Advertising Trains People to Behave Like Lab Rats
August 2005

Do you ever read about experiments in which lab rats are used to test a psychological premise? Researchers set up a food dispensing system in which the lab rat presses a lever to get a little piece of food. You can train a lab rat to do all sorts of different things just to have the right to press that lever. It doesn't take rats long to realize that the lever is associated with dispensing food, and food, of course, makes them feel good.

Now, imagine a 50-year-old overweight man standing in front of a soft drink vending machine. He's looking over the menu, trying to decide which item to request. He inserts a few quarters, presses a button, and gets a carbonated beverage. He pops it open, guzzles it down, and gets the brain-chemistry-altering effect that soft drinks (see related ebook on soft drinks) deliver to the human nervous system.

In this society, you can train a human being to do just about anything, as long as you attach it to an alteration in brain chemistry that's either pleasurable or avoids pain. You can train people to press buttons on vending machines or pull levers on blackjack machines. How do you train them? You do it through mass media advertising. The training with the lab rats is a little more personal, but the population at large in the United States or other developed countries is trained through television, cable, magazines and so on. You train them by flashing positive imagery, usually involving sex, and then quickly interweaving images about your own products.

If this is done back and forth quickly enough, it creates an almost subliminal effect. It's sex — and then, soda. Sex, soda, sex, soda. Soon afterwards, when people think about soda, they get the same feeling as if they were thinking about sex. When they're standing in front of that vending machine, they're not consciously thinking sex, but they're feeling sex and they're pressing the button to get the same brain chemistry effect they were taught to experience by the advertising.

That's how advertising really works, and that's what advertisers will almost never admit to you. Why do you think there's so much sex in advertising? Sex sells. Everybody knows that, but few people are willing to admit the process by which sex sells. It's a process of association. It's pure Pavlovian psychology — the same thing as teaching a dog to drool when he hears a bell or teaching a lab rat to press a lever in exchange for food. You can teach human beings to press buttons, spend money, buy a certain clothing label or wear a certain brand of cosmetics. All you have to do is make sure that it is associated with sex.

Of course, the reality is that these messages are pure distortion. The message says, "Here, drink this carbonated beverage and you'll be sexy and popular." But in reality, if you keep drinking those carbonated beverages, you'll be overweight and probably end up being diabetic. That's the reality, but that's not what advertisers want you to believe. They want you to think that you're going to be popular, thin and maybe even youthful.

This is especially the way it works in the cosmetics industry, which promises to make you young, sexy or beautiful. In fact, cosmetics, more often than not, just poison your skin with toxic ingredients that don't belong in the human body in the first place. I've written an entire book that goes into more detail about these tactics that advertisers use to seduce people into purchasing their products. This book, "Health Seduction," explores the seductive tactics used by food companies, beverage companies, cosmetic manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. In this book, you'll find a fascinating collection of information, covering over a dozen different health seduction strategies these companies use to mess with your mind and compel you to part with your money.

You'll find "Health Seduction" at Don't miss out. If you do, the advertisers will keep messing with your mind.



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