I clearly remember that Strawberry Shortcake sold her own brand of douche at one point.
June 12, 2001 8:16 AM   Subscribe

I clearly remember that Strawberry Shortcake sold her own brand of douche at one point. Were I in this study, I know I would have fallen for it too. Anyone else find how easily duped we are creepy and disturbing?
posted by dong_resin (10 comments total)
I don't like talking to cartoon characters, I find it creepy that there are people that have jobs dressing up as Mickey or goofy and then going around chaffing 10 year old's hair. I imagine some fat guy eating a pastrami and smoking cigars on his lunch break over a box. Worse yet I imagine some creep that is actually into this stuff, like those pom-pom/mascot people. It's on the same plane as the very much.

Mefites probably wouldn't take any survey in the first place, I think I've enquired about such things once and the pay was very low, seeing how everyone around here is very rich. I sometimes see people dragging all of their 7 kids through the mall into one of those places. Also Mefites would immediately point out Bugs Bunny and with their best 'Simpsons comic book guy tone' would say "I believe that is a proper trademark of AOL!". "Worst Survey ever!"

Anyway, I don't think I've ever created anything false, well, suggestively. Sometimes there's a deja vu-type of an effect where you simultaneously feel the moment over again and then wonder about it enough to create something that never happened. I think, but then I could have created a false memory that tells me I never created any false memories.
posted by tiaka at 9:04 AM on June 12, 2001

I have a couple of key childhood memories – learning to swim, for example – that I have analyzed a little and discovered they are inaccurate. Wrong place, wrong point of view, all sorts of things. Seems like the only thing I remembered right was "I learned to swim," and the visual parts of the memories are more or less embellishments. So I would definitely agree that false memories exist.

That said, the idea of advertisers deliberately exploiting this phenomenon with 'nostalgic' ads disturbs me a little. Is there a way to turn off my unconscious while watching TV?
posted by D at 9:23 AM on June 12, 2001

I love the setup, with "a 4-foot-tall cardboard figure of Bugs Bunny that was casually placed in the interview room". You know, now that you mention it, I think I remember there was one of those in our last Board of Directors meeting ...
posted by JParker at 9:33 AM on June 12, 2001

I'm afraid I have to tell you, dresin, your attention getting line was way better than the story you were pushing...

but ever since I read your intro, I distinctly remember strawberry scented feminine hygiene products...

Honestly, don't tease my like that! That looked WAY TOO GOOD and now I'll just be disappointed for the rest of the day!


posted by indigo at 9:57 AM on June 12, 2001

Damn this power of advertising that I wield!

Had you gone on to read the second line, maybe your expectations would have settled somewhat. :)
posted by dong_resin at 10:07 AM on June 12, 2001

I know this has come up on Metafilter before -- there was the thread about a study where people "remembered" using now-familiar products back in their childhoods, before the products actually existed. As I recall, tiaka and rodii made some good points in that thread.
posted by webmutant at 10:48 AM on June 12, 2001

Another good example is the JFK assassination. So many people have seen the Zapruder film so many times that they "remember" seeing Kennedy killed on live TV, even though there was no live coverage of the motorcade at all. Even the Zapruder film itself was not widely seen by the public for some number of years after the event because it was held by the Warren Commission.
posted by briank at 10:54 AM on June 12, 2001

You know... I really thought I saw Jason Kottke on the subway this morning. But now that I think about it I guess it was just the life-size cardboard cutout of Jason Kottke I saw at the supermarket. Weird.
posted by owen at 12:03 PM on June 12, 2001

I think the technical term for this is confabulation -- your brain making up stories to fit current circumstances.

There's a fantastic experiment about this (that I may have mentioned before here) in which the imagine of 1/2 a face is projected on to the left or right side of both eyeballs. (via a Z lens). . Anyway, when asked to re-create what they saw, the patients drew a complete face.

Coincidentally, I was reading the traffic safety article in the new yorker (1 issue ago, damn it, or I'd post the link). Interesting experiment asking folks to count passes between basketball players. Fully 50% of people missed a woman walking on to the court in a gorilla suit, waving her arms, and walking off. When asked about it, they didn't even recall anything odd happening.

So anyway: the big news is your brain makes up at least some of what you see, and filters out what it think's ain't important. Or WYSINWH (what you see is not what happened).

Or maybe... I'm just making it up...
posted by daver at 12:10 PM on June 12, 2001

I know this has come up on Metafilter before ...

So, did anyone read my post and think, "Oh, yeah, I think I remember that thread?"
posted by webmutant at 9:59 AM on June 13, 2001

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