Why Jaden obeyed & Why we buy

The other day Jaden had the misfortune of dropping my Italian ‘designer’ watch to the floor. The drop cracked the glass and dislodged the instruments inside. Truth is, it wasn’t his fault. I shouldn’t have left the watch on our bookcase ledge. The mishap with the designer watch left Jaden in tears. When I told him that he needed to take some time off in his room he meekly agreed, eyes brimming. It was a Sunday afternoon. It was his usual playtime with friends. In normal circumstances he should have protested being sent to his room. He didn’t.

The state of guilt Jaden found himself in caused him to step away from his routine responses to parental diktats. Getting him to take an afternoon nap in normal times is next to impossible. On this Sunday afternoon he was more than willing. Ascribe that to his altered state of mind; that of grief.

To exact desired behavior, it’s important we alter a person’s state of mind. Push his/her state of being into emotional territories, and you’ll have them willingly respond to your calls. It’s because such emotional states suspend rational thinking. Cognition is replaced by ‘affective’ attitudes and behavior. Marketers and even ‘spiritual gurus’ (I am talking India) use this trick all too often. They expose us to stimuli (advertising and syrupy sermons respectively) dripping with emotional content. They alter our state of mind. They fashion favorable attitudes within us towards their brands and their selves.

They get us to listen. Agree. Then buy. 


Tiger said…
Hope you treated him to a bucket load of ice cream later. Agree with you on the emotion part. Very well used in confessions too.
Ray Titus said…
Actually we reminded him of our 'norm' at home...that if something's not intentional, forgiveness isn't required! His going into the room was only so he could take some time off and feel better. As for ice cream, we're trying to get Jaden and his sister off those bucket loads they seem to have all too often! ;)
WriteSahith said…
Sir, I'm glad that your son dropped the watch. We got to learn something new from it :)
Ray Titus said…
Quite some learning for me too, Sahith! :)
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