Positive Reinforcement and the Online Community = Mind Control?

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posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 11:53 AM
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Points, rewards, applause, stars, flags, topical themes, popularity,... etc.

"Positive reinforcement"

Have any of you now actively participating in forums here at ATS ever considered the possibility that you may be influenced, perhaps over time even controlled by the use of positive reinforcement here in this 'online community'?

If you start a discussion, or author a post that receives rewards, points, stars, flags, applause etc, then you have received "positive reinforcement". Those that receive the most positive reinforcement may be by these actions or lack there of, steered in a direction where these rewards are more easily gained... The influence can come from the majority of members who flag and star topics or posts, and more importantly the rewards, honors, special status' applied by site owners and staff.

What if you are actually participating in a NSA like mind control experiment and are not yet aware of it?

Do you believe there is a possibility that positive reinforcement, particularly here in this topical themed online community could be used in this way by those who seek to change opinions, confuse, mislead, and ultimately have some sustainable level of control over a rather large group of people is possible?

[edit on 27-7-2008 by The_Alarmist2012]




posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 12:04 PM
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One other thing to consider is the use of negative reinforcement in this online community.

Warnings, banning, being admonished in discussions by staff etc.

All of the bad things that can happen when you are not obeying the "terms and conditions of use" or otherwise not behaving as they would like see.

These things can also serve well for those that may be seeking to 'control' a group of people.



[edit on 27-7-2008 by The_Alarmist2012]



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 12:27 PM
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Have you also considered........in these forums one cannot personally connect with others on this board...unless you have special privileges. So what good does this all really do for the individual? It sometimes appears that noting is being done other spend lots of time with no real outcome and no real answers to what you may be looking for. I believe there individuals here that are just a part of another large cover-up. Seem familiar? Just a bunch of laws and rules to suit a few people. And like Facebook, Myspace or taking online surveys....everything ends up in a large database. Soon all that ever needs to be known about a person will be easily accessible to the point of the computers will know more about you than you yourself. And you did this willingly or unknowingly. I am curious to see if this will post!



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 12:45 PM
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For the record, I am NOT alleging that this is actually going on here at ATS, I am merely exploring the possibility that it could be happening.

Some related interesting material....

allpsych.com...


Positive Reinforcement. The examples above describe what is referred to as positive reinforcement. Think of it as adding something in order to increase a response. For example, adding a treat will increase the response of sitting; adding praise will increase the chances of your child cleaning his or her room. The most common types of positive reinforcement or praise and rewards, and most of us have experienced this as both the giver and receiver.

Negative Reinforcement. Think of negative reinforcement as taking something negative away in order to increase a response. Imagine a teenager who is nagged by his mother to take out the garbage week after week. After complaining to his friends about the nagging, he finally one day performs the task and to his amazement, the nagging stops. The elimination of this negative stimulus is reinforcing and will likely increase the chances that he will take out the garbage next week.

Punishment. Punishment refers to adding something aversive in order to decrease a behavior. The most common example of this is disciplining (e.g. spanking) a child for misbehaving. The reason we do this is because the child begins to associate being punished with the negative behavior. The punishment is not liked and therefore to avoid it, he or she will stop behaving in that manner.

Extinction. When you remove something in order to decrease a behavior, this is called extinction. You are taking something away so that a response is decreased.

Research has found positive reinforcement is the most powerful of any of these. Adding a positive to increase a response not only works better, but allows both parties to focus on the positive aspects of the situation. Punishment, when applied immediately following the negative behavior can be effective, but results in extinction when it is not applied consistently. Punishment can also invoke other negative responses such as anger and resentment.


www.whale.to...


The NSA can reinforce a predetermined desired behavior by associating a subconscious implant (negative or positive reinforcement) with an event. An example is that when the NSA want's to isolate the subject from the company of a specific person place or thing, the subject will be implanted with a feeling of increased anxiety, hostility, tension, simple discomfort, or a feeling of a lack of peace. When the subject leaves the person, place, or thing, another posthypnotic implant is triggered that rewards the subject's behavior with a feeling of relief from the anxiety, hostility, tension, discomfort, and peace is restored in the subject's mind.


www.successmethods.org...


Mind control is getting people to do what they want to do (you simply influence what they want so it's in your best interest).

There are two ways to get people to do what you want.

The first, behavior modification, allows you to change a person's undesirable behaviors by using positive reinforcement.

The second method of influencing is reality modification. We'll concentrate most of our attention on this. This mind control technique is successful because of the way in which your requests are presented.

KNOW WHAT PEOPLE NEED

There are three main goals people subconsciously seek. They are:

1. Symbolic Rewards

2. Material Gains

3. Security.....








posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 01:15 PM
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Ah, silly me.

I should have considered these possibilities myself before exploring this topic here, validation may be impossible as if there is this kind of control here then all I should expect to see are conditioned responses, or a majority who will avoid responding to any topic which could call into question anything related to the possible true motives of those who may be in control.

What if these kind of controls exist in many forms, advertising or all forms mass media?

Do YOU dare explore this topic further HERE?



[edit on 27-7-2008 by The_Alarmist2012]



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 01:39 PM
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Once I all realize this what do I do? Do I stop coming to ats? Or should I believe that it is all just entertainment and treat it like a t.v. show.
Have you noticed since ats joined up with a Media Mahem the site seems somewhat different? A little more harsh than before, but I can't quite put my finger on it. The site seems different. Your OP reminds me of Pavlovs (spelling?) dog, ring the bell and the dog salivates in response to food and rewards. Do I hear a bell? I believe I do............gotta go......Master is calling.........



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by SwordMaster
Once I all realize this what do I do?


First to 'realize this' we need to prove that it is actually happening, and that would require a collaborative effort yielding extraordinary proof. I'm not sure that is possible here.



Do I stop coming to ats?


No, IF it is proven beyond a doubt that you have been a subject of a mind control experiment here, leaving ATS could be dangerous, because IF there is that level of mind control over long term users then it is possible that there are implanted suggestions in the subjects which in case of leaving could potentially harm that subject.



Or should I believe that it is all just entertainment and treat it like a t.v. show.


If it makes you feel better, sure. However that is exactly what a "conditioned response" to this should be!

[edit on 27-7-2008 by The_Alarmist2012]



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 02:07 PM
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If this is all true, notice I say if, then what can I do? This is frightening and shocking, if true. How can I prevent mind control from affecting me if I can't even see or hear it? I can't just bury my head in the sand and hope it all goes away!



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 02:22 PM
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reply to post by SwordMaster
 


This is true, however you should not be shocked that this could possibly exist.. Various forms of mind control have existed in human society and cultures throughout our written history.

Before you are frightened we must first be able to prove that it is happening... That is why we should at least explore these possibilities.

I am cautiously watching, waiting for responses, flags, stars, supportive replies, OR the lack there of.



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 03:04 PM
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Well sure. Which is why positive reinforcement can be appreciated but neednt be given an exaggerated meaning. Doing that would lead to being controlled by the provider of the positive reinforcement.

However, this dependence on approval and applause didnt start with the NSA or online...it started in your childhood, at home.



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Well sure. Which is why positive reinforcement can be appreciated but neednt be given an exaggerated meaning. Doing that would lead to being controlled by the provider of the positive reinforcement.


Is the meaning exaggerated, or your response to it conditioned?



However, this dependence on approval and applause didnt start with the NSA or online...it started in your childhood, at home.


I absolutely agree, which is exactly why it is such an effective tool.


[edit on 27-7-2008 by The_Alarmist2012]



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 03:34 PM
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Its conditioned. Which is why I dont give praise too much credence. I like it but wont crave it.

You´re right though. It could be used as a Mind Control tool...but only against people who have become too dependent on it.



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


The internet online community is in essence an extension of our 'real world' social lives. To introduce into this a new measure of positive and negative reinforcements, the application and use, true motives and potential have not yet had the time, or investigation needed to accurately asses or dismiss its impact on individuals exposed to these environments over long periods of time, especially those who display addictive attributes tied directly to their 'membership' of such an online community.

EVERYONE, admit it or not 'craves' praise and positive reinforcement.



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 04:02 PM
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Yes. It works until you become aware of it (Hence the importance of a thread like this). Im pretty sure the praise-tactics dont work as much on you anymore. Admit it.

Btw: Some praise is also heartfelt. I for example have this "applaud" function as a moderator. When I see something that touches me or excites me, I hit the "applause" function. No ill intent there.



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 04:14 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Yes. It works until you become aware of it (Hence the importance of a thread like this). Im pretty sure the praise-tactics dont work as much on you anymore. Admit it.


In this environment I am not yet craving praise, or positive reinforcement, however in my real life, the opposite is true, and I admit both.



Btw: Some praise is also heartfelt. I for example have this "applaud" function as a moderator. When I see something that touches me or excites me, I hit the "applause" function. No ill intent there.


Is it possible that as a long term member and a staff member that your being compelled to apply positive reinforcement or 'applause' or any of the other positive or negative functions you may have upon members is actually what you have been conditioned to do?



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012
Is it possible that as a long term member and a staff member that your being compelled to apply positive reinforcement or 'applause' or any of the other positive or negative functions you may have upon members is actually what you have been conditioned to do?


Nope, we are a team but we have many different personalities and moderating styles. Some applaud more than others. That said, the applause, like all other staff functions are totally transparent. It's all logged. The entire staff can see them. The bottom line on both positive and negative reinforcement is for the betterment of the board for all members.



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012
Is it possible that as a long term member and a staff member that your being compelled to apply positive reinforcement or 'applause' or any of the other positive or negative functions you may have upon members is actually what you have been conditioned to do?


Allow me to turn this question around for a second: If you praise the work of someone or sit in delight of the landscape, is that something you have been conditioned to do?

I dont think so. I think appreciation is a natural gift. This natural gift can be abused by people, of course...but you´re suggesting that its all somehow "fake", which it is not.

I can praise a child because I feel good about what the child did or I can praise it in order to get something in return. The latter is the manipulative use of praise.



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 04:30 PM
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First of all discussion boards are an Oracle of Delphi of sorts. A mass linking of ideas on wide ranging topics.
Anyone who feels a nead to glean positive reinforcement from an online board my suggestion would be to get out more, maybe do some volunteering.



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 04:32 PM
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Originally posted by intrepid
Nope, we are a team but we have many different personalities and moderating styles. Some applaud more than others. That said, the applause, like all other staff functions are totally transparent. It's all logged. The entire staff can see them. The bottom line on both positive and negative reinforcement is for the betterment of the board for all members.


Thank you for the quick response.

Question if I may ask, how is what is for the betterment of the board for all members actually determined?

A governing body?

Just the owners, advertisers or others??

I actually understand the need for rules, and I am impressed with how well it all works here, I also understand that this kind of mind control could be far less nefarious than some may think, it could simply be all about keeping order, keeping everyone on topic etc. and most of all it has advantages in marketing, sales and advertising.

However, it may be possible that it is an experiment of sorts, at the expense of unknowing users, if so that seems wrong and leaves open the potential for much more sinister uses.

[edit on 27-7-2008 by The_Alarmist2012]



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 04:38 PM
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Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012
Question if I may ask, how is what is for the betterment of the board for all members actually determined?

A governing body?

Just the owners, advertisers or others??


The T&C is what governs it all. Everyone had to agree to those terms when registering with the exception of Simon. And they apply to everyone.


However, it may be possible that it is an experiment of sorts, at the expense of unknowing users, if so that seems wrong and leaves open the potential for much more sinister uses.


This actually is a type of experiment. A user generated site with a high priority on civility. Hasn't been done before and it's working. Nothing sinister there. As you can see, ATS is pretty open.



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