Skip to main content

Crazy, Sexy Consumer Culture

by Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP
      In a famous Harvard University study published in the journal Perception volunteers were told to watch a thirty-second film of six people playing basketball, and count the number of passes made by one of the teams. Three people on each team wore matching T-shirts. In one version of the video, a woman holding an umbrella walks through the action taking place on the court. Another featured a woman in a gorilla suit.
     While tallying the number of passes recorded, observers were asked whether they noticed either anything unusual on the video or any people other than the six players. Forty-six percent simply did not notice the woman in the gorilla suit, even though in one version of the film she stopped in the middle of the court, faced the camera and thumped her chest. Out of those nonnoticers, eighty-eight “did not believe that the event had happened until the videotape was replayed for them.”[i]
     The counters who missed the gorilla were so intently focused on their task their minds simply screened out visual information not relevant to it. This study points up the fact that when we are told to give attention to a thing, we tend to miss or ignore other things that are also happening right before our eyes.
     As advertising and media penetrate into nearly every area of life, our attention is increasingly directed toward things we "need" to have a good-enough life. The emotional content alone can easily overwhelm own better judgment, as the distinction between what we know we want from within our own heart and soul and the marketers’ dream for us is increasingly blurred. Images and scenes that play to our fears and our need to shine or to find love or simply belong also trigger subconscious cues and motivations that have remarkable power over our behavior. Like people in love with the wrong person, we can fix the facts to fit the feelings. New information that interferes with the narrative to which we are attached is rejected on contact. We can be blind to very real threats, we can perceive threats where none exist.
As the old candy ad goes, sometimes we feel like a nut, sometimes we don’t, but there is no shortcut to the self-knowledge and self-mastery that gives us the psychological strength to determine if that feeling is our own.

[i]Daniel J. Simons and Christopher F. Chabris, “Gorilla in our Midst: Sustained Inattentional Blindness for Dynamic Events” Perception 28.9 (1999): 1072.


  1. Easily Boost Your ClickBank Traffic And Commissions

    Bannerizer made it easy for you to promote ClickBank products using banners, simply visit Bannerizer, and get the banner codes for your chosen ClickBank products or use the Universal ClickBank Banner Rotator Tool to promote all of the available ClickBank products.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Improvisation Games & Exercises For Developing Emotional Intelligence

    Since September Lifestage has been offering a monthly training workshop exploring the use of improvisation to develop Emotional Intelligence . These workshops have been geared toward the work done by clinicians, educators and trainers who guide the process of personal change or professional development, but as it turns out we have enjoyed some interesting diversity among the participants -  managers, business owners with both employees and customers, community activists, and performers.      Below is a collection of the exercises we have used in the workshops, accompanied by some studies that supports their use.  by Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP       Why Improvisation? Improvisation is a powerful way to become aware of mental habits and patterns. Reflecting on our inner experiences after engaging in an improvisation exercise provides an opportunity to decide whether our mental habits are effective and useful or self-limiting and obsolete.  The tensions of the crea

WARM-UP EXERCISES FOR GROUP WORK - For Therapeutic, Educational or Training Groups

Nicholas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP , Director of Training at Lifestage, Inc and Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP, Trainer/consultant and writer/performer. Follow on twitter @JuTrWolff         “To begin assembly one must have the right attitude,” goes a Japanese instruction for assembling a particular object, as quoted in Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. The "right attitude" is one that best serves the action we are preparing to engage in, j ust as an athlete warms up his/her muscles before using them in the stress of a work-out or game. Psychological and emotional "muscles" that are properly warmed up will perform more effectively and make it less likely that we will experience strain or allow fear to produce a shut-out when things get rolling.     The right warm-up makes everything learned in a training situation or classroom more accessible and immediately useful to the trainee/student. New skills and knowledge - in education, personal growth or a profe

The Emotional Intelligence of Nelson Mandela

       by Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP @JuTrWolff Nelson Mandela famously forgave the people who imprisoned him, an extraordinary thing especially since they were willing actors in an abusive system, one that imposed decades of indescribable suffering and violence on millions of his people. He forgave Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for doing business with the apartheid regime and would probably forgive members of the U.S. Congress and political pundits who labeled him a Communist and terrorist even upon the announcement of his death.       There were American diplomats who ignored the ignored the brutality and violence of the apartheid government and supported his imprisonment. Most of us would find that hard to take.  Most of us struggle to accept being misjudged or unfairly labeled even when the consequences are simply emotional tensions. And i n our sound bite culture, there is a rush to idolize a person with such a remarkable emotional capacity.