Human beings, as a rule, want to identify with what they believe to be successful. When multiple media polls post across the airwaves claiming that one presidential candidate is at 38 percent and another at 50 percent, the human brain sees the 50 percent as “good” and the 38 percent as “bad.” The appearance of “success” thus becomes attractive to the human brain. This is primarily evolutionary and it’s part of our base “need” to both survive and succeed within the world. Every decision the brain makes is its own attempt to survive and succeed by decision.
Although not all decisions are good decisions, the brains attempt to make a “good” decision is constant. Depending on the aptitude, IQ, EQ, and general skill set any particular brain has, it will utilize whatever means at its disposal in an effort to make the best choice for survival and success within the world.
A unique social experiment was performed several years ago where phone calls were made to college students associated with both winning and losing teams after a high level football game. The winning team’s supporters were reported to be saying “we won,” “our team destroyed them,” or something similar. But most of those associated wth the losing team were saying things like, “they lost” in an effort to disassociate themselves from the “losers.” This is known in psychological spheres as Ego-Enhancement. The human tendencies to employ ego-enhancement and self-preservation strategies have been examined in the context of competitive events such as political elections and sports team affiliations for decades.
This is why the polling strategies we see in media outlets does not have to be correct. As a matter of fact, it can be a known fabrication and it will still work “most” of the time. Like television commercials, it doesn’t matter how utterly ridiculous the commercial appears to be to some brains viewing it because most brains will swallow it whole. The psychology of advertising is a mastered art that has been proven to work for more than half a century.
A television commercial could advertise a pill allegedly able to cure erectile dysfunction while at the same time telling the viewer that many people died and several had blood coming out of their ears and the pharmaceutical giant would make millions selling it simply because they would know what to “show” the viewer while “saying” it.
Remember, the 80/20 rule can be applied to almost anything when people are involved. 80 percent of a given populace will have a lot less common sense than the other 20 percent. It’s likely that 80 percent of the people don’t even vote. Identifying with success and the ego-enhancement model can also be readily seen when people name-drop and personify. Name-dropping allows an individual to “identify” with another successful person thus getting in on the emotional high that comes from appearing to “know” a higher level individual within a people group or a society. This is what largely empowers FaceBook.
FaceBook is where people can “identify” with interesting ideas, people, and things that appear to be popular within a society. Because most posts are not cross-checked, proven, or investigated, (because the brain does not like to do the work necessary to uncover, discover, and recover truth) individuals brains can “feel” good through ego-enhancement through identification.
Sociologists, psychologists, and behaviorists have nearly mastered how the brain works. Our insights are honed to the point where we can show and tell the larger populace in a way that will largely determine exactly what the people will do. So the next time you see a poll that says this or that person is winning in a political race, odds are they might because “most” people will believe it without hesitation. Identifying with the “winner” can become so important for survival and success, they will likely side with them in the voting booth.