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“What you are aware of you are in control of; what you are not aware of is in control of you.”

I found this experiment fascinating …The attached video clearly demonstrates how the power of even passive social pressure can affect behavior. This easily observable fact should be all the proof you need to justify paying close attention and even controlling who you or your loved ones hang out with. Just image what effect open peer pressure can have on a young impressionable mind. This example is blatant but most social pressures are much less obvious and have an equal potential for negative cognitive influence. I guess this proves the old saying is still true, “if you lie down with dogs you just might get up with fleas”.
Following this logic a little further down the rabbit hole can also lead us in the opposite direction. Applying the “if that, then this” logic of the great thinkers it is not too far of a stretch to consider that hanging out with the right kind of people can have the equal potential for a positive cognitive effect. Said another way you can use this to gain an advantage in your quest for who you want to be. For instance if you want to be successful hang out with successful people, if you want to be healthy hang out with healthy people, and if you want to be happy hang out with happy people. Just like misery loves company this suggests that the opposite is also true and success, health, and happiness will also love company. But even it is not true wouldn’t you rather hang out with someone who is more like who you want to be? Another point to consider is the way it may affect the thoughts you have based on your interactions with your social peers. Your thoughts are part of who you are and peers can exert a tremendous amount of social influence on those thoughts. Social scientists call this phenomenon group think and it references a condition where people who are spending time together start to think alike. If it can happen to a group of relative strangers than just imagine what can happen to a group of friends with common interests? You be the judge…





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January 27, 2013 · 5:32 pm