Satyāgraha (Sanskrit: सत्याग्रह) is a composite lexeme composed of the word satya (meaning “truth”) and agraha (“holding firmly to”). It also refers to a virtue in Indian philosophy, referring to being truthful and pure in thought, word and action. In Yoga philosophy, satya is one of five yamas (Sanskrit: यम).
“You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance.
Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.”
Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time is a work of history written by Carroll Quigley. The book covers the period of roughly 1880 to 1963 and is multidisciplinary in nature though perhaps focusing on the economic problems brought about by the First World War and the impact these had on subsequent events. While global in scope, the book focusses on Western civilization, because Quigley has more familiarity with the West.
The book has attracted the attention of those interested in geopolitics due to Quigley’s assertion that a secret society initially led by Cecil Rhodes, Alfred Milner and others had considerable influence over British and American foreign policy in the first half of the twentieth century. From 1909 to 1913, Milner organized the outer ring of this society as the semi-secret Round Table groups.
Excerpt from Prof. Erich Fromm, Psychoanalysis and Religion (1950).
“The attitude common to the teachings of the founders of all great Eastern and Western religions is one in which the supreme aim of living is a concern with man’s soul and the unfolding of his powers of love and reason. Psychoanalysis, far from being a threat to this aim, can on the contrary contribute a great deal to its realization.” […]
“The marketing orientation has established its dominant role as a character pattern only in the modern era. In the personality market all professions, occupations, and statuses appear. Employer, employee, and free-lance—each must depend for material success on personal acceptance by those who would use his services. Here, as in the commodity market, use value is not sufficient to determine exchange value. The “personality factor” takes precedence over skills in the assessment of market value and most frequently plays the deciding role. While it is true that the most winning personality cannot make up for a total lack of skill indeed, our economic system could not function on such a basis—it is seldom that skill and integrity alone account for success.
Success formulae are expressed in such terms as “selling oneself,” “getting one’s personality across,” and “soundness,” “ambition,” “cheerfulness,” “aggressiveness,” and so forth, which are stamped on the prize-winning personality package. Such other intangibles as family background, clubs, connections, and influence are also important desiderata and will be advertised however subtly as basic ingredients of the commodity offered. To belong to a religion and to practice it is also widely regarded as one of the requirements for success. Every profession, every field has its successful personality type.
The salesman, the banker, the foreman, and the headwaiter have met the requirements, each in a different way and to a different degree, but their roles are identifiable, they have measured up to the essential condition: to be in demand. Inevitably man’s attitude toward himself is conditioned by these standards for success. His feeling of self-esteem is not based primarily on the value of his powers and the use he makes of them in a given society. It depends on his salability on the market, or the opinion others have about his “attractiveness.” He experiences himself as a commodity designed to attract on the most favorable, the most expensive terms.
The higher the offered price the greater the affirmation of his value. Commodity man hopefully displays his label, tries to stand out from the assortment on the counter and to be worthy of the highest price tag, but if he is passed by while others are snapped up he is convicted of inferiority and worthlessness. However high he may be rated in terms of both human qualities and utility, he may have the ill-luck—and must bear the blame—of being out of fashion. From early childhood he has learned that to be in fashion is to be in demand and that he too must adapt to the personality mart. But the virtues he is taught ambition, sensitivity, and adaptibility to the demands of others—are qualities too general to provide the patterns for success.
He turns to popular fiction, the newspapers, and the movies for more specific pictures of the success story and finds the smartest, the newest models on the market to emulate. It is hardly surprising that under these circumstances man’s sense of his value must suffer severely.
The conditions for his self-esteem are beyond his control. He is dependent on others for approval and in constant need of it; helplessness and insecurity are the inevitable results. Man loses his own identity in the marketing orientation ; he becomes alienated from himself. If man’s highest value is success, if love, truth, justice, tenderness, mercy are of no use to him, he may profess these ideals but he does not strive for them. He may think that he worships the god of love but he actually worships an idol which is the idealization of his real goals, those rooted in the marketing orientation.”
Cf. The chapter on the marketing orientation in “Man for Himself” (Fromm, 1947).
Change blindness is a perceptual phenomenon that occurs when a change in a visual stimulus is introduced and the observer does not notice it. For example, observers often fail to notice major differences introduced into an image while it flickers off and on again.
Kentridge, R. W.. (2015). Change Blindness. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
“Change blindness is a phenomenon in which major changes to a visual scene go unnoticed. there are many methods of inducing change blindness, for example, by presenting a blank image between presentation of the original and changed pictures. change blindness is thought to occur when visual attention is prevented from being drawn to the change. detecting the changes requires a comparison between the changed state of the picture and a visual memory of its original state. without visual attention the memory may not be retrieved at all or the available memory may lack sufficient visual detail for a change to be registered. change blindness is employed as a tool for studying visual attention and has obvious real-world implications for tasks such as driving.”
Simons, D. J., & Rensink, R. A.. (2005). Change blindness: Past, present, and future. Trends in Cognitive Sciences
“Change blindness is the striking failure to see large changes that normally would be noticed easily. over the past decade this phenomenon has greatly contributed to our understanding of attention, perception, and even consciousness. the surprising extent of change blindness explains its broad appeal, but its counterintuitive nature has also engendered confusions about the kinds of inferences that legitimately follow from it. here we discuss the legitimate and the erroneous inferences that have been drawn, and offer a set of requirements to help separate them. in doing so, we clarify the genuine contributions of change blindness research to our understanding of visual perception and awareness, and provide a glimpse of some ways in which change blindness might shape future research.”
Masuda, T., & Nisbett, R. E.. (2006). Culture and change blindness. Cognitive Science
“Research on perception and cognition suggests that whereas east asians view the world holistically, attending to the entire field and relations among objects, westerners view the world analytically, focusing on the attributes of salient objects. these propositions were examined in the change-blindness paradigm. research in that paradigm finds american participants to be more sensitive to changes in focal objects than to changes in the periphery or context. we anticipated that this would be less true for east asians and that they would be more sensitive to context changes than would americans. we presented participants with still photos and with animated vignettes having changes in focal object information and contextual information. compared to americans, east asians were more sensitive to contextual changes than to focal object changes. these results suggest that there can be cultural variation in what may seem to be basic perceptual processes.”
Simons, D. J.. (2000). Current approaches to change blindness. Visual Cognition
“Across saccades, blinks, blank screens, movie cuts, and other interruptions, ob- servers fail to detect substantial changes to the visual details of objects and scenes. this inability to spot changes (‘change blindness’) is the focus of this special issue of visual cognition. this introductory paper briefly reviews recent studies of change blindness, noting the relation of these findings to earlier re- search and discussing the inferences we can draw from them.most explanations of change blindness assume that we fail to detect changes because the changed displaymasks or overwrites the initial display.here i draw a distinction between intentional and incidental change detection tasks and consider how alternatives to the ‘overwriting’ explanation may provide better explanations for change blindness.”
Rensink, R. A.. (2010). Attention: Change Blindness and Inattentional Blindness. In Encyclopedia of Consciousness
“Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fmri) of subjects attempting to detect a visual change occurring during a screen flicker was used to distinguish the neural correlates of change detection from those of change blindness. change detection resulted in enhanced activity in the parietal and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex as well as category- selective regions of the extrastriate visual cortex (for example, fusiform gyrus for changing faces). although change blindness resulted in some extrastriate activity, the dorsal activations were clearly absent. these results demonstrate the importance of parietal and dorsolateral frontal activations for conscious detection of changes in properties coded in the ventral visual pathway, and thus suggest a key involvement of dorsal-ventral interactions in visual awareness”
Levin, D. T., Momen, N., Drivdahl, S. B., & Simons, D. J.. (2000). Change blindness blindness: The metacognitive error of overestimating change-detection ability. Visual Cognition
“Recent research has demonstrated that subjects fail to detect large between-view changes to natural and artificial scenes. yet, most people (including psycholo- gists) believe that theywould detect the changes.we report two experiments doc- umenting this metacognitive error. in experiment 1, students in a large general psychology classwere asked if they thought theywould notice the change in four different situations previously tested by levin and simons (1997) and simons and levin (1998). most claimed that they would have noticed even relatively small changes that real observers rarely detected. in experiment 2, subjectswere tested individually and half were asked to predict whether someone else would detect the changes. subjects again overestimated the degree to which changes would be detected, both by themselves and by others. we discuss possible reasons for these metacognitive errors including distorted beliefs about visual experience, change, and stability.”
Cavanaugh, J.. (2004). Subcortical Modulation of Attention Counters Change Blindness. Journal of Neuroscience
“Change blindness is the failure to see large changes in a visual scene that occur simultaneously with a global visual transient. such visual transients might be brief blanks between visual scenes or the blurs caused by rapid or saccadic eye movements between successive fixations. shifting attention to the site of the change counters this ‘blindness’ by improving change detection and reaction time. we developed a change blindness paradigm for visual motion and then showed that presenting an attentional cue diminished the blindness in both humans and old world monkeys. we then replaced the visual cue with weak electrical stimulation of an area in the monkey’s brainstem, the superior colliculus, to see if activation at such a late stage in the eye movement control system contributes to the attentional shift that counters change blindness. with this stimulation, monkeys more easily detected changes and had shorter reaction times, both characteristics of a shift of attention.”
Simons, D. J., & Chabris, C. F.. (1999). Gorillas in our midst: Sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events. Perception
“With each eye fixation, we experience a richly detailed visual world. yet recent work on visual integration and change direction reveals that we are surprisingly unaware of the details of our environment from one view to the next: we often do not detect large changes to objects and scenes (‘change blindness’). furthermore, without attention, we may not even perceive objects (‘inattentional blindness’). taken together, these findings suggest that we perceive and remember only those objects and details that receive focused attention. in this paper, we briefly review and discuss evidence for these cognitive forms of ‘blindness’. we then present a new study that builds on classic studies of divided visual attention to examine inattentional blindness for complex objects and events in dynamic scenes. our results suggest that the likelihood of noticing an unexpected object depends on the similarity of that object to other objects in the display and on how difficult the priming monitoring task is. interestingly, spatial proximity of the critical unattended object to attended locations does not appear to affect detection, suggesting that observers attend to objects and events, not spatial positions. we discuss the implications of these results for visual representations and awareness of our visual environment.”
Simons, D. J., & Ambinder, M. S.. (2005). Change blindness: Theory and consequences. Current Directions in Psychological Science
“People often fail to notice large changes to visual scenes, a phenomenon now known as change blindness. the extent of change blindness in visual perception suggests limits on our capacity to encode, retain, and compare visual information from one glance to the next; our awareness of our visual surroundings is far more sparse than most people intuitively believe. these failures of awareness and the erroneous intuitions that often accompany them have both theoretical and practical ramifications. this article briefly summarizes the current state of research on change blindness and suggests future directions that promise to improve our understanding of scene perception and visual memory.”
Galpin, A., Underwood, G., & Crundall, D.. (2009). Change blindness in driving scenes. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
“The phenomenon of change blindness has received a great deal of attention during the last decade, but very few experiments have examined the effects of the subjective importance of the visual stimuli under study. we have addressed this question in a series of studies by introducing choice as a critical variable in change detection (see johansson, hall, sikström, & olsson, 2005, johansson, hall, sikström, & tärning, 2006). in the present study, participants were asked to choose which of two pictures they found more attractive. for stimuli we used both pairs of abstract patterns and female faces. sometimes the pictures were switched during to choice procedure, leading to a reversal of the initial choice of the participants. surprisingly, the subjects seldom noticed the switch, and in a post-test memory task, they also often remembered the manipulated choice as being their own. in combination with our previous findings, this result indicates that we often fail to notice changes in the world even if they have later consequences for our own actions.”
(WHO), W. H. O.. (1972). Change the Definition of Blindness. World Health Organization
“This study investigated the role of parental autism spectrum disorder (asd), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adhd), and depressive symptoms on parenting stress in 174 families with children with asd and/or adhd, using generalized linear models and structural equation models. fathers and mothers reported more stress when parenting with their child with asd and/or adhd than when parenting with the unaffected sibling; they also experienced more stress than a norm population. depressive symptoms were most pronounced in the parents of children with asd and asd+adhd. spouse correlations were found for asd, depression, and parenting stress. paternal asd and maternal adhd symptoms were related to increased parenting stress, and parental adhd symptoms with depressive symptoms and parenting stress. the results highlight the increased burden of raising a child with asd and/or adhd and the reciprocal relationship this has with parents’ asd, adhd, and depressive symptoms, and levels of stress.”
O’Regan, J. K., Rensink, R. A., & Clark, J. J.. (1999). Change-blindness as a result of “mudsplashes”. Nature
“Change-blindness1,2 occurs when large changes are missed under natural viewing conditions because they occur simultaneously with a brief visual disruption, perhaps caused by an eye movement3,4, a flicker5, a blink6, or a camera cut in a film sequence7. we have found that this can occur even when the disruption does not cover or obscure the changes. when a few small, high-contrast shapes are briefly spattered over a picture, like mudsplashes on a car windscreen, large changes can be made simultaneously in the scene without being noticed. this phenomenon is potentially important in driving, surveillance or navigation, as dangerous events occurring in full view can go unnoticed if they coincide with even very small, apparently innocuous, disturbances. it is also important for understanding how the brain represents the world”
Landman, R., Spekreijse, H., & Lamme, V. A. F.. (2003). Large capacity storage of integrated objects before change blindness. Vision Research
“Paradoxically, although humans have a superb sense of smell, they don’t trust their nose. furthermore, although human odorant detection thresholds are very low, only unusually high odorant concentrations spontaneously shift our attention to olfaction. here we suggest that this lack of olfactory awareness reflects the nature of olfactory attention that is shaped by the spatial and temporal envelopes of olfaction. regarding the spatial envelope, selective attention is allocated in space. humans direct an attentional spotlight within spatial coordinates in both vision and audition. human olfactory spatial abilities are minimal. thus, with no olfactory space, there is no arena for olfactory selective attention. regarding the temporal envelope, whereas vision and audition consist of nearly continuous input, olfactory input is discreet, made of sniffs widely separated in time. if similar temporal breaks are artificially introduced to vision and audition, they induce ‘change blindness’, a loss of attentional capture that results in a lack of awareness to change. whereas ‘change blindness’ is an aberration of vision and audition, the long inter-sniff-interval renders ‘change anosmia’ the norm in human olfaction. therefore, attentional capture in olfaction is minimal, as is human olfactory awareness. all this, however, does not diminish the role of olfaction through sub-attentive mechanisms allowing subliminal smells a profound influence on human behavior and perception.”
Henderson, J. M., & Hollingworth, A.. (2003). Global transsaccadic change blindness during scene perception. Psychological Science
“Each time the eyes are spatially reoriented via a saccadic eye movement, the image falling on the retina changes. how visually specific are the representations that are functional across saccades during active scene perception? this question was investigated with a saccade-contingent display-change paradigm in which pictures of complex real-world scenes were globally changed in real time during eye movements. the global changes were effected by presenting each scene as an alternating set of scene strips and occluding gray bars, and by reversing the strips and bars during specific saccades. the results from two experiments demonstrated a global transsaccadic change-blindness effect, suggesting that point-by-point visual representations are not functional across saccades during complex scene perception.”
Fernandez-Duque, D., & Thornton, I. M.. (2000). Change detection without awareness: Do explicit reports underestimate the representation of change in the visual system?. Visual Cognition
“Evidence from many different paradigms (e.g. change blindness, inattentional blindness, transsaccadic integration) indicate that observers are often very poor at reporting changes to their visual environment. such evidence has been used to suggest that the spatio-temporal coherence needed to represent change can only occur in the presence of focused attention. in four experiments we use modified change blindness tasks to demonstrate (a) that sensitivity to change does occur in the absence of awareness, and (b) this sensitivity does not rely on the redeployment of attention. we discuss these results in relation to theories of scene perception, and propose a reinterpretation of the role of attention in representing change.”
Nelson, K. J., Laney, C., Fowler, N. B., Knowles, E. D., Davis, D., & Loftus, E. F.. (2011). Change blindness can cause mistaken eyewitness identification. Legal and Criminological Psychology
“RnThe current study investigated the effects of change blindness and crime severity on eyewitness identification accuracy. this research, involving 717 subjects, examined change blindness during a simulated criminal act and its effects on subjects’ accuracy for identifying the perpetrator in a photospread. subjects who viewed videos designed to induce change blindness were more likely to falsely identify the innocent actor relative to those who viewed control videos. crime severity did not influence detection of change; however, it did have an effect on eyewitness accuracy. subjects who viewed a more severe crime ($500 theft) made fewer errors in perpetrator identification than those who viewed a less severe crime ($5 theft). this research has theoretical implications for our understanding of change blindness and practical implications for the real-world problem of faulty eyewitness testimony. ”
“The structure of the control network of transnational corporations affects global market competition and financial stability. so far, only small national samples were studied and there was no appropriate methodology to assess control globally. we present the first investigation of the architecture of the international ownership network, along with the computation of the control held by each global player. we find that transnational corporations form a giant bow-tie structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions. this core can be seen as an economic ‘super-entity’ that raises new important issues both for researchers and policy makers.”
Heemskerk, E. M., & Takes, F. W.. (2016). The Corporate Elite Community Structure of Global Capitalism. New Political Economy
“A key debate on the merits and consequences of globalisation asks to what extent we have moved to a multipolar global political economy. here we investigate this issue through the properties and topologies of corporate elite networks and ask: what is the community structure of the global corporate elite? in order to answer this question, we analyse how the largest one million firms in the world are interconnected at the level of corporate governance through interlocking directorates. community detection through modularity maximisation reveals that regional clusters play a fundamental role in the network architecture of the global political economy. transatlantic connections remain particularly strong: europe and north america remain interconnected in a dense network of shared directors. a distinct asian cluster stands apart as separate and oriented more towards itself. while it develops and gains economic and political power, asia remains by and large outside the scope of the networks of the incumbent global (that is, north atlantic) corporate elite. we see this as a sign of the rise of competing corporate elites. but the corporate elites from the traditional core countries still form a powerful opponent for any competing faction in the global corporate elite.”
When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.
(Gilens & Page, 2014, p.575)
“Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of american politics – which can be characterized as theories of majoritarian electoral democracy, economic elite domination, and two types of interest group pluralism, majoritarian pluralism and biased pluralism – offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented. a great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. this paper reports on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues. multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on u.s. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. the results provide substantial support for theories of economic elite domination and for theories of biased pluralism, but not for theories of majoritarian electoral democracy or majoritarian pluralism.”
A supernormal stimulus or superstimulus is an exaggerated version of a stimulus to which there is an existing response tendency, or any stimulus that elicits a response more strongly than the stimulus for which it evolved.
For example, when it comes to eggs, a bird can be made to prefer the artificial versions to their own, and humans can be similarly exploited by junk food. The idea is that the elicited behaviours evolved for the “normal” stimuli of the ancestor’s natural environment, but the behaviours are now hijacked by the supernormal stimulus.
In the 1950s, Konrad Lorenz observed that birds would select brooding eggs that resembled those of their own species but which were larger, and Niko Tinbergen, following his extensive analysis of the stimulus features that elicited food-begging in the chick of the herring gull, constructed an artificial stimulus consisting of a red knitting needle with three white bands painted around it; this elicited a stronger response than an accurate three-dimensional model of the parent’s head (white) and bill (yellow with a red spot).
Tinbergen and his students studied other variations of this effect. He experimented with dummy plaster eggs of various sizes and markings finding that most birds preferred ones with more exaggerated markings than their own, more saturated versions of their color, and a larger size than their own. Small songbirds which laid light blue grey-dappled eggs preferred to sit on a bright blue black polka-dotted dummy so large they slid off repeatedly. Territorial male stickleback fish would attack wooden floats with red undersides—attacking them more vigorously than invading male sticklebacks if the underside were redder.
Lorenz and Tinbergen accounted for the supernormal stimulus effect in terms of the concept of the innate releasing mechanism; however this concept is no longer widely used. The core observation that simple features of stimuli may be sufficient to trigger a complex response remains valid, however.
In 1979, the term supernormal stimulus was used by Richard Dawkins and John Krebs to refer to the exaggeration of pre-existing signs induced by social parasites, noting the manipulation of baby birds (hosts) from these, to illustrate the effectiveness of those signals.
In 1983, entomologists Darryl Gwynne and David Rentz reported on the beetle Julodimorpha bakewelli attempting to copulate with discarded brown stubbies (a type of beer bottles) studded with tubercules (flattened glass beads). This work won them the 2011 Ig Nobel Prize in biology.
Another example of this is the study made by Mauck and colleagues, where they evaluated the effects of a plant pathogen named cucumber mosaic virus or CMV. This study showed that the aphids preferred the healthy plants but are still attracted by the infected plants, because of the manipulation of volatile compounds used by plants to attract them.
Manipulation by parasites
In 2001, Holen et al., analyzed the evolutionary stability of hosts manipulation through exaggerated signals. Their model indicated that intensity of parasitic signals must be below a threshold to ensure acceptance from host. This threshold depends directly on the range of parasitism.
For them, the only evolutionary stable strategy is when the host accepts all signs of the parasite with optimal intensity, which must be below the threshold; if this is not the case, the host can use these signals to identify the parasite.
Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett argues that supernormal stimulation govern the behavior of humans as powerfully as that of other animals. In her 2010 book, Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose, she examines the impact of supernormal stimuli on the diversion of impulses for nurturing, sexuality, romance, territoriality, defense, and the entertainment industry’s hijacking of our social instincts. In the earlier book, Waistland, she explains junk food as an exaggerated stimulus to cravings for salt, sugar, and fats and television as an exaggeration of social cues of laughter, smiling faces and attention-grabbing action. Modern artifacts may activate instinctive responses which evolved prior to the modern world, where breast development was a sign of health and fertility in a prospective mate, and fat was a rare and vital nutrient.
In a cross-cultural study, Doyle and Pazhoohi showed that surgically augmented breasts are supernormal stimuli, and they are more attractive than natural breasts, regardless of their size. Also in a theoretical paper, Doyle proposed that how women walk creates supernormal stimuli through continuously alternating motion of the waist and hips causing peak shifts in perceptions of physical attractiveness involving women’s waist-to-hip ratio.
Costa and Corazza (2006), examining 776 artistic portraits covering the whole history of art, showed that eye roundness, lip roundness, eye height, eye width, and lip height were significantly enhanced in artistic portraits compared to photographic ones matched for sex and age. In a second study, forty-two art academy students were requested to draw two self-portraits, one with a mirror and one without (from memory). Eye and lip size and roundness were greater in artistic self-portraits. These results show that the exaggeration and “supernormalization” of key features linked to attractiveness, such as eye and lip size, are frequently found in art.
“Background:it is often claimed that non-nutritive sweeteners (nns) are ‘sweeter than sugar’, with the implicit implication high potency sweeteners are super-normal stimuli that encourage exaggerated responses. this study aimed to investigate the perceived sweetness intensity of a variety of nutritive (sucrose, maple syrup, and agave nectar) and nns (acesulfame-k (acek), rebaudioside a (reba), aspartame, and sucralose) in a large cohort of untrained participants using contemporary psychophysical methods.methods:participants (n=401 total) rated the intensity of sweet, bitter, and metallic sensations for nutritive and nns in water using the general labeled magnitude scale (glms).results:sigmoidal dose-response functions were observed for all stimuli except acek. that is, sucrose follows a sigmoidal function if the data are not artifactually linearized via prior training. more critically, there is no evidence that nns have a maximal sweetness (intensity) greater than sucrose; indeed, the maximal sweetness for acek, reba and sucralose were significantly lower than for concentrated sucrose. for these sweeteners, mixture suppression due to endogenous dose-dependent bitter or metallic sensations appears to limit maximal perceived sweetness.conclusions:in terms of perceived sweetness, non-nutritive sweeteners cannot be considered super-normal stimuli. these data do not support the view that non-nutritive sweeteners hijack or over-stimulate sweet receptors to product elevated sweet sensations.international journal of obesity accepted article preview online, 19 june 2014; doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.109.”
Christy, J. H.. (2002). Mimicry, Mate Choice, and the Sensory Trap Hypothesis. The American Naturalist
“Sensory traps affect mate choice when male courtship signals mimic stimuli to which females respond in other contexts and elicit female behavior that increases male fertilization rates. because of the supernormal stimulus effect, mimetic signals may become quantitatively exaggerated relative to model stimuli. viability selection or a decrease in responsiveness to signals that are exaggerated beyond their peak supernormal effect may limit signal elaboration. females always benefit by responding to models and they may often benefit by responding to mimetic courtship signals. if the response as a preference is costly, it may be maintained by frequent and strong selection for the response to the model. i review five examples of courtship that illustrate the kinds of studies that can provide evidence of sensory traps. the strategic designs of mimetic courtship signals arise not from selection of responses to them but from selection for responses to models. this results from deceit by mimicry and the evolution of sensory trap responses before the signals that elicit them as preferences.”
Morris, P. H., White, J., Morrison, E. R., & Fisher, K.. (2013). High heels as supernormal stimuli: How wearing high heels affects judgements of female attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior
“Some parasitic cuckoo chicks display a vivid-colored gape to their host parents when begging for food. their mouth color was once regarded as a supernormal stimulus, yet owing to a lack of experimental support, the idea has fallen out of favor. however, previous experiments were conducted without considering the vision of avian receivers. we compared the color and visibility of begging signals between chicks of a brood parasite, the horsfield’s hawk-cuckoo (cuculus fugax), and that of its host, the red-flanked bluetail (tarsiger cyanurus), considering bird vision. we investigated the mouth palate of host and parasite chicks, and a gape-colored skin patch on the wing of parasite chicks, which has previously been demonstrated to induce host parental feeding. we found that, in terms of stimulation of the birds’ photoreceptors and visual discrimination thresholds, visibility of parasite signals, particularly of the wing-patch, was quantitatively greater than that of the host chick signal. meanwhile, host and parasite signals were qualitatively different in the hue, which was driven mostly by greater ultraviolet reflectance of the parasite signals. evidence from previous studies indicates that the visual attributes of the parasite signals may induce parental provisioning, suggesting that signal exaggeration of the parasite has evolved to stimulate hosts effectively in the dark nest environment. overall, our results suggest that the color of hawk-cuckoo chicks’ signaling traits can work as a supernormal stimulus, although host parental responses to exaggerated stimuli need to be tested experimentally.”
Staddon, J. E. R.. (2002). A Note on the Evolutionary Significance of “Supernormal” Stimuli. The American Naturalist
“Animals often respond more strongly to extreme (supernormal) stimuli, never encountered in nature, than to the natural stimulus: birds preferentially retrieve extra-large or extra-speckled eggs, for example. an analogous phenomenon in discrimination learning, the ‘peak shift,’ suggests that many instances of supernormality may reflect the action of two factors during phylogeny: (a) asymmetrical selection pressure with respect to responsiveness to the relevant stimulus continuum (e.g., size, speckledness), and (b) independent selection pressures limiting the corresponding properties of the natural stimulus.”
Costa, M., & Corazza, L.. (2006). Aesthetic phenomena as supernormal stimuli: The case of eye, lip, and lower-face size and roundness in artistic portraits. Perception
“In the first study, eye and lip size and roundness, and lower-face roundness were compared between a control sample of 289 photographic portraits and an experimental sample of 776 artistic portraits covering the whole period of the history of art. results showed that eye roundness, lip roundness, eye height, eye width, and lip height were significantly enhanced in artistic portraits compared to photographic ones. lip width and lower-face roundness, on the contrary, were less prominent in artistic than in photographic portraits. in a second study, forty-two art academy students were requested to draw two self-portraits, one with a mirror and one without (from memory). eye, lip, and lower-face roundness in artistic self-portraits was compared to the same features derived from photographic portraits of the participants. the results obtained confirmed those found in the first study. eye and lip size and roundness were greater in artistic self-portraits, while lower-face roundness was significantly reduced. the same degree of modification was found also when a mirror was available to the subjects. in a third study the effect of lower-face roundness on the perception of attractiveness was assessed: fifty-three participants had to adjust the face width of 24 photographic portraits in order to achieve the highest level of attractiveness. participants contracted the face width by a mean value of 5.26%, showing a preference for a reduced lower-face roundness. all results are discussed in terms of the importance of the ‘supernormalisation’ process as a means of assigning aesthetic value to perceptual stimuli.”
Goodwin, B. C., Browne, M., & Rockloff, M.. (2015). Measuring Preference for Supernormal Over Natural Rewards: A Two-Dimensional Anticipatory Pleasure Scale. Evolutionary Psychology
“Supernormal (sn) stimuli are artificial products that activate reward pathways and approach behavior more so than naturally occurring stimuli for which these systems were intended. many modern consumer products (e.g., snack foods, alcohol, and pornography) appear to incorporate sn features, leading to excessive consumption, in preference to naturally occurring alternatives. no measure currently exists for the self-report assessment of individual differences or changes in susceptibility to such stimuli. therefore, an anticipatory pleasure scale was modified to include items that represented both sn and natural (n) classes of rewarding stimuli. exploratory factor analysis yielded a two-factor solution, and as predicted, n and sn items reliably loaded on separate dimensions. internal reliability for the two scales was high, ρ =.93 and ρ =.90, respectively. the two-dimensional measure was evaluated via regression using the n and sn scale means as predictors and self-reports of daily consumption of 21 products…”
Liberticide = “destruction of liberty”. adjective liberticidal = “destructive of liberty”. after the French noun combining form liberticide: liberté, liberty + -i- + -cide, killing.
Latin etymology: libertas, liberty + caedere, to kill (cf. tyrannicide & regicide).
∴Ergo: Cognitive liberticide = “the destruction of cognitive liberty”.
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. "
~ Edward Bernays on the first page of his book entitled "Propaganda" published in 1928.
Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud and applied his ideas about the unconscious mind to mass-psychology. Bernays is allso called the father of public relations and the father of spin.