2.25.2010

How Advertising Manipulates Our 'Caveman' Brains (& How to Resist)

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/01/how-advertising.html
How Advertising Manipulates Our 'Caveman' Brains (& How to Resist) - www.dailygalaxy.com
It is becoming increasingly clear that widespread consumption is wrecking havoc on the planet. But, if it’s making us happier then perhaps it’s worth the compromise, some argue. Strangely, that doesn’t appear to be the case, either. The spreading westernized belief that “more” possessions equates to more happiness hasn’t panned out. In fact, statistically, the First World now has more depression, alcoholism, crime, anxiety, obesity and overall dissatisfaction with life than was reported 50 years ago. What if “more” isn’t “more” in terms of consumption? Recent research is now shedding light on the phenomenon.
These studies suggest that our Stone Age brains, or what scientists refer to as the “primitive” brain is evolved to want more, but not necessarlily to ENJOY more. For example, Brain scans by Emory University revealed that the reward-chemical dopamine is released when we spot a product and consider buying it. Interestingly, only the anticipation releases dopamine. After the item is bought, the high often evaporates within minutes, and the purchaser may be indifferent to having one more item or even suffer from “buyer’s remorse”.
Last year Bonn researchers used brain scanning to show that humans don’t want lots of stuff, so much as they want MORE stuff than others. This is a confusing, scarcity paradigm that we share with monkey’s and other primates. The study found that whether or not people made big paychecks, for example, was much less of a motivating factor than whether they made MORE than their coworkers. In other words, winning the arbitrary “competition” appears to be more important than the reward itself.
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[More on consumerism...]

The Joneses Paradox: Brain-Scan Study Rewrites Economic Theory
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/11/the-joneses-par.html
The Joneses Paradox - www.dailygalaxy.com
"Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance."
· Epicurus (Greek philosopher, BC 341-270)

[and...]

The Consumer Paradox:
Scientists Find that Low Self-Esteem and Materialism Goes Hand in Hand

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/11/the-consumer-pa.html
The Consumer Paradox - www.dailygalaxy.com
"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes,
working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need."
- From the movie Fight Club, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk
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