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    Jay Cataldo Life Coaching

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    Beware The Puppet Master

    Some experts believe that 99% of our behavior is simply the result of conditioned responses that we have little to no control over.


    Personally, I’m not sure if I like the implications of this statement.


    I mean, we all have a few knee jerk reactions here and there, but for the most part, we’re logical, rational creatures who put a lot of thought into our decisions and actions.


    Aren’t we?


    In fact, I’m actually a bit offended that some of these so-called “experts” liken the majority of the population to a bunch of mindless puppets, moved along by invisible strings.


    Yet, as offensive as this assertion may be, sometimes I like to ask myself…


    What if there’s some truth to it?


    I actually wonder about it all the time. And when I find evidence that backs this up, I become really fascinated.


    And then I get really freaked out.


    Here’s an example:


    In 2003, a researcher from Ohio University studied the effect of video camera angles in criminal confession situations and discovered something rather unusual.


    The researcher asked 21 and 24 law-enforcement officials to view a videotaped mock confession. When the camera angle only showed the person confessing and not the cop/interrogator, the viewers who watched the footage said that the confession looked more voluntary (and more likely to be authentic) then when the camera angle showed both the interrogator AND the confessor in the same shot.


    This has startling implications in a court of law, since, as the researcher put it, “In one instance, the simple change from an equal-focus confession to a suspect-focus confession doubled the ‘conviction’ rate.”


    But that’s not the scary part…


    Before continuing on with the , the researcher then went on to explain to the viewers (again, who are all judges and law-enforcement officials) that since they would be unconsciously influenced by this simple change in camera angle, to be wary of automatically assuming a confession is voluntary and genuine just because the interrogator does not appear in the shot.


    In other words, the viewers were now alerted to the camera angle trick and how it can affect their perceptions. Plus, they were even warned to watch out for it so they wouldn’t be lured into a false conclusion.


    So… what do you think happened next?


    I’m guessing you might assume the “conviction” rate went down at this point. But sadly, you’d be mistaken.


    “The results were the same for confessions of manslaughter, rape, burglary, drug trafficking and shoplifting. They were the same even when volunteers were told to note the prejudicial effect of the camera angle.”




    So being aware that someone may be using a psychological trick to influence our perceptions/behaviors may not enough for us to resist the influence.


    Pretty. Friggin. Scary.


    How many similar “tricks” are being used on us by the media, politicians, etc. to covertly our perceptions? And will uncovering them make them any less effective?


    This should serve as a good reminder to go examine what we staunchly believe to be “fact” and re-evaluate things a bit. Just think… if we were wrong about the Tooth Fairy, we could be wrong about other things.


    In true holiday spirit, however, I will go on record and say that I still believe in . (You hear that, Santa? I haven’t lost faith. Now can you bring me the damn drum set you’ve owed me since ’86?)


    Anyways… how do you feel about this study and it’s deeper implications? As always, please leave your thoughts below.


    And if you’d like to read more about how beliefs are created and how easily they can be broken down, make sure to grab your copy of “Push The Button” which you can get absolutely free when you sign up for my e-mail list (on the right hand side of the page).


    P.S. Don’t forget to go ahead and request your FREE 30min “Rapid Transformation” coaching session by going here: SIGN ME UP!


    Make it happen,


    -Jay Cataldo

    8 Responses to “Beware The Puppet Master”

    1. Jesse Says:

      Awesome post jay.

      Every time a girlfriend has acted distant, I have grown to like her more… Even though I have personally known they were doing it, and I had been doing it back to them when I was in high school.

      It always fealed me out a bit that I could not control my desire to be with someone, even when I knew they were using trickery, I could een pull the trick on myself!

      Crazy beings we are

    2. Carl J. Hewitt Says:

      Great article, Jay!

      I agree that subliminally, most people are affected by those “outside factors”. Most of us are already “leaning” in a certain direction when media, politicians, friends and family just apply that not-so-gentle “nudge” over the top.

      Independent thinking requires work, and sad to say, most people are to beaten down by everyday life to commit to doing that work, so why not let the government and media think for us? When I mention to friends that smoking is very bad for their health, I’m usually met with “Well, you have to die sooner or later, right?” That in a nutshell sums up the common mindset of the average person.

      And it’s odd because the things many people are doing now, like getting tattoos and body piercings, belie a great yearning to be just like everyone else who gets the same, even though body piercings and tattoos are suppose to be an expression of individuality.

    3. Moana Says:

      an interesting and thought provoking article i think id turn myself inside out if i didnt just focus on liking who i am especially with all these outside influences affecting my decisions. Theres very little else i can say. The other comments i agree with wholeheartedly.

    4. Melissa Dobroshi Says:

      Love the part about Santa! Not sure if I can keep reading your stuff since you know I over think everything, now you got the wheels in motion lol.. but nonetheless it was a good article as always thx!

    5. Kalo Says:

      Very interesting and amusing subject. I read with great pleasure.

    6. Jay Cataldo Says:

      Jesse- I hear ya. The little attraction quirks you mention are what made me get curious about the pua stuff in the first place.

      Carl- So true about the common mindset. Very sad, as well. If I had to some up what I do in one sentence, it would probably be, “I annihilate common mindsets and unhelpful cultural conditioning.” 🙂

      Moana- Yes, trying to stay on top of this stuff can be very unsettling.

      Melissa- We need to find you an off switch for that brain of yours. 😉 Hope you had a good holiday with the bf.

    7. Lilian Says:

      I completely adore this site. gonna have to put this on the list.

    8. Dr. MG Lazarus Says:

      Repeated action becomes behavior! Nothing else I can comment about this. All the best!

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