Sunday, September 3, 2023

Why We May Be Winning The Assault Weapons Ban War

I am reading Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. He discussed how the understanding of human thinking has changed over the last century or so:
"More important, Zajonc was able to make people like any word or image more by just showing it to them several times.  The brain tags familiar things as good things.  Zajonc called this the 'mere exposure effect,' and it is a basic principle of advertising."

People respond at the rational level by thinking something through but the emotional reaction often takes immediate precedence.

Think about this a bit.  The rational brain may overcome this if the image is rationally horrible (a human being torn apart by a wild animal) but think about pornography or violent entertainment.  I suspect all the pictures of AR-15s may not be desensitizing people but creating a positive exposure effect just like the Coke trademark or a Corvette (although the latter appeals to the rational brain as well; yes I want a post-2019).

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