Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Guest post: Turkeys

In his article, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” Robert Cialdini claims two major premises, first that the brain is a wondrously complex and powerful device but still woefully unprepared to assimilate and process all the available information in a timely manner. His second premise is that the way modern society works is the cause of this problem.

Cialdini starts his article with a perplexing question from a friend of his. The friend wondered why some jewelry she was trying to sell would not sell at a reasonable price but when the price was accidentally doubled, it flew off the shelves.

In order to explain this phenomenon he brings up research regarding the behavior of mother turkeys. He states that turkeys will only nourish their young if the child makes the typical baby turkey noise of “cheep cheep.” This correlation is so strong that if the child does not make this sound then the mother will completely ignore it or even kill it.

Given this information, scientists wondered if the turkey would try to mother another animal making that noise. They decided to stick a recording of the young turkeys in a stuffed bobcat and surprisingly enough, the turkey took it under her wing as if it were her own young. Then they shut off the recording and the turkey seemed to realize it was a bobcat and began to flap and peck at it furiously.

Why does the turkey have such a strong reaction to what is in actuality poor information? Cialdini states that the brain of a turkey is incapable of sifting through the entirety of the stimuli that it comes in contact with every day and so, has conditioned itself with a few routine behaviors to carry out given a specific trigger. The cheep cheep of the young turkeys triggers the mothering routine in the older turkeys and mostly works out well. The end result of these programs is that the healthy young who make the noise are nourished while the weak or sick ones are not. Cialdini claims that the human brain works much the same way and that humans respond to the same kinds of triggers that the turkeys do.

In the case of Cialdini’s friend, the customers knew little to nothing about the jewelry being sold but did have past experience purchasing other items which had taught them that higher price means better quality. Thus they operated on incomplete information like the turkeys and came out losing.

22 comments:

  1. "They decided to stick a recording of the young turkeys in a stuffed bobcat and surprisingly enough, the turkey took it under her wing as if it were her own young"

    PR and advertising works wonders

    ReplyDelete
  2. mangina redefined,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVKs_WJJ218&NR=1

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  3. needy girl
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5JoePzqwg4

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a stupid analogy. Turkey story is independently powerful, so is pricing of jewelry, put together it's incoherent grouping.

    Turkey mothers are the ones who feel no need to nurture the babies who were not crying, who were really strong. Empaths may also have gotten a bad hand from turkey mothers because thinking mother needs rest and caring too empaths would actually not cry out, not realizing turkey others need their egos feed and hence choose the child who begs the most. May you be protected from turkey mothers. All power to socios who learned how to manipulate these tukey mothers, aunts, you name it.

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  5. Needy Girl

    Guessing you are from Denmark

    ReplyDelete
  6. And this is why classical economics is a load of bunk.

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  7. Ya Denmark intellectual property laws lol

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  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFUuaw8Pf1M&feature=related

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  9. Shit. You people really know how to kill it. I wonder If SW traffic is still beating love fraud traffic now.

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  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCeIAqeWq3Q&NR=1

    ReplyDelete
  11. fight the narcissist, wake upMarch 2, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/user/samvaknin#p/u/20/7gasWPezG6M

    ReplyDelete
  12. raised by a narcissistMarch 2, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/user/samvaknin#p/u/21/MCwCJ6ypY0A

    ReplyDelete
  13. Two books explain this behavior in more depth:

    "Blink" by Malcom Gladwell
    "Freakonomics" by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner

    Who knew that blood donations would increase if you stop paying donors?

    Both are interesting books on human behavior and human motivation.

    ReplyDelete
  14. SW has gone cold turkey. wtf pissed off the regs?

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  15. propbably cuz todays post sux

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  16. Nah dey jus wanna talk bout sycology an shit or bout themsef. I'm cool with dat, but nobody, nobody disses turkeys! Savvy?

    nufsed

    ReplyDelete
  17. and the poor always gives more than the rich. I tell you these turkeys are smart compared to us.

    ReplyDelete

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