Are You an Original Thinker? Are You Easily Influenced by Other People? Find Out Here

Image Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Image Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Are you an original thinker? Are you easily Influenced?

Are you easily influenced? Do you have original ideas?

We often hear about ‘original thinkers' and people that ‘think outside the box'. Are you one? Do you know someone that you think of in that way? Religion and Politics teach us a lot about influence, and the nature of conformity. You may think that you make your own decisions, and walk your own path, but when you start to look more closely at your lifestyle, and the choices you make day to day, you might be surprised by your readiness to follow the trends. Have you, for example, voted more than once for the same political party, even when you've been unhappy with their policies? Do you perhaps adhere to a religious belief even when you disagree with some its fundamentals? Perhaps, in many ways, we humans have much in common with sheep, happily joining in with the rest of the flock.

Try this fun quiz to find out whether you're a leader or a follower:



Are you a leader or a follower?

  1. Do you ever buy branded food products because you believe they are in some way superior to supermarket's own brands?
  2. Have you ever paid more for an item of clothing simply because it features a particular brand label? (e.g. Levi jeans, Gap sweaters, etc.)
  3. How did you select your insurer? Did you ring round, or use a comparison web-site, or did you go for the one that always advertises on TV?
  4. Have you ever bought a product simply because a friend recommended it?
  5. Have you ever bought an item because friends or colleagues have commented on your old, but perfectly serviceable mobile phone/hi fi/camera/car etc.?
  6. Have you ever gone along to an event that you didn't feel comfortable about just because your friends or colleagues would laugh if you didn't join in?
  7. Do you vote the same way in every election, and if so, is it the party that your parents always supported?
  8. Do you believe that people in authority must know more than you do, or they wouldn't be there?
  9. Do you believe that the interpretation of events that you read in your preferred newspaper is accurate and fair on every occasion?
  10. Do you believe that if it's in print or on TV then it must be true?
  11. Do you trust your doctor to give you the best diagnosis on every occasion?
  12. Do you believe that every professional you come in contact with has your best interests at heart?
  13. Do you read your daily horoscope to find out what the day has in store?
  14. Did you know that the word 'gullible' has been removed from the dictionary?
  15. Do you still believe you're an original thinker?

Mankind as a herd species

For a long time now, I've come to see our kind as a herd species. Don't laugh! I'm more than half serious here. How else do you explain how fashion works. One season all the girls are wearing floral dresses, and the next they're all in suits. Twenty years ago everyone had wall-to-wall carpets, and now stripped wood floors are de rigeur.

The study of hypnosis gives more clues as to how these things work, and it is quite staggering how easily influenced even the most original amongst us really is. The human brain acts just like an on-board computer. It is pre-programmed to make connections, and guide our actions and reactions in response to external prompts.

Perhaps, on an instinctive level, we humans are not too dissimilar to other creatures in the animal kingdom. If you have ever watched ducks in flight, you might perhaps have marvelled at them achieving a perfect ‘V' formation. You may perhaps, have seen a collie dog rounding up a flock of sheep, and witnessed how they obediently gather together, when they could so easily divide and conquer. You will almost certainly have seen a colony of ants on the march, or observed bees swarming, or flocks of starlings swooping about the sky on a perfectly synchronised flight path, and wondered how they communicate, and how they know to act as a single entity. But do you really believe that humans are different, that as individuals, we walk our own path?

A quick lesson in influence courtesy of Derren Brown

I am including this link to a Youtube video of Derren Brown because it demonstrates perfectly just how many stimulations and influences we are bombarded with on an average day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UpUcgPP-YY

The clip shows two advertising professionals being played at their own game by master hypnotist, Derren Brown. They have been invited to come up with an advertising campaign for an unlikely project, and they are given a limited amount of time to produce slogans and sketches. Meanwhile Derren Brown has also produced sketches and slogans prior to their meeting, and these are sealed, and left in the room with the advertising guys. When Derren Browns marketing concepts are revealed at the end of the experiment, it is immediately clear that Brown's ideas are almost identical to those of the Ad pros. The video goes on to demonstrate exactly how this synchronicity was achieved, and it quickly becomes clear that influence takes very many forms.....

The advertising industry understands the nature of influence all too well. If a message is repeated often enough, it will gradually becomed hot-wired into our consciousness. Present the desired message in a particularly catchy way, and you're surely on to a winner. Jingles, slogans, eye-catching packaging, linking products to celebrities, these are all proven ways to ensure success in advertising.

The important thing to understand, however, is that I'm not just talking about the influence of advertising here, although that is a powerful presence in the media and in any retail environment. I'm also thinking of visual cues, such as changing scenery, litter on the streets, other people's clothing and behaviour. Audio cues include other peoples opinions, radio, music, and the sounds of nature. Some people are also strongly influenced by taste and smell, and the associations that they inspire.

Influence and inspiration are very closely allied, and true originality is therefore a very rare jewel indeed.


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Comments 87 comments

Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

That video is fantastic, Amanda! What a set up. I went for a massage on Friday with a friend- her birthday- and the woman who worked me up said she loved the images flashing through her mind as she massaged me- colors, art, etc. Very strange news, indeed, lol. Sometimes I think intuitive people like artists can intuit this stuff, i.e., the guy with the product was thinking in images that these two guys picked up as well. Sometimes that is an advertising person's job- to deliver what the customer wants. Something he is unable to do himself in quite as accomplished a fashion.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for stopping by, Storytellersrus,

Derren Brown is very talented when it comes to identifying the cues that prompt our imagination. If you get a chance to check out some of his other Youtube clips, they're well worth looking at. What fascinated me was how briefly the cues were shown to the advertising guys yet they were still able to pick up on them on a completely sub-conscious level, and that's how it is for all of us, all of the time. We're constantly updating and re-programming our internal computer in response to the slightest stimulus, but we just don't realise it. It's fascinating stuff.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Thanks for the suggestion, Amanda!  I didn't even consider that Derren Brown might have other Youtube clips.  I will certainly check them out.  I wonder how he gets the advertising companies to cooperate.  He seems to make fools of them?!!  My sister called today and was trying to find something to add to an online order- over $50 and she got free postage.  I thought of you and this subliminal stuff as I brainstormed ideas with her.  It's interesting because while most of the ideas I came up with were silly objects in the rooms I wandered, occasionally I did come up with something a bit more creative.  Those were the items that generated the biggest laughs.  Creativity- is it taking things just a tad further than the obvious?


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

I think that what we know as creativity is really the ability to stitch the ideas around us into something new. Sometimes creative ideas require more of a leap than most people have the confidence to make (such as Bill Gates and Microsoft or Marie Curie and radiation) or sometimes the ideas are there, but not the technology (such as Leonardo daVinci's flying machine) but the inspirations are generally rooted in the world around us. So yes, it is just taking things a tad further than the obvious, or maybe just having the ability to come at things from a different angle!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

Great hub Amanda! For the few who walk to the beat of a different drummer, the mantle of originality is given to them on hindsight very often. Sometimes it's more comfortable to follow though you miss out on the satisfaction of forging your own path. And how many realise they're being led by the Pied Pipers of control to a fool's paradise? Incredible video!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for stopping by Shalini,

I find human behaviour endlessly fascinating, and I love watching how long people hang on to their beliefs against incredible odds, even when the opposing viewpoint is logical and valid. Once a belief system is in place it's almost impossible to strip away. It's as though it's been hard-wired into an on-board computer. People are so susceptible to influence, sometimes scarily so (like the Nazis in Germany). As you say true original thinkers are rare than hen's teeth, and often only identified in hindsight.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 8 years ago from New Zealand

Wow that really is quite scary how little they had to see to be influenced ! Fascinating hub!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for stopping by Lissie. I'm still thinking about your hub, and how I can use some of your ideas (see how easily influenced I am!)


Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Great hub, Amanda, and great video! It's amazing how much our brains process each day that escapes our attention, and that video illustrates the power of our subconscious minds brilliantly. I also agree with what you said about the tenacious hold that our belief systems can have over us, even in the face of overwhelming, logical evidence to the contrary. I agree with your thoughts on herd mentality as well. Studies have shown that if three people are in a room and two purposefully give incorrect answers to a very simple problem, the third person is highly likely to conform to what the group "believes" instead of answering the question correctly. For such an intelligent species, we can be incredibly foolish at times, especially in pursuit of social acceptance.

Thanks for the interesting read!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Melissa,

I just came off of your hub a minute or two ago, we must have been reading each others hubs at roughly the same time!

Reading Hubpages is an education in itself. There are so many highly individual viewpoints represented on a variety of subjects, but religion and politics draw the crowds every time. The amazing thing about the most ardent believers, or most partisan voters, is how selective they are about the things they acknowledge. Anything they're uncomfortable with is just brushed aside. I'm trying to wean myself off of the religious hubs, as they just go through the same hoops over and over, without any ground won or lost, but the political hubs are still fun.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by.


Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Hi Amanda,

Very cool about our timing. :)

I've noticed the same thing in religious discussions, if you're not conversing with like-minded people, they generally amount to little more than nonsensical, draining, and ineffective babbling.

I agree that politics are slightly better. Here's an interesting hub by Conscious_Wryter on that subject, which I think you'll enjoy: http://hubpages.com/misc/Stoking-the-Fires-of-Hatr...


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Melissa,

I've checked out Conscious_Wryters hub, and I've left a comment there. I guess the rascism that is becoming all too apparent in the McCain/Palin campaign is yet another example of indoctrination and negative influence negating common-sense and reason. If only people would think these things through, instead of acting like idiots!


Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

So true! :)


Ananta65 8 years ago

Out of the twelve questions, I’ve got a yes only twice (one of which is # 12, obviously). However, being an original thinker doesn’t make you immune for influences, which is only natural. We are a social species, where some of us tend to herd-like or flock-like behavior and others go by their own rules. But in the end, even the most original thinker is susceptible to stimuli, especially on the subconscious level. Great hub, Amanda!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Ananta,

As you so rightly say, even original thinkers are susceptible to stimuli. No doubt daVinci's flying machine was inspired by seeing birds fly. I suspect the true mark of an original thinker is someone who questions everything, and doesn't just follow the crowd, and is able to make leaps in his or her imagination that others have either failed to, or feared to make before. Well done for getting through the questions with mostly 'nos'!


Ananta65 8 years ago

Well done, you think? *smile* As if getting through them with mostly ‘nos’ is an objective, an achievement? The way I see it, there will always be crowds, just because many people feel comfortable and secure if they can follow others. Which is not a bad trait, nor is it a good one. Being an out-of-the-box-thinker doesn’t make us better than others. Although I must say, that I’m awaiting the day when having an open mind comes into fashion ;)


sharonsarah profile image

sharonsarah 8 years ago

Wow great hub. But I have my own ideas. I am not easily influenced. That video is really interesting one. Ang the image you have used is nice.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Ananta. You're right of course. If there were too many free thinkers running around we might get ourselves into any amount of trouble. The problem is that humans do have a herd mentality, but don't always choose their leaders wisely. Personally I see myself as a straggler rather than a leader or a follower. I would have ticked yes to more of those questions than you, but at the same time I always have a 'yes, but' held in reserve! Open minds are wonderful things, but those with closed minds don't know how to cope with them.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Sharonsarah. I'm glad to hear that you're not easily influenced, but it's a good thing to be aware of. Thanks for stopping by!


Ananta65 8 years ago

This is how we people can be too, Amanda: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=qorsLH-Mcok

We don’t all have to be free thinkers, as long as we stay critical thinkers. I guess that’s a utopia, though…


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

I like the link Ananta. Those poor lemmings! Yes, we humans can behave in a very similar fashion.

Critical thought is a great facility to have, but the next best thing would be for people to question themselves occassionally. Why am I doing this? Where am I going? Do I even like the people I'm with? and so on, before making rash decisions. Bring on Utopia!


Ananta65 8 years ago

Utopia? There's soooo many of them :)


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Wow! Such a great insight into how we think! Thanks Amanda!

PS And I just love the question #12 :D


Ananta65 8 years ago

I didn't get #12, so I just answered yes ;)


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

LOL That's why we loved it, right? ;)


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Ananta and Misha,

I take it from your comments that you're both original thinkers! I'm amazed that no-ones commented on no.11, as I only put that one in as a joke and to see if you were all paying attention! (LOL)


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

I must be an original thinker because my husband calls me a pain in the ass whenever I don't agree with him on anything...which come to think of it...is most of the time. :)


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Then I must be one too! Bryan and I don't agree on anything much, from politics, to religion, to what to have for dinner, but somehow we muddle through. Hey, just a thought, maybe he's the original thinker, because he doesn't agree with me!


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Now THAT is some original thinking Amanda :)


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

It's a scary thing to contemplate Misha, that it might have been me that was wrong all along! (LOL)


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Original thinking is always scary, isn't it? Just because you are all by yourself when you dare to do this :)


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

I guess you just  have to dare to be different.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

Amanda - I don't believe it - I read No 11 and then passed onto the next - that was a good one!!!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Glad you enjoyed it Shalini. It proves you're paying attention!


Conscious_Wryter profile image

Conscious_Wryter 8 years ago

First Amanda, I want to thank you for viewing my hub.  On your response to my article on our current political affairs here in the U.S., I am writing an article now that touches somewhat on political and racial history that still dictates how politics is still driven in the states.  Obama's lineage is skewed and viewed through the narrow lens of the long history of white racial superiority ideology.  The perception is that if one has a "one drop" of black blood, one is deemed black.  It is a means to keep division. However, statistics show that the majority of whites here have some black lineage and the same goes for blacks who have white lineage usually through the paternal and maternal line.  I personally think it is wrong and unfair to class people at all, especially on race. So even to call Obama bi-racial still implies a difference from white or black. There is a reason that people want to cling to delineations based on race to imply superiority, but I won't get into that now. I will let you know when the article is completed, in case you're interested.

I want to say I appreciate your hub, and this article topic is of particular interest to me because as a free-thinker, and I see more of the world moving closer to an awareness of free-thinking, I believe it is good to see how we can better ourselves if we're empowered to cue into our subconscious influences.  This is a great topic you've introduced.  Thanks for sharing.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Conscious_Wryter,

Thanks for stopping by. I am following the American election very closely, because I believe that this may well be the most important election in American history to date. History is being made before our eyes, and our grandchildren will probably study this decade at school. The whole race issue is frighteningly evident in so much of the campaign reporting, and I hope that in time race will cease to be seen as a barrier to political success. I will certainly watch out for your next hub, because I would love to know more about how the whole race issue has developed in the USA. Good luck with your hubs. It's good to hear a new viewpoint!


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

Scarey when you apply this to our jury system. yipes! and voting! eeek I try to think for myself, but got to admit of course I'm influenced. good points!!!

maybe we are all brainwashed to a certain extent.


Ananta65 8 years ago

A lot of people would be better off with a clean brain ;) I'd say 'they' (don't you just love conspiracy theories?) are polluting our brains, rather than washing them. Come to think of it, the term brainswashing is so beneath the truth, isn't it?


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Marisue

Yes, it's all very scary. It's all too often a case of monkey see, monkey do, and with that knowledge in their back pockets, unscrupulous people set out to decieve the masses. So much of our perception of the world is shaped by what we see and read in the media, it's hard to know where any of our ideas originally come from.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Ananta,

'Clean brains', Hmm, now that's an idea! Brainwashing is nothing like what actually goes on. So many people's minds are completely clogged up with media misinformation, and they seldom make an effort to check out which bits are true and which bits are distorted.


denisewrtr37 profile image

denisewrtr37 8 years ago from Philadelphia

Interesting! With TV, radio, newspapers and magazines - I wonder if it's truly possible to be an original thinker. I do believe that holding to what you believe in (unless you decide to change your mind on your own) is a good thing!

Denise Webbing It Up!


Writer Rider 8 years ago

I always think for myself. Basically what I do is view a problem from all logical angles and the one that makes the most sense is the angle I follow.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Denise

Thanks for stopping by. I think you're right to a very large extent, as the YouTube clip demonstrates, we're subject to many influences all of the time, and many of them enter our consciousness subliminally. But even our beliefs need to be questioned from time to time, as sometimes the values we hold are just a regurgitation of the values that other people (teachers, parents etc.) have passed on. We need to use our critical judgement whenever we can.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Writer Rider,

I'm glad you are able to look at problems from all angles. Critical thinking is a wonderful skill, and one we should all cultivate. Thanks for stopping by.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 8 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

Incredible Video, GREAT HUB Amanda!!!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for stopping by Carlotta,

Yes, the video is amazing, and Derren Brown has quite a collection posted on Youtube. If you've not come across him before, he's well worth checking out. It gives you a whole new perspective on how the world works!


hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 8 years ago from Oregon, USA

Wow that is amazing! and since those two guys are artistic types, they probably picked it up more than normal people would. Here are my answers to your questions:

--------------------------------------------------

1. Do you ever buy branded food products because you believe they are in some way superior to supermarket's own brands? I'll only buy the brand name if the generic brand really tastes like shit in a blind taste test. 2. Have you ever paid more for an item of clothing simply because it features a particular brand label? (e.g. Levi jeans, Gap sweaters, etc.)Never. If I buy the spendy brand, it's because I like it and it's there. 3. How did you select your insurer? Did you ring round, or use a comparison web-site, or did you go for the one that always advertises on TV?Cost. 4. Have you ever bought a product simply because a friend recommended it?Yes, but it would be because I thought they knew more about it than I did and I asked for the recommendation. 5. Have you ever bought an item simply because friends or colleagues have commented on your old, but perfectly serviceable mobile phone/hi fi/camera/car etc.?No. 6. Have you ever gone along to an event that you didn't feel comfortable about just because your friends or colleagues would laugh if you didn't join in?I've gone to events I didn't feel comfortable at, only if I felt there might be some direct benefit to me unrelated to my friends laughing at me. 7. Do you vote the same way in every election, and if so, is it the party that your parents always supported?So far, mostly yes, but that's because after researching it, with a very few exceptions, the opposing party is verifiably populated with clowns, idiots, and/or evil people. The party I usually support is not exactly God on wheels, but they're the lesser of two evils. 8. Do you believe that people in authority must know more than you do, or they wouldn't be there?Hell no. It's the other way around. Only people who know little except how to suck up ever *get* into positions of authority. People who really know what's up don't want to be there. 9. Do you believe that the interpretation of events that you read in your preferred newspaper is accurate and fair on every occasion?Shit no. 10. Do you believe that if it's in print or on TV then it must be true?Hell no. I follow the money. 11. Did you know that the word 'gullible' has been removed from the dictionary?No it hasn't. 12. Do you still believe you're an original thinker? Yes I do.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hot Dorkage, you rock! That's a fantastic set of answers, and when it comes to original thinking, you're a straight 'A' student! Thanks for stopping by!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

G'day Amanda, this is a very enlightening Hub, also very disturbing because as youv'e pointed out the concept can be used for good and evil.

One thing my father did engrain into my brain was the old quote I think goes something like:- believe none of what you hear and half of what you see!

It also helps to be a sceptic!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Wise Words Ag. Clever people who do not have our best interests at heart, use these techniques all the time. I guess we're all conditioned to some extent, but I guess conditioning your children to be sceptical, might not be a bad thing!


mikeq107 8 years ago

Hi Amanda :0)

I turned of the TV about 5 years ago buy clothes because i like the fit and my own personal style and at Goodwill...I ride A BMW motorbike because I want to and love them and in the states the crowd rides harleys LOL and most of all I speak my mind and love myself and my thoughts are my own.. I like being around me...I,m an orignal..pricless :):):):):)  and i`m responsible for my own crap or i own it :) and most of all I dont bleach my teeth and my body parts are not made in CA LOL

Loved your Hub...Later Mike :0)


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Mike,

Thanks for stopping by. I've never had a seconds doubt that you were a one-off. You can tell that by your hubs! Good to hear that your body parts are all home-grown (LOL) It's hard to tell with a lot of the celebrities these days!

Cheers for now

Mandy


mikeq107 8 years ago

Thanks Mandy :0)

CHEERS YOURSELF!!!!SEE YOU SOON MIKE:0)


vitaeb profile image

vitaeb 8 years ago from Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Thanks for the video, Mandy. reminds me of those super-dazzling magic tricks I used to love when I was kid. Derren Brown is one of those great magicians. He abe could write a book on "How to Trick a Tricky Mind."

Abe Lincoln said "You can fool all the people some of the time [he must have meant 8 years], you can fool some of the people all of the time [he must have meant those who believe Gov. Palin represents the best female example of our time], but you can't fool all of the people all of the time [he hadn't caught up with the power of advertising].

A wonderful book written by Peter Russel "Waking Up In Time" - I highly recommend


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi vitaeb

Thank you for your comments and I'm glad you enjoyed the youtube clip. I've not come across the Peter Russel book, but will certainly look out for it. Derren Brown, strangely enough, does have a book out called a Trick of the Mind, a very similar title to the one you suggested, but perhaps you've already seen that?

Few, if any, of the hypnotists I know, come anywhere close to possessing Derren Brown's remarkable talents, and Gov. Palin is even less convincing, or at least in my eyes, but November will show exactly who she is succeeding in fooling! (LOL)


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Great hub. I agree it's easy to follow a known path than go in a new direction. But it once happened 2 years back I was in a new neighbourhood and took a wrong turn. I was getting worried that I missed the program I needed to attend but in the bargain I discovered a beautiful park (and lo behold I arrived at the venue earlier than the map directions mentioned). I later came to know I arrived their by a short cut which only the locals know....LOL


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Countrywomen,

Thanks for stopping by. I liked your story, and it sounds as though your instincts took you on a new and better path that day. I believe that we all have an inner guide that we should learn to listen to, but with so many competing voices around us demanding our attention, it can be hard to focus on what's really right for us.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Amanda- Actually till that point I was following the printout then at the next turn I thought I remembered and there was a car coming from the other direction hence didn't have time to clarify from the printout. I don't know whether I would trust my instincts while driving as my sense of directions is pretty poor (Thank GOD I bought a GPS late last year)


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

GPS certainly makes things easier when you're driving on your own in new places, but sometimes it's still nice to take a chance and see where you end up. (Though maybe not when you're on the way to an important appointment I guess)


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

You said it Amanda. I was getting late for the program and I don't usually trust my sense of direction(Esp if its a new route). I love the GPS for the company it provides while driving (Besides the constant radio)....LOL


JazLive profile image

JazLive 8 years ago from Decatur

I now realize why I get into so much controversy ~ I am an original thinker and it is because of

146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

Though this passage says princes and man ~ In my 50+ years of female existenct this also applies to princesses and woman.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Jazlive,

I guess there are genuine people around whose advice is worth seeking out, but it's probably a great idea to do your own research too! Original Thinkers often have a tough time because they're constantly swimming against the tide, but thank goodness they do, or we would not have the benefit of so many scientific and medical discoveries, quite apart from knowing our world as a whole rather than the limited part known to us before Marco Polo, Magellan, Columbus and Cook.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Amanda,

I wish you could link this hub to that antichrist thing and maybe some people can become original thinkers then...LOL. Gotta sleep now. Have a great day. Bye take care dear.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Thanks CW. Sweet dreams.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia

Great hub Amanda, and I'm so jealous you guys have Darren over there. I think he's great - I get so many insights from him!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

He's certainly a clever man LBD. I've learned a lot from reading his work, and by watching his video clips. Some of it is not entirely ethical from a hypnotherapists view point, but it's hard to ignore!


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Hey Amanda, GREAT hub!  Let's see about those questions:

Q4 is a bit tricky there, 'cause trusting, well, trusted friend is usually a good idea, especially when you know from experience that this friend will give you good advice.  If that's not the case, then "fool me once..." applies :-)  Then obviously, at least obviously in my case, it needs to apply that I actually NEED that product for something, which would be the primary reason for me to consult with a friend.  If they just came up and said "you gotta get this", I would probably either tell them to scoot –or make a note for future reference!

Q10 is such a big NO that it wouldn't even fit the comment box!! Laugh!

Q11 – You're not kidding, has it really been removed?  I could find it in my dic!!

See, I only answered YES twice and, ironically, Q12 *isn't* one of them! What does that make me then?!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi Elena,

The questionnaire is really just a bit of fun (especially Q11!) but at the time I wrote it (the run-up to the American presidential election) I was reading a lot of contradictory comments on political hubs that made me realise how apparently rational people suddenly lose the ability to reason when faced with an opposing opinion. I found this really interesting. Does this reflect childhood indoctrination, lack of independent thought, or brain-washing through the media? I used my clip from Derren Brown to illustrate just how subtle influence can be, and I hope that people took the time to watch it, as it is more important than my article.

If you are not easily influenced, the chances are that you are an original thinker, or at least an independent one!


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Can I beg to politely disagree? :-) I can't watch the video from my laptop and I assure you that in my independent thinker's opinion (wow, that sounds grand, doesn't it! laugh) your article stands by itself! It made me think and as a plus it also made me have fun with that kid-you-not kinky questionnaire :-) Thumbs up for YOU, and my best wishes for those who could watch the video to complement YOUR hub :-)


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Elena,

I appreciate your appreciation!


MellasViews profile image

MellasViews 7 years ago from Earth

: ( The video doesn't work anymore. Says embedding disabled by request. I really wanted to see it.

At any rate, I enjoyed this hub, if the vid ever comes back on, or if you have another link I could view it at, I'd love if you'd send it my way. : )


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi Mellas,

I'm sorry about the video. Here's the link, and I'll see if it can be reconnected here on the hub.:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SwKMqyLiQlE


MellasViews profile image

MellasViews 7 years ago from Earth

Awesome... I heading there now!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

I hope you enjoy it. Derren Brown is a great talent. Let me know what you think.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Yes. Or possibly no. What type of thinker do you think I am?


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Judging purely by your comment, an indecisive one?


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Sorry, rather lame joke!


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

Well Amanda, I'm sorry I missed this one. It speaks very directly to and harmonizes with an old hub of mine called INDOCTI-NATION.

Don't they say great minds think alike? Sorry, couldn't pass it up.

I just downloaded the vid from YT. Yes, I have a sneaky bit of software that lets me do that. It's called You Tube Downloader of all things! Here's the site if you're interested. When I got it, it was virus and malware free. That was a while ago so it's good to be cautious.

http://youtubedownload.altervista.org/

Belated praises for an excellent hub.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for the link CWB. I'm at work right now, but I plan to down-load it to my home PC later on. Should come in handy!

I just re-visited Indoctri-nation, and although I had read it before, I had forgotten that you made specific reference to the influence of the media in that hub. I guess it's a perfect example of what happened in the Derren Brown clip, as I think your hub preceded mine. We fondly imagine that ideas come to us out of nowhere, but we're really acquiring them all the time, almost by osmosis.


TheMindlessBrute profile image

TheMindlessBrute 7 years ago from Orlando,Florida

Amanda,

Knowing and understanding the power of influence is the key to ensuring that your decisions are of your own free will.Being able to articulate this knowledge to others is the key to free them.This is hub is a very rare jewel indeed,as I see that the majority of the people I meet suffer from collectivism.I appreciate your perspective and I'm going to join your fan club for more.The abuse of expense accounts,by members of Parliament, that came to light recently will hopefully trigger a few more light bulbs on your side of the pond.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi MindlessBrute,

Seems like your user name is a misnomer! Thank you for taking the time to read this hub. Strangely enough I wrote it in the run-up to the American elections last year. It was inspired by the many political hubs being posted where the debates would go round in circles because people were so stuck on their own ideas.

I'm looking forward to our elections which must surely come soon following all the recent shennanigans in Parliament. Abuse of expenses is nothing new, but the extent to which it has occurred is quite staggering. Interesting times.


Helen Cater profile image

Helen Cater 7 years ago from UK

I understand where you are going with this one and what a fantastic way of analysing ones self to see if we are sheep. Hand on heart I can say I am not a follower and never have been. I have raised my children to think the same. Individuality is a big thing for me when it comes to thinking. I have my opinions, I will listen but not always agree, but i am not one of these who will cause conflict over issues. I buy because I like whatever the brand. I pay what I think is a fair price as long as i like the product. Never will I vote for the same party if I have an issue. I am always trying to think of new things I can do. I love this it has really made me think about myself and the way we are.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Helen. I did have a link to a YouTube clip of Derren Brown in a video capsule, but all the Derren Brown clips are no longer available for embedding into other sites. The link that I posted in the text should still work though. I actually trained as a hypnotherapist, so I understand a little about the power of suggestion, and believe me, we are constantly bombarded day to day. It's tough to be true to yourself in the modern world.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

I enjoyed your hub on an original thinker, it rocked and so did the video with Derren Brown. creativeone59


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for stopping by creative one. If that was your first encounter with Derren Brown you might enjoy some of his other Youtube videos. They're all very good.


William R. Wilson profile image

William R. Wilson 7 years ago from Knoxville, TN

I answered yes to a few of those questions... An interesting book you might want to check out is Our Inner Ape by Franz deWaal. He examines primate behavior and how similar humans are to apes.

If you look around the internet I'm sure you can find some examples of human behavior that demonstrate that similarity! ;-)


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

I think most people would answer yes to at least one or two of those questions, including me! The point is that we are subject to external influence each and everyday of our lives, but it's up to us how we react to that. And, yes, there's a lot of similarity between humans and apes. Although I haven't read the book you mention, I have read the hubs written by our fellow hubber, Aya Katz, about her experiences in bringing up a chimp named Bow, and they're really interesting articles.

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