The human mind is naturally predisposed to influence. Our ancestors’ survival on the African plains meant that those who acted without hesitation were more likely to survive. So we tend to choose the path of least resistance and behave spontaneously, without considering our every move. Indeed, we would be immobilised, if we had to carefully consider our every thought and movement.
While we have outgrown an environment that required only basic instincts, our brains have changed very little, which leaves us open to subtle manipulations that can turn even the most intelligent critical thinker into an unthinking follower or, at worst, an extremists with an agenda to maim and murder innocents.
Undue influence is a well-established legal term, coined to explain the control that an individual or group can exert over another. It occurs naturally as ‘social compliance’, but a developed methodology exists that can be used to achieve specific, unscrupulous aims. Bear in mind that even the manipulators may not fully understand the methods they employ.
This wide-reaching and dangerous issue is prevalent in modern society, in large part because of our inborn psychological predisposition. Until now, we have lacked proactive education that encourages individuals to question, research, debate and decide for themselves; Open Minds came into being to address this problem. Undue Influence contributes nothing to the welfare of humanity.
Source credit: openmindsfoundation.org
“Undue influence” –Definitions