Wednesday, October 11, 2006

How well do you know yourself?
I'm always fascinated by articles like this, which tell us how dumb we really are when it comes to knowing ourselves. For instance, we may think we are aware of our eating habits and are perfectly in control of them. But like this guy says, the music in the background or who you're sitting next to makes a big difference towards how much you end up eating.
Reading this piece reminded me of an article on a similar theme, by Malcolm Gladwell, everyone's favorite pop psychology writer. In his piece, Gladwell wrote on the manipulative techniques of retail stores that force us to buy things that we wouldn't ordinarily buy (at least that's what I remember of it; I read it something like a year ago). You wouldn't believe some of the strategy and thinking behind things that one would normally assume are completely innocent. Like the space between two aisles of clothing - it's calculated to the inch. Read Gladwell's article, as always he's brilliant. And next time you're in a store or restaurant, remember you are simply a puppet and nothing more.

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