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SCI/TECH: Brainwashing, for a Better Body

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posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 02:11 AM
Psychologists at the University of California have successfully used a mild form of brainwashing to turn test subjects off foods that are bad for them. The researchers convinced 20-40% of subjects that strawberry ice cream had made them sick as children, turning them off the treat. The test also successfully convinced some subjects that they had enjoyed asparagus as children.
Elizabeth Loftus, a distinguished professor of psychology, social behaviour and criminology who led the team, told the newspaper that, if perfected, the technique could potentially induce people to eat better by implanting good memories about fruits and vegetables and bad ones about low-nutrient, high-calorie foods.

But according to Stephen Behnke, the ethics director of the American Psychological Association, implanting memories also "raises profound ethical questions".

"Say, for example, we could change a person's belief about their entire childhood," he told the Los Angeles Times. "Would doing so be ethical?"

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Brainwashing has long been known of, but this astounds me. First, we have the ethical question. I don't think it's sticky..I think it's a tar pit. We're talking about something pretty serious here, and I can't help but cringe at the potential for abuse.

Second, this is a somewhat well-known professor of psychology essentially advocating the brain washing of children. This unsettles me a bit, for whatever reason.

Finally, there's the question of the message being sent along with the words, so to speak. Why stop at children, right? Why not just change everyone's mind who doesn't agree with the state, or the majority, or their parents, or their teachers? I know the old slippery slope argument is frowned upon, but this is indeed a very serious issue. IF this behavior becomes acceptable and widely practiced, where do we, as a society, draw the line?

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 03:53 AM
I do hope our tax dollars didn't go to pay for that "research."

[edit on 3-8-2005 by Astronomer68]

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 04:58 AM
This is something we would see on FOX and CNN

I don't think its ATS worthy IMO.

My 2 cents


posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 07:21 AM

I don't think its ATS worthy IMO

Uhh this is a Conspiracy site, this news has to do with Mental Conditioning... they seem to fit together to me and belong on ATSNN.

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 07:50 AM
This totally seems like a great topic to me. The ethical question is good. But it seems to me that this is really not so much a conspiracy as it is just basic pyschology.

The quote mentions the ethical dilemma of having your opinions about your childhood changed by the technique. But, that is what psychiatrists do on a regular basis. They take away misconceptions that their patients have and replace them with "rational" analysis of what their medical training has taught them.

The only question is are these people certified in some way ... if it's some quack operation who knows what they would be replacing ... suggestion appears to be a powerful thing.

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 07:58 AM
Brainwashing or mind-control procedures has been happening in USA long time ago.

rule of thumb...

If something like is being reveal public than there is already a far more advance procedure that can produce a more effective and efficient (good/evil) results...

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 08:16 AM
I thought the fact that childhood memories could be created was well established, especially in the wake of all the 'discoveries' of childhood sexual abuse in the 80s, a lot of which turned out to be totally false.

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 08:40 AM
Actually, this just proves that certain types of things we do ARE effective and can change your mind and your behavior. This is why self hypnosis and chanting and hypnosis works. It's why psychotics actually believe they have experiences and that they are real.

It's part of what makes us "us."

It doesn't work on everyone or with everyone and it can't be made to work on everyone. The more you're aware of it, the less vulnerable you are.

There are issues, yes, but I'm in favor of studying this. It's far more dangerous when it's hidden/denied/covered up.

And anyway, you can use it to your own advantage using self-hypnosis.

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 09:40 AM
I agree that this is a legit subject for ATS......

Once people 'accept' mind control for something 'good' like weight loss, it's easier to accept it for other, less innocent reasons.

And it has been around quite awhile in this field.....years ago, a friend of my was seeing a doctor for weight loss, and he used a self hypnosis technique to 'improve her self image' and 'teach' her to dislike certain foods. It worked pretty well, and she lost nearly a hundred pounds on his 'plan'......however, over time the effects seemed to fade a bit, but she did keep most of the weight off.

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 10:11 AM
i wouldnt mind seeing this research "dumped" even for medical purposes. it might be great to cure an mind illness or something, but there is always something out there we dont know. this is kind of similar to androids/robots of the future. people think its ace creating/discovering/designing etc but once it thinks for itself wont it challenge the human race at some point? if brainwashing was abused....who knows what will happen. mass population controled under someone or something, where would our lives be or what purpose. we might as well be robots to the controlers. brain washing exists now (media, education) and its ok because we are not entirely controled. i say we should limit research if anything. in the end, i believe humans are destined to destroy ourselves. imagine terrorists brainwashing the younger generations...oh sorry we already are creating the future extremists. are medical advances more important then our own ability to think?

offtopic, lol sorry


posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 10:13 AM
It seems to me that this is like hypnosis to quit smoking or to avoid over eating. If it is done with the knowledge of the subject, I see no problems with doing this sort of thing.

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 11:25 AM
I wonder how you get IRB approval for this kind of work.

IRB: "Are you working with Human Subjects?"
Researcher: "Yes, but it's brainwashing, so that's okay, right?"
IRB: "Errrm...I don't really think that it's..."
Researcher: "Would you mind closing your eyes and counting back from 100? Good. Now repeat after me..."

10 minutes later...

IRB: "Brainwashing is fine....Brainwashing is good."

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 12:51 PM
Brought to you by the same folks who claim the "other side" are the ones using thought control. The same state that screams about freedom and tries to legalize pot and gay marriages but works on brainwashing experiments, decides to support stealing property from people to give to big corporations, and uses child welfare services as a class warfare weapon.

Just like Berkeley accepting a whole lot of it's funding from DARPA and other military grants, developing the flight control for the UCAV and infantry robotics programs.

I wish the protestors would spend less time with their "no blood for oil" chanting and look to the dirty tricks and nasty corruption in their own colleges, schools, and city governments.

Makes you wonder-with decades to refine Goebbel's propaganda research, and with no government oversight, just how much of advertising, and mass media, is brainwashing-and how much *any* of us think is reality?

I'm even more glad my television isn't hooked to cable or broadcast television...

[edit on 3-8-2005 by Phugedaboudet]

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 01:26 PM
From the article:

In the strawberry ice cream experiment a group of students were asked to fill out forms about their food experiences and preferences. Some of the subjects were then given a computer analysis which falsely said they had become sick from eating strawberry ice cream as children.

Almost 20% later agreed in a questionnaire that strawberry ice cream had made them sick and that they intended to avoid it in the future.

I don't want to be mean, but somehow I am a little dubious as to the intelligence level of the 20% that were duped by some computer printout into altering/forgetting their childhood memories. If 20% were duped, that means that 80% said, "What the hell? That's bollocks!" Not a very good success rate IMO.

Concerning the ethical question raised by such mind/memory-control techniques, both current and future, as with anything it can be used for good or for ill. Guns can be used to defend or to attack. Cloning could be used to advance medical technology or to dehumanize us. Space technology can be used for scientific study, or for military purposes. I guess it all just depends how it is applied and how it is regulated. The danger that such techniques could possibly be used for malevolent purposes is no reason for us to deny ourselves the opportunity to use them for beneficial ones; in fact that very possibility comprises a solid reason to do so.

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 11:49 PM
Well, actually the smarter a person is the easier he/she can get hypnotized...

posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 12:01 AM
Yup same ol' Psychology and Psychiatry brainwashing. Nope, doesn't get my support.

You let one foot in the door, in the form of "harmless" brainwashing, the next thing is the whole beast has made it's way into your living room.


posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 12:55 AM
Thank you for the wonderful replies.

Definitely, but it has long been the technique associated with cults and other organizations bearing questionable agendas. Now it appears mainstream medical science is willing to embrace the techniques, which does not sit well with me. I've seen the things you can do with brainwashing, the extent to which a human being can be broken and rebuilt. I don't condone the techniques, because they're a violation of free will, which is sacrosanct in my mind.

What else makes us human, if not that? I get very distrustful of anyone who tells people they're not good enough, and offers to fix their mind, to prune their consciousness.

This sort of work is best left to the individuals. Let every man be responsible for his own mind.

Indeed, Elizabeth Loftus, this same researcher, was instrumental in uncovering that fact. This is a refinement of her earlier work it seems. She noticed the power of suggestion, and adapted it to other uses, namely weight loss.

I don't think it's an open and shut case though, we still have a lot to learn about memory, the mind, and the limits of free will. I think she's doing fascinating work, but perhaps treading a little too close to God's territory.

You make several excellent points. This is the best of them IMO.

There are issues, yes, but I'm in favor of studying this. It's far more dangerous when it's hidden/denied/covered up.

I agree completely, we need to understand as much as we can about everything, period, point blank. Be it your enemy, your friend, you can never know too much. Study is critical, open access to information is critical, otherwise your other point is made null and void.

It doesn't work on everyone or with everyone and it can't be made to work on everyone. The more you're aware of it, the less vulnerable you are.

We need the study and research, so we are aware of it, and therefor less vulnerable to it.

Nothing has to work on everyone, certainly not in a democracy. You only need a majority. This experimented a 40% success rate in later trials, this is certainly more than sufficient for political malfeasance.

I think everyone owes it to themselves to study and understand the power of suggestion as it applies to marketing, and by extension, politics.

This is slightly different, in that it's not hypnosis, but memory fabrication through the power of suggestion, if I understand the study correctly. This is the logical extension of her work with hypnosis, because now she's studying the phenomenon whereby you can use hypnosis to convince a subject of a false memory. This appears to be a more "above the water" technique, in that it doesn't require any sort of hypnosis.

I think the potential for abuse is much higher because of this fact. It could conveivably be used on HUGE groups of people. In fact, it is being used, as we speak, in direct mail, television, and internet marketting. (A child running through a field with a can of soda, smiling, is attempting to implant a desire for soda stemming from our need to recreate childhood happiness- theoretically.)

Hopefully this study will clear up some questions about efficacy. You know what that means..the advertisers will continue to sharpen their weapons, and if the people remain unaware of what's going on, free-will becomes a complete and utter illusion.

I agree, there's no reason to get gun shy and not use the research. Like always, it will come down to the decision of individuals, whether or not to take advantage of their fellow men.

posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 01:34 PM

The results were even more startling in a second experiment, when students were asked to detail the imaginary ice cream episode, during which a total of 41% said they believed the tale and intended to avoid strawberry ice cream in the future.

A success rate of 40% is more like it, and much more startling in all cases. I basically agree with everything you said in your closer, WyrdeOne. This is a tar pit, and a slippery slope as well. (ignore the contradiction) It's not something to be advocated, although I can see it having a few good uses among people who have a serious, serious disorder, and using the work to convince prisoners that they wan't to tell interrogators what they know.

My question, however, is did they correct their views, or will these people continue to never eat strawberry ice cream?

posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:20 PM

Originally posted by Amorymeltzer
My question, however, is did they correct their views, or will these people continue to never eat strawberry ice cream?

Hypnosis have temperary effect...and a short life. It's really up the person to choose whether or not to keep continue to follow the suggestion.

This is a proof that a person can not be truly hypnotized or mind-controlled unless his subconscious mind allow it to happened...

However, traumatic based hypnosis or mind-controlled last longer...even a lifetime (if that person does get helped)...due to either the pain/fear association...

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 12:19 AM
Pain/drug hypnosis = bad. Using pain, drugs and trauma is going in the wrong direction, you are moving away from awareness. Don't be fooled, this is not a valid treatment.


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