May 16, 2007

Psychology and communications

(Sigh) I really want this blog to be mostly about creativity or ideas and not about politics or news, but these days that is almost impossible for me. Nevertheless, one can help to explain the other.

So here I am posting a video that has nothing to do with creativity but I will invite you, the reader, to 'play' with me as we can use this video to explain some of the challenges that any communicator needs to face when s/he wants to communicate an 'idea'.

Lets see the video first:

This video has been posted several times in youtube, in one case even with the name of the soldiers. Each video is exactly the same, but the text with the posting varies from one to another, as well as the keywords... and therefore the comments and the ratings (ratings go down when the original text is more agressive).

While some seem to find it (as the soldiers, apparently) "hilarious", some others (like me) think is a shame. But there are another points of view, being the most interesting at least for me, the one claiming something like "see, we need to give more funding to the troops, so they can give water to the kids...". That reasoning would never cross my mind, because for me it was pretty clear that it wasn't a matter of "funds" just a matter of... call it what you want, bad taste, alienation, weird sense of humor or whatever.

Still this shows how we all see completely different things while watching the same video. Why? Because our own values and beliefs prioritizes one aspect of the video over the other. Our psyche plays a big role on how we 'understand' facts.

This case also shows how for some people is more difficult to put themselves in the shoes of 'the other one'. I bet money that some of the same that considered this video 'hilarious' would be the first ones that would like to put a bullet betwen the eyes of anyone that dare to do the same to their kids, if the situation was the other way around and their kids were the thirsty ones begging and running for water.

Communications is rarely about the facts, but about what we want (and we can) see or understand when we are exposed to a message. I see something shameful, some see the need for funding, some see a joke and we all have seen the same video.

Good communicators know that when transmitting an idea, you should use your recipients' values and beliefs, and you should expect different reactions from different publics, specially if the target audience is extremely wide.


Jarek said...

sesitivity to war casualties? Children? Their families? Soldiers complaining about post-war stress with no question about what they leave behind, in the real war zone ...?

Look what I found:

I'm am left speechless, over and over again.

Jarek said...

Here's how it's all supported at home:

Special report: Charity begins at war

I guess we are waaaay beyond the discussion whether war is needed or not. Sure, let's just take it for granted. Our lives after all, here in the U.S. have not really changed that much. We may as well be merciful.

Please, do "Click and Play" to see more pictures.

Click and Play? War? Mercy at war?

Ok, somebody please help me. I think I am not getting this.


Jarek said...

Family day!! Excitement!! Fund rasing !!!

wow, if this is not a Brave New World and 1984 revisited, then I don't know what is:

BOSTON (Reuters) - A planned Republican fundraiser in New Hampshire aims to promote gun ownership in America by letting supporters fire powerful military-style weapons -- from Uzi submachine guns to M-16 rifles.

The Manchester Republican Committee is inviting party members and their families to a "Machine Gun Shoot" where, for $25, supporters can spend a day trying out automatic weapons, said organizer Jerry Thibodeau.

"It's a fun day. It's a family day," said Thibodeau of the August 5 event. "It's quite exciting."