Dangerous words and social responsibility…

According to psychology, if one is exposed to an idea, then one’s chances of thinking it are increased (ref: no original idea). If one starts to express that idea (for whatever reason), the chances again go up a notch – for example if you tell yourself in response to seeing someone “what a prick”, eventually you will start to genuinely feel that way towards a person. (self-fullfilling profecy?)

Then is the entertainment industry taking an integral part in forming our society? When we listen to a song, unless it is something extreme, we try to make out the lyrics and often even start singing along thereby forcing upon ourselves certain beliefs. For example, I was listening to John Mayer while driving, at it went like:

So fathers be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters, too.

Which, combined with the music, brought a warm-and-fuzzy that, should I have had a daughter next to me at the time, would have driven me to evaluate myself in that framework and adjust my behavior (even if slightly). And then there are other songs… with em guns and shit.

But seriously:

1. Is it possible to find correlations between “happiness (and moral/proper behavior)” and nature of information to which one is exposed by looking at different societies? Probably been done before…

2. This could be a tool for some serious social engineering if properly harnessed that could potentially alleviate quite a bit of angst.

This blog, for example, is already trying to influence your mind. Just repeat after me: I want to send all of my money to Nikita…. I want to send all of my money to Nikita…


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2 responses to “Dangerous words and social responsibility…

  1. Anonymous

    Dangerous words and social responsibility…

    thanks for the kind words, my bank wanted me to thank you.

    you actually make out the lyrics, interesting. i dont actually ever register the lyrics. i listen to them and sometimes ever repeat them, but never consider the meaning. it’s like when you read a book sometimes, you read a paragraph but dont know what you just read so you have to read the paragraph again. that’s my permanent mode when i listen to music. i cant tell you what a single song is about aside from “love”, “hate”, “driving fast”, “smacking hos”, but that’s as deep as i think about it. cool ha, it helps me ignore all the drivel in the world.

    entertainment industry has tons of shrinks on staff who figure out what people like.

    if you could define happiness and proper behavior we can run a correlation. definitions are probably not possible. in econ, the concept of utility is pretty much what makes you happy. they tried to attach units to utility, like utils. it never worked. you can look at past research and see what they did. all we have now on utility is that it diminishes as you get more and more of the same thing.


    • Re: Dangerous words and social responsibility…

      How about presuming that happiness is inversely related to such variables as domestic violence, homicide, etc.?

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