedly coupled with positive attributes and goal motivated?

If advertisers can use the power of suggestion and essentially convince us that chocolate equals happiness or beer equals confidence can’t we pair desirable goals, sentiments or responses with pictures and words to build positive outcomes? Yes, we can.  

Hypnotist-by-Gabriela-Ferreira-Creative-Commons (1)
Clinical Hypnosis uses the same conditioning principles to help people accomplish a goal, break a habit or change a feeling or behavior. Because it works with the subconscious mind, it is effective when traditional talk therapy is not because it bypasses the logical mind.

How does it work? The individual discusses the goal and the details with the therapist and together they make a plan. Then the therapist uses words and images to help the individual build positive new associations and reach their desired outcome. Hypnotherapy is one of the most comfortable ways to make changes in a person’s life.

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