by Winsip Custer WCP News Services
|Lemming (Lemmus lemmus)|
"Social Cognitive Therapy looks to the power of social connections to engender changed behavior. It likewise is looked to by Madison Avenue advertising firms to influence everything from our buying habits to our selection of political candidates. Building on the work of N.E. Miller and J. Dollard in Social Cognitive Therapy, who showed us that humans learn by modeling behavior, Madison Avenue learned the significance of having high profile celebrities endorse products for maximum impact. But there is a negative impact as well," said Rushing.
"Miller and Dollard's 1941 work was then expanded by Albert Bandura who constructed an experiment entitled 'Bobo Doll Behavior: A Study of Aggression' and modeled violent behavior to children who repeated it on their doll named Bobo," said Rushing.
When asked if using children to model violent behavior was a form of child abuse, Rushing said, "Why yes, you could make that argument, but let's not follow that line of thinking here. There's more important things at stake."
"Humans have a highly developed filter that is able to weed out ingenuine modeling. For example, if Angelina Jolie models adoption of orphans on the one hand and drives a Ferrari on the other, the tendency is always toward the less alturistic value . That is what caused the housing bubble in the United States," said Rushing who admitted that both the champions of Wallstreet and Madison Avenue were responsible for pushing people in their direction of houses they could not afford, but that as consumers made their way in the direction of their initial impulse the LLP effect kicked in pushing them over the cliff of financial ruin.
"The same reaction will happen without some significant changes in human nature when it comes to Global Warming," said Rushing.
"My research was solidified right here is Las Vegas," said Rushing.
"My wife announced that she was going to use her American Express card only because it brought with it 'reward points' that could be applied to travel and that we would save money. So we travel to some place where the prices are four times what they are when we stay at home...take Las Vegas, for example. So we fly there and spend a couple of hundered dollars a day that we cannot afford. While there she visits an old friend who has moved there and who has lost ten pounds and who's had liposuction and a face lift and who recommends that we go to, lets say, the Wynn Hotel for dinner so we can sit down by the waterfall and watch the light show. So we rationalize that we'll take the more alturistic route and walk from our hotel, Caesar's Palace, up the Strip to the Wynn to save money. We even give some of the saved cab fare to a hobo on the street and we feel good about it," said Rushing as he jestured the presentation of his gift to the man on the street.
"But on the way we buy two dresses and have two drinks that cost us twelve bucks each...with a tip. That's about thirty dollars which could have bought a big bottle of Johnny Walker Red. Now we're feeling much less alturistic. We get blisters on our feet, but that's okay because we'll buy Dr. Schols inserts at the conveniently located Walgreens pharmacy. Then we'll arrive at the Wynn Hotel to find out that there's no seating outside by the waterfall. So leaning on the LLP effect caused by the social influence of the slimmer friend, we rationalize that we will eat by the back inside wall where we can't see anything, but that the two hour wait will be worth it in spite of the $60 a plate dinner. But after an hour we decided we can get a better deal down at the Golden Nugget and that there's a free light show down there. So we take a cab downtown and eat the Kickerillo plate at the Nugget spending eighty dollars and a forty dollar round trip cab fare and now we're back up to what we would have paid at the Wynn for crappy seats and an overpriced meal."
I acknowledged my understanding of his example.
"Walking to the light show my wife pulls something in her back, but it's okay since on the way there a street vendor is selling a machine that looks like a car buffer converted into a back massager. He gives her a massage. She buys one. At two hundred bucks it weighs fifteen pounds which we put in one of our bags for the flight home and the bag is now over the weight limit and so Southwest charges us an additional fifty dollars to haul it home. We arrive at our home airport to discover that the baggage handlers, angry that the bag weighs over fifty pounds, have torn off one of its wheels and ripped the side. We go to Southwest and they tell us not to overpack it next time, but there won't be a next time for that bag. It's going to the landfill. This put an additional $150 dollars into the economy with the addition of the new suitcase so that we can still take advantage of our American Express points on our next trip to a place we cannot afford. That puts additional money into the economy, but it is going to a Chinese baggage maker, probably just down the street from the car buffer company in Peking, where the carbon emmissions are spiraling out of control," said Rushing.
"And there you have it. Leaning on the Lemming Lust Phenomena or LLP we have just jumped off the cliff. Repeat this behavior thousands, millions of times per day around the world and you see that there is little hope that anyone will have a significant impact on Global Warming."
I asked Dr. Rushing if life in Third World and underdeveloped nations is, therefore, more in tune with the future salvation of the planet.
"No, not a all," he said. "In Togo, Africa I conducted an experiment of LLP using indigenous tribes. The LLP effect was always from the more alturistic toward the less alturistic. Naked women who saw another women with a set of ivory beads, always wanted a set of their own and were willing to forego grandma's bowl of gruel in order to acquire it," said Rushing.
"So what hope is there of reversing the LLP effect?" I asked Dr. Rushing.
"I don't know," said Rushing. 'We are like Lemmings. But I had great fun in telling my friends to ask my wife to see her new big black vibrator that she bought from a street vendor in Vegas," he said.