Do you own your mind ? or somebody is priming your mind to trick you.

I used to be intrigued.

If you go to Gariahat Street Market in Kolkata, you can bargain things even for lesser than half of the price.

If a piece of dress is initially priced at Rs.400, you may even negotiate that to Rs.150.

How come?

And if it can be sold at Rs.150, why that should be priced at Rs.400 in the first place itself.

I never knew that those street hawkers are brilliant in pricing strategy and positioning without going to the MBA classes.

They know that if they prime your mind at Rs.400 and you buy it at Rs.150 later on, you will be delighted thinking that you had a great bargain.

He still has a cool 50% profit on the sale price, maybe.

The second strategy is human mind generally gets obligated for concessions made to them.

It seems like an act of generosity that the vendor has given a heavy discount, and we love generous people.

Thirdly, if the vendor starts at Rs.400, he has primed your mind and created the initial reference points for the bargain.

Has it happened to you that if a street vendor tried to sell you something you were not interested in buying and refused, and then they coaxed you to buy something of much lower value, and you eventually ended up buying that.

You felt oho ! I am not buying that expensive first item, but I can always buy the small, inexpensive item and oblige the guy.

Did you know that was a trick? He knows that if he creates a higher reference point where you felt it was at high stake and then immediately lowers it down a low stake environment, you got emotionally relieved and given to the trap that craftily done.

So they set a smart context.

I am sure you would have seen a video clip where Singer Sonu Nigam disguised himself as a beggar and sang on the roadside, and a very compassionate passer-by gave him twelve rupees.

While he sounded like Sonu Nigam only, nobody even doubted if he could be Sonu Nigam.

We see things in context and correlations.

Sonu Nigam and beggars are not in the same context here.

The Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten did a similar experiment.

Violin Maestro Joshua Bell played as an incognito busker at the Metro subway and played violin for 45 Minutes.

During that time, 1097 people passed by, only 7 people stopped to listen to him, and only one person could recognize him.

Bell collected $32.17 from 27 persons during that 45 minutes performance, out of which $20 was given by the person who could recognize him.

People would make a queue to listen to Joshua Bell by paying much more money for a planned event.

So, unless you create the context and prime people, even Joshua Bell does not matter.

Smart people use these tactics to manipulate you and me all the time.

They create a stereotype that could sell well.

The street vendor is a smart guy; he knows how to manipulate your mind and create a perceptive high value and then giving concession and making you obligated to buy.

Politicians, Religious leaders all know to prime your mind and then trick to their benefits.

They know the primal fear in your mind of you losing your religious and cultural or linguistic identities and then manipulate you in their favor.

Cults are born in that stereotyping.

We always think that Joshua Bell or Sonu Nigam will never perform on the street.

We create a tunnel vision or a singular world view, which is fertile ground for manipulation.

We have been constantly manipulated by few strong, powerful, and shrewd people without our knowledge of the constant bombardment of external priming stimuli.

Are you going to check out things for yourselves and prime your mind your own way that works primarily for you, or outsource that to few smart people who can manipulate you because you do not want to do the hard work of figuring things out for yourself?

Are you going to own your mind?

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