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What is “priming” and why do the government, media, and educational system use it on Americans?
It’s a psychological tool they use to take away our free will.
“Priming, when it comes to social psychology and cognitive psychology, it’s the process by which exposure to one stimulus influences a response to a subsequent stimulus without any conscious guidance or intention,” Glenn explains.
This technique was first harnessed by advertisers, social media platforms and governments.
“The human brain is constantly bombarded with sensory data, and so it uses shortcuts to expediate decision making, and priming exploits these shortcuts,” Glenn says. “When an individual is exposed to a specific stimulus, the prime, it activates related nodes in your memory, and once that has an activated concept or idea, that influences your response.”
This is extremely prevalent on social media, where users are fed advertisements and content that “they” think you need to see.
“They can prime users to spend more time online, engage with certain types of content, or even influence political and social attitudes. And that’s what’s happening now,” Glenn says, relating it to the black square that many users posted after George Floyd died.
“You were primed. That became BLM,” Glenn says.
After 9/11, the government was well aware that people liked being called “patriots.” Not so much anymore, but the attitude of the United States at the time was largely patriotic.
Thus, they created the Patriot Act, which on the surface looked to simply be a measure to prevent further terrorist attacks.
“They can get you to support policies and civil activities. They can get you to view situations in a particular light. Then, they also can shape what the national identity is,” Glenn says.
Now, priming is being used to “create a sense of crisis or threat,” like climate change.
“What is that doing? It is activating that group of people and priming them so they are ready to fight for global warming solutions,” Glenn continues.
But Americans aren’t just being primed to feel fear and support taking grand actions to stop climate change.
“We are being primed to accept a new America — to forget the old America,” Glenn says, adding, “I think the next big thing that we’re being for — I think we’re being primed for violence.”
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