It Feels Funny When I Do This

Macbeth WitchesThis is the Weird Sisters section of the Primer.  You remember the Weird Sisters from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

ACT I, scene i. A desert place.

Thunder and lightning.  Enter three Witches.

First Witch:  When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Second Witch:  When the hurlyburly’s done, when the battle’s lost and won.

Third Witch:  That will be ere the set of sun . . .

ALL:  Fair is foul, and foul is fair:  Hover through the fog and filthy air.

Dissonance, reactance, subliminals, social judgment, and inoculation are just plain weird in my book.  They predict the opposite of common sense and provide a strong case for the science of persuasion (no one would ever figure these things out unless you did experimental testing of them and no one with only common sense does experiments).  Fair is foul and foul is fair, so be warned.

Beyond the essential weirdness, each concept creates change primarily through motivational or affective processes in human nature.  That’s not to say that cognition and consciousness is absent.  When dissonance hits, you are definitely thinking, but all of the jazz, the vitality, the motive force comes from the way you feel rather than the way you cogitate.  You’ll see similarities between the Dissonance and Reactance chapters, but realize that Reactance is primarily a special case of Dissonance.  Inoculation is the essence of the Marine Corps training approach, but you won’t have to do any pushups for this chapter.  Subliminals are just plain fun and controversial and provocative.  Social Judgment is especially interesting for parents or anyone who has a “child.”  You’re going to like them all.