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Thread: Reverse psychology

  1. #1
    Reverse psychology


    The term Reverse Psychology describes the outcome where advocacy of one course of action persuades someone to do the opposite.


    Adorno and Horkheimer
    Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer characterised the effect of the culture industry as "psychoanalysis in reverse". Their analysis began with the dialectic that operated in Germany when heirs of the Romantic movement became seekers of "Strength through Joy" only to have their movement co-opted by a combination of the mass media and National Socialism. A modern example begins with the "fitness and jogging" boom in the U.S. in the 1970s. The "running craze" at the Boston Marathon and in California, dialectically, was the thesis that one did not have to be "rocky" in a sweaty gym to be physically fit and that body acceptance was the key to effective aerobic training. The culture industry responded to the thesis with major advertising campaigns from Calvin Klein and others that used images exploiting excessively toned models. People compared themselves to these models which created a sense of competition, and many high school students now avoid jogging because of body shame. The culture industry mass produces standardised material. This would not be dangerous if the material was value-free, but it frequently offers and reinforces ideals and norms that represent implied criticism of those who fail to match up. Empirical studies show that mass culture products can lower self-confidence and self-esteem, and cause humiliation among men and women whose particular characteristics are outside the normalised range for appearance, behaviour, religion, ethnicity, etc. Similarly, advertising frequently seeks to create a need to buy by showing a difference between actual situation and ideal situation. The intention is to induce dissatisfaction with the present situation and to induce expectations of satisfaction through the acquisition of products that will effect the transformation into the idealised reality. Hence, if the peer group buys, all those who cannot afford the products will feel additional unhappiness and frustration until they join the group. Thus, sometimes the process of advocacy for the one intends to produce the opposite outcome as the motivation for purchase. But, more often than not, the cause and effect is unintended. Marxist logic applied to the culture industry indicates that it is, per se, a dialectic in which declining profit margins and increasing costs make investors anxious for "sure things". Repeating winning formulas and stereotyping create the lowest common denominator products with the lowest costs. But the less the creative input, the more likely it becomes that roles will be cast in ways that match rather than challenge common prejudices which can inadvertently damage the esteem of those in the marginalised groups.


    Literary examples
    In Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer, Tom is assigned as punishment the difficult job of whitewashing a fence. By pretending that the task is actually a cherished privilege, Tom convinces a succession of other boys not only to do the work for him"”but to pay Tom for allowing them to do it.

    In one of Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus stories, Brer Rabbit escapes from Brer Fox by repeatedly pleading "Please, Brer Fox, don't fling me in that briar patch." The fox does so, allowing the rabbit to escape.

    In the television show Ed, Edd, and Eddy, in an attempt to demonstrate reverse psychology, Edd commands Ed not to eat a pile of dirt, so, naturally, that's the first thing he does.

    Reverse psychology occurs several times on The Simpsons, but its appearances are neither common nor uniform enough for it to qualify as a running gag. A good example is in season 3, in an episode entitled "Saturdays of Thunder", when Homer has a "conversation" with his brain:

    Homer's Brain: Don't you get it? You've gotta use reverse psychology. Homer: That sounds too complicated. Homer's Brain: OK, don't use reverse psychology. Homer: All right, I will!



    A classic example is a huge button with a sign next to it saying DO NOT PUSH

    Another classic example is Jump at your own risk

    ©
    ______________________________________________

    References:
    Adorno, Theodor W. Negative Dialectics Continuum International Publishing Group; Reprint (1983) ISBN: 0826401325
    Horkheimer, Max, Adorno, Theodor W. & Cumming, John (Translator) Dialectic of Enlightenment

    From online source.

  2. #2
    Reverse psychology


    The term Reverse Psychology describes the outcome where advocacy of one course of action persuades someone to do the opposite.


    Adorno and Horkheimer
    Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer characterised the effect of the culture industry as "psychoanalysis in reverse". Their analysis began with the dialectic that operated in Germany when heirs of the Romantic movement became seekers of "Strength through Joy" only to have their movement co-opted by a combination of the mass media and National Socialism. A modern example begins with the "fitness and jogging" boom in the U.S. in the 1970s. The "running craze" at the Boston Marathon and in California, dialectically, was the thesis that one did not have to be "rocky" in a sweaty gym to be physically fit and that body acceptance was the key to effective aerobic training. The culture industry responded to the thesis with major advertising campaigns from Calvin Klein and others that used images exploiting excessively toned models. People compared themselves to these models which created a sense of competition, and many high school students now avoid jogging because of body shame. The culture industry mass produces standardised material. This would not be dangerous if the material was value-free, but it frequently offers and reinforces ideals and norms that represent implied criticism of those who fail to match up. Empirical studies show that mass culture products can lower self-confidence and self-esteem, and cause humiliation among men and women whose particular characteristics are outside the normalised range for appearance, behaviour, religion, ethnicity, etc. Similarly, advertising frequently seeks to create a need to buy by showing a difference between actual situation and ideal situation. The intention is to induce dissatisfaction with the present situation and to induce expectations of satisfaction through the acquisition of products that will effect the transformation into the idealised reality. Hence, if the peer group buys, all those who cannot afford the products will feel additional unhappiness and frustration until they join the group. Thus, sometimes the process of advocacy for the one intends to produce the opposite outcome as the motivation for purchase. But, more often than not, the cause and effect is unintended. Marxist logic applied to the culture industry indicates that it is, per se, a dialectic in which declining profit margins and increasing costs make investors anxious for "sure things". Repeating winning formulas and stereotyping create the lowest common denominator products with the lowest costs. But the less the creative input, the more likely it becomes that roles will be cast in ways that match rather than challenge common prejudices which can inadvertently damage the esteem of those in the marginalised groups.


    Literary examples
    In Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer, Tom is assigned as punishment the difficult job of whitewashing a fence. By pretending that the task is actually a cherished privilege, Tom convinces a succession of other boys not only to do the work for him"”but to pay Tom for allowing them to do it.

    In one of Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus stories, Brer Rabbit escapes from Brer Fox by repeatedly pleading "Please, Brer Fox, don't fling me in that briar patch." The fox does so, allowing the rabbit to escape.

    In the television show Ed, Edd, and Eddy, in an attempt to demonstrate reverse psychology, Edd commands Ed not to eat a pile of dirt, so, naturally, that's the first thing he does.

    Reverse psychology occurs several times on The Simpsons, but its appearances are neither common nor uniform enough for it to qualify as a running gag. A good example is in season 3, in an episode entitled "Saturdays of Thunder", when Homer has a "conversation" with his brain:

    Homer's Brain: Don't you get it? You've gotta use reverse psychology. Homer: That sounds too complicated. Homer's Brain: OK, don't use reverse psychology. Homer: All right, I will!



    A classic example is a huge button with a sign next to it saying DO NOT PUSH

    Another classic example is Jump at your own risk

    ©
    ______________________________________________

    References:
    Adorno, Theodor W. Negative Dialectics Continuum International Publishing Group; Reprint (1983) ISBN: 0826401325
    Horkheimer, Max, Adorno, Theodor W. & Cumming, John (Translator) Dialectic of Enlightenment

    From online source.

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