To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, July 30, 2021

Observercast

Who Shapes What You Think?

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BY SHARON MARTIN

Some of the things we believe are true. Other things we truly believe are not. What are your misconceptions? We all have them. The problem with misconceptions is that we believe what we believe.

A recent piece of research says that when people are confronted with logic that refutes what they believe to be true, most people not only reject the proof that they are wrong but believe even more strongly in their mistaken belief. In other words, once a person is convinced of something, logical or not, it is almost impossible to change their minds.

That’s why our current advertising and campaign systems are so bad for us. Advertisers and politicians, often with the same management teams, prey on people’s fears. They lie, or at least skirt at the edges of truth, to shape your thinking. And once your belief is formed, no amount of logic can change what they have set in motion.

Ads and campaign issues are chosen with the help of focus groups. People are paid to listen to spiels, to discuss ideas, and to watch ads. Words and ideas that get the desired results are noted and used. It’s how marriage laws that affect less than 10% of the population became an issue that drove entire campaigns. Focus groups and lies turned “entitlement” into a dirty word that casts a shadow on insurance programs into which workers pay. And once these tricks sell you a bill of goods, watch out. Advertisers are out to get your money. Politicians who push your buttons are after much more – your freedom and your way of life.

How much television do you watch? How much time do you spend surfing the Internet? Do you read authors and listen to pundits who reinforce your beliefs … and your misconceptions?

If you don’t get your information from a variety of sources and if you don’t have an open mind, you will buy things you don’t need and the wrong issues will decide elections. Believe the ads and your kitchen will be filled with useless gadgets. Absorb the catch phrases and listen to the 30-second campaign ads created because a focus group reacted to specific words or ideas and the consequences are much worse.

Educate yourself. Don’t let the advertising and campaign machine do it for you. You can fool some of the people all the time, but if you read and think and decide for yourself what is right and wrong, you don’t have to be one of the fools.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

 

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.