Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny
Is anyone dumb enough to think they can achieve the same things that these contestants do? No, especially not overweight people. And who on earth would want to watch a show about the real work it takes to take weight off and keep it off? That is so boring. It's like watching someone brush their teeth, the war on plaque is not really interesting to watch. If it's not sensational its not going on tv.
Is anyone gullible enough to believe and attempt what they see on tv?
Even overweight people?
Especially overweight people!
It isn't stupidity. It's desperation. It's grasping at a straw of hope.
Desperate people believe in the impossible. Even when they "know better" unrealistic beliefs creep in. Most people will SAY and even THINK that the show is unrealistic, but many will copy what they see anyway, and will become even more discouraged when it doesn't work like it does on tv.
That's because human beings can hold opposing and beliefs and can believe in things they know to be untrue. What feels true on a gut level often trumps what the conscious and rational mind knows to be true.
Ultimately humans aren't all that different from the other great apes. We copy what we see, especially when we see someone being rewarded in some way. And if the reward is one we value and covet, such as money, weight loss, and sex appeal) we're even more likely to copy the behavior EVEN when we know the behavior to be foolish, reckless, and even dangerous.
Advertising and marketing relies on this human instinct. No one believes in "love potions." Everyone "knows" that there are no colognes that can make us completely rresistable to whomever we fancy. We know that Axe body spray doesn't really cause herds of blonde, toned, scantily clad hotties to chase after and sexually accost any male (no matter how young, old, fat, thin, odd, nerdy, unappealing....) who wears it.
Even though we supposedly know better, and advertisers know we know better (but really don't), they still use these fantasy-based ads.
Why? Because they work. We all SAY we don't believe, but the actions of the majority PROVE otherwise. If only the minority of idiots - the dumbest of the dumb - were susceptible to advertisements like these, adverisers wouldn't use them.
Over and over, in hospital emergency rooms and in newspaper headlines across the country, we see evidence of the human capacity for mindless imitation (even among highly intelligent people who should know better).
When I was teaching (straight out of college with a psychology BA) in a hospital in-patient substance abuse program, on the topic of peer pressure I told the group about a study in which experimenters had single and small groups of people face the "wrong" way in an elevator and watched how it effected the behavior of people unaware of the experiment.
In virtually ALL cases, new passengers faced whichever direction the person or people already on the elevator were facing. And even if they seemed uncomfortable, almost noone asked "why" the aberation.
The next day, the group of guys were excited to report that they had done their own version of this experiment on their way to the cafeteria and that even the doctors and nurses behaved exactly as expected.
Awesome illustration, but it landed me in hot water when the doctors and nurses got wind of me being the source of this little experiment because they thought it undermined the authority and professional image of staff (I didn't tell the patients to run their own experiment, or make the staff copy the patients).
I'm not suggesting that advertising or reality shows should be banned, but I do think we all need to be more aware of just how infuential what we see, read, hear, and watch truly can be.
Thinking that we "know better" may even make us MORE susceptible, because then we're often lulled into a false sense of immunity.