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Old 11-21-2023, 12:16 PM
23,519 posts, read 69,925,450 times
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This study has not yet been duplicated by other researchers, and the cohort is limited, but it does offer some insight into the root mechanisms of fanaticism and mob behavior.


From the article:

"When their team wins, the reward system in the brain is activated," Dr. Zamorano said. "When they lose, the mentalization network can be activated, taking the fan to an introspective state. This may mitigate some of the pain of the loss. (That statement is a supposition) We also observed inhibition of the brain hub that connects the limbic system with frontal cortices, hampering the mechanism that regulates cognitive control and increasing the probability to fall into disruptive or violent behavior."

According to Dr. Zamorano, the findings may shed light on social dynamics in all walks of life.

"People inherently crave social connections, be it through membership in a running club, participation in a book discussion group, or engagement in virtual forums," he said. "While these social bonds often form around shared beliefs, values and interests, there can also be an element of persuasive proselytism, or 'group think,' which may give rise to unreasoned beliefs and societal discord."

I haven't mulled the article over for more than a few minutes, the following is just my initial impression:


A win creates a "happy" state and contributes to group cohesiveness

A loss or significant "attack" throws the brain into a "how do I FEEL about this?" mode. Simultaneously, the Star Trek "Spock brain" is pushed to the back of the room.

IF the study is verified as factual, then approaching a person who is in the thralls of group-think / cult / mob reinforcing behavior requires techniques that may seem counter-intuitive. Connecting with their emotional state in a meaningful way would be required before and during any attempt at logic or reasoning.

The above supposition is consistent with the tenets of neuro-linguistic programming and rules of classical rhetoric (pull out your Dale Carnegie book), and may provide the basis for an underlying structure detailing how and why those work.

Reaching beyond that, similar activations and repressions of parts of the brain may occur during common arguments and disputes, and help to understand the differences between the so-called "engineer brain" and "artistic or emotional brain" as well as some types of addiction -

When an addiction is satiated, access to logic allows the individual to say "I need to stop this. Here is my plan." When there is a loss (the addiction has gone for a while being unsatiated) access to that logic and control is diminished at the same time the emotional component is enhanced.

So, an experiment to try! Over the holidays, when you really want that extra chocolate or other food that will just add weight, pull out a copy of this and read it. I'll bet that you dismiss it as just words during that craving. And yet, if you come back with a clearer mind after you have fully satiated the addiction, you might think "Gee, that does make some sense! I wish I hadn't had that extra chocolate."

Prove me wrong by NOT eating the extra chocolate, and reporting back "That was easy!"
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