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A pleasant shopping experience or corporate manipulation??

Have you ever realised how the advertising of products is a manipulation of your senses and triggers a direct emotional and physical response from you to feel, purchase, eat or buy?

Have you ever heard a parent say their child or husband has zoned out and is so absorbed in X-box PS4 they are almost oblivious to their surroundings?

Have you ever wondered why suddenly you are hungry once walking into a grocery store or mall?

Quite by accident I found the answer to this phenomenon while trying to actively get attention from Master18. After asking a question twice with zero response, I looked at what was so intriguing and realised the music playing in the background of his game was theta music.

psy•cho•acous•tic / adjective

"A branch of science dealing with the perception of hearing and sensations produced by sound, in which sound affects you emotionally, physically and mentally”.

You could think of it as a form of music psychology. Our brain’s ability to become flexible and/or transition through various brain wave frequencies plays a large role in how successful we are at managing stress, focusing on tasks, and getting a good night’s sleep.

If one of the five types of brain waves is either overproduced and/or under produced in our brain, it can cause problems. For this reason, it is important to understand that there is no single brain wave that is “better” or more “optimal” than the others. It triggers a response to calm and relax and to lock you in to the game at the expense to all other senses.

Take hold music. The typical music played is to keep you entertained, relaxed and calm while you wait for your call to be answered.

Gambling establishments play different types to make you relax and zone out and keep robotically dropping the money into the machine. Add a choo choo or faster music to raise the heart rate and excitement level to make you think something is going to happen, so you automatically quick play at a faster rate!!

Smells. To sell a house put some cookies or bread in the oven and make a pot of coffee. Buyers feel at home, triggering the thought “isn't this a happy family home to buy”.

Companies have put a lot of money into researching how to wring every last dollar out of a customer. Whether that is the outside display to entice you in, the music once you step in, or the dazzling lights to overwhelm the senses. Recently they also employed the sense of smell in automatic dispensers that trigger hunger, the craving for a coffee, and the “memory” smells that recall childhood or a happy time. It is big business now to provide the perfect look feel smell so the person stays, and most importantly spends as much as possible. Just now you are thinking “so that's why I'm hungry shopping”.

Is it unethical or morally reprehensible that companies are manipulating people into spending more than they wanted, based on an automatic response specifically orchestrated by the establishment?

Are online gaming and gambling establishments responsible for the high rate of addiction? What about stores malls etc? Where is the line drawn for personal responsibility and corporate manipulation of senses? Has a line been crossed? Should there be signage or a warning label on gaming products to alert people?


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