Cognitive-bias modification

  • #1
Loren Booda
3,119
4
Shrink yourself - http://www.economist.com/node/18276234" [Broken]
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Zryn
Gold Member
310
0
Brainwash me happy? I'll take two!
 
  • #3
Proton Soup
214
1
the best part is, your re-education will be duly noted in the citizen health database.
 
  • #4
Loren Booda
3,119
4
"CBM is based on the idea that many psychological problems are caused by automatic, unconscious biases in thinking. People suffering from anxiety, for instance, may have what is known as an attentional bias towards threats: they are drawn irresistibly to things they perceive to be dangerous. Similar biases may affect memory and the interpretation of events. For example, if an acquaintance walks past without saying hello, it might mean either that he has ignored you or that he has not seen you. The anxious, according to the theory behind CBM, have a bias towards assuming the former and reacting accordingly.

The goal of CBM is to alter such biases, and doing so has proved surprisingly easy. A common way of debiasing attention is to show someone two words or pictures—one neutral and the other threatening—on a computer screen. In the case of social anxiety these might be a neutral face and a disgusted face. Presented with this choice, an anxious person instinctively focuses on the disgusted visage. The program, however, prods him to complete tasks involving the neutral picture, such as identifying letters that appear in its place on the screen. Repeating the procedure around a thousand times, over a total of two hours, changes the user’s tendency to focus on the anxious face. That change is then carried into the wider world."
 
  • #5
Proton Soup
214
1
yeah, it certainly sounds great. altering biases. that would be taking one bias, and replacing it with another bias. this is awesome if i think my bias is flawed, and i want to change it. thing is, it sounds like the bias is easily reprogrammed just by playing a game. so maybe i design some "free" game, and within the game i make it so that people get the highest scores when they reprogram their biases towards my product or agenda. i suppose this is already being done.
 
  • #6
Loren Booda
3,119
4
Do you think some participation is used on the Internet as a pretense for CBM?
 
  • #7
nismaratwork
353
0
I'm familiar with psychologists and psychiatrists used Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, but as with almost anything in that area, going it alone is rarely a good move. If you're dealing with bias, you want objectivity, not simply a cognitive therapy to replace it with a more preferable bias.

Ideally, you should challenge your own biases, be aware of them, instead of trying to "shrink yourself". The ever-present danger is also that people with real mental illness will turn to this and not the help they really need. Given that willing participation is an indicator of a desire to change, going to actively change your bias comes pre-loaded anyway.
 
  • #8
Proton Soup
214
1
Do you think some participation is used on the Internet as a pretense for CBM?

not sure. what i am sure about is that participation is used as a pretense for making money, collecting marketing info on people to target product ads. then there is product placement. this is a rather old technique in film/television, with the pretty woman in your favorite show drinking the fizzy drink you should drink, driving the car you should drive, and wearing the jeans you should wear. it's commonly known as subliminal advertising, but it's certainly redirecting your bias if those were previously items you wouldn't have associated with pretty women. now, the next most-obvious place to do this would be where young people park their eyeballs most often, and one obvious place is games. I'm not a gamer myself, so i couldn't say how much it happens. but the potential is there, and wouldn't be limited to merchandising, obviously.

the other thing, the president seems interested enough in companies that control social media, that he goes directly to them in the wake of the egyptian protests.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-17/jobs-zuckerberg-schmidt-to-talk-with-obama-in-california.html [Broken]
there are plenty of reasons to want the arab world connected through the internet. not only does it allow the new mechanism of detailed intelligence gathering on masses of individuals, but also the old mechanism of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_America" [Broken], though perhaps in much more subtle ways.
 
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  • #9
nismaratwork
353
0
not sure. what i am sure about is that participation is used as a pretense for making money, collecting marketing info on people to target product ads. then there is product placement. this is a rather old technique in film/television, with the pretty woman in your favorite show drinking the fizzy drink you should drink, driving the car you should drive, and wearing the jeans you should wear. it's commonly known as subliminal advertising, but it's certainly redirecting your bias if those were previously items you wouldn't have associated with pretty women. now, the next most-obvious place to do this would be where young people park their eyeballs most often, and one obvious place is games. I'm not a gamer myself, so i couldn't say how much it happens. but the potential is there, and wouldn't be limited to merchandising, obviously.

the other thing, the president seems interested enough in companies that control social media, that he goes directly to them in the wake of the egyptian protests.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-17/jobs-zuckerberg-schmidt-to-talk-with-obama-in-california.html [Broken]
there are plenty of reasons to want the arab world connected through the internet. not only does it allow the new mechanism of detailed intelligence gathering on masses of individuals, but also the old mechanism of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_America" [Broken], though perhaps in much more subtle ways.

I'm a gamer, and I've been gaming since it wasn't gaming, just "NEEEERRRRDDDD!". In fact, what you describe is already done in some games; from billboards that have advertising which tracks how long the player "looks" at it, and changes, to particular phones or even advertising the parent company.

This isn't universal... in one genre I don't play at all, the sports-game genre, it's not a little thing... it's HUGE. In that context, you have established advertisers, you can often customize appearance based on name brands etc. At other times, it's on the line of breaking the sense of suspended disbelief... seeing a pepsi billboard in the far future is not a good move. Then, some games just don't mesh with advertising in-game at all... you're not going to play Dragon Age: Origins, and accept a peddler walking by saying, "REAL Graywardens eat Wheaties!"... you'd lose game-sales and it would become a scandal.

One other barrier is that many games are not the kind of thing major brands want to associate with... too violent... ehhhhh maybe an issue. Sex? *KLAXON* no way buddy...

Then again, good luck playing a snowboarding game without mountain dew being hocked at you every time the game pauses for breath, and likewise, you'll see everything from USArmy to Firestone ads in a racing game.

As much as younger gamers like to think they'll stand up to anything, if they're favorite game comes with hooks they dislike, but can bear... they'll buy it. Still, this was meant to be more universal by now, and it's still very "niche" for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is backlash. In one case, a game (Battlefiedl... future... something) was lambasted in almost all reviews for billboards of modern products in a post-apocalyptic future.

ON the other hand, you have a game like Fallout 3 which was HUUUGE, yet they advertised nothing. Well, you did have a soundtrack, a pretty classic one too, and now you have generations of kids humming, "I don't wan't to set the wooooorld ooooon fiiiiiiireee..." A lot of time companies find they want to use what ad-space exists in games for their own benefit.
 
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  • #10
Proton Soup
214
1
One other barrier is that many games are not the kind of thing major brands want to associate with... too violent... ehhhhh maybe an issue. Sex? *KLAXON* no way buddy...

actually, with the violent games, the thing i was thinking about today is that this is the perfect place to make bias modifications. say you've got one of those first-person shooters. the obvious tactic is to make ones where you're fighting terrorists (or US army if you're al qaeda (think I've seen this one before)). less obvious might be associating the "bad guys" with some features in the society of interest that you would like to see changed.
 
  • #11
nismaratwork
353
0
actually, with the violent games, the thing i was thinking about today is that this is the perfect place to make bias modifications. say you've got one of those first-person shooters. the obvious tactic is to make ones where you're fighting terrorists (or US army if you're al qaeda (think I've seen this one before)). less obvious might be associating the "bad guys" with some features in the society of interest that you would like to see changed.

Heh... well, in a very negative way perhaps that's already done... the US Army actually has a game that's immensely popular, and...

... Hmmmm.

Well this is a profoundly negative example, but there are some racist games (I mean, by racists, for racists) where you kill non-white people, Jews, Black people, Muslims, etc. You have a modern example of a game where you try to get a group of immigrants in a truck over a border... babies flying into the air, which you need to catch... there are others which are much the reverse.

The reality is that a game needs to be GOOD, above all, to garner a following, and few "message" games make it even to market.

Still, a common theme in games often is defining the "bad guys" by one or two differences... after all, take an FPS... you're blowing a LOT of people away, right? Well, if they're insane, or kidnappers, rapists, pillaging, etc... you've done just that. In fantasy tropes you find betrayal as a major motivation, or the loss of a friend, but in some games it's a political divide.

Then you have something like Killzone-Killzone3 which boil down to, "the bad guys", who are noticeably bad because they LOOK evil, and are invading, which is useless in the terms you're talking about.

Still, there are games in which you re-color the world, or take care of a pet, or a number of other symbolic acts... still, not at a level that would change bias.
 
  • #12
Pythagorean
Gold Member
4,370
298
my current behavior modification program is causing me to bias against violently disgusting biological mutations:
http://www.google.com/images?q=dead+space+enemy

do not enter an Alaskan's home without a polite warning call if you like that.
 
  • #13
nismaratwork
353
0
  • #14
Loren Booda
3,119
4
Beauty is gouged in the eye of the beholder.
 

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