The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the Pen must sometimes move the sword against corruption if the corrupt are not moved by the pen.. An idea without an implementer is useless. "The Rulers do not carry the sword in vain"Rom 13:4

Monday, March 2, 2015

Protest and the Power of Psychology.

I reckon most of us tend to write off 'Rent-a-Crowd' protests as "Oh no.. them again?" and consign them to irrelevance.

There is a feature of loud, aggressive, angry protest that might just have the desired impact of that protest group. Some psychological studies have been done that shed light.
If you are part of a group who are interviewed individually about say "Friendship" and are asked a question like "What is the most important thing about friendship to you?"   Most people will respond with..."Loyalty". However, if you are provided with a psychological assesment of your personality soon after this interview and the assessor declares that when it comes to friendship, you are poor in "Loyalty", then the participants are re-tested with the same questions a previously asked, those who formerly claimed "loyalty" was most important then...did not report it now! 

There's more to it than that, as the video below will show, but essentially, when one group of people express some passionate ideas about something in public, and a very loud angry counter protest  group surround them and scream at them, presumably the reason they do this is to diminish the strength of those ideas in the original protesters.

Knowing this, we should not read too much into people who have 'changed their mind' after a period of vocal and aggressive protest against what they stand for.

This lecturer is quite a manipulator (in a good sense).  He rocked up to lectures dressed casually as in the screen shot for 14 yrs. Each year, he asked if people wanted to give him 'the finger'... most people did!   But then, on the 15th yr, he changed ONE thing about his appearance, and asked them the same thing... very few were willing to give that objectionable and disrespectful sign to him. What was the difference ?   He wore a suit!

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