Wednesday, August 25, 2021

‘Nudging’ The Public To Comply

Recently I presented by theory that what drives social conformity--including compliance with patently unreasonable mandates against normal human behavior--is the rootedness of human nature as social, and especially as rooted in the most basic of human institutions: the family, NOT the individual. From that I extrapolated to the natural human tendency to comply with the wishes or demands of authority (father/mother) figures, and to attempt to 'get along with' sibling figures--authorities at lower public levels as well as friends and neighbors. The point being that it takes an unusual degree of independence to actually resist the tendency to conform.

In support of that I presented some videos on related topics, which focused largely on totalitarian regimes of the past, especially from the 20th century. While I'm certainly not about to say that such regimes will not arise again, that isn't the model of social control that our power elite is following. The techniques are similar in that they play on the same tendencies of human nature, but these current techniques are less overtly coercive. They rely on fostering a desire to conform and to persuade others to do so, as well.

Dr. Gary Sidley, a psychologist in the UK, has two articles that examine all this in the specific context of the Covid Regime. The first article is a response to the failure of his professional association, the British Psychological Society, to condemn what Sidley sees as unethical use of psychological techniques used to 'nudge' the subject population into compliance with irrational mandates:

The Dubious Ethics of ‘Nudging’ the Public to Comply With Covid Restrictions

Sidley begins by providing examples of irrational, hysterical, or even overtly aggressive behavior, on the part of otherwise normal people. From there he moves to the 'nudges'--conscious manipulation of the population by the government utilizing psychological techniques--that have induced such behavior:

A middle-aged woman, walking along a pavement in the afternoon sunshine, sees a young family approaching and instantly becomes stricken with terror at the prospect of contracting a deadly infection. A man in a queue in a garage kiosk leans into the face of another and screams, “You selfish idiot! Hundreds of people will die because you don’t wear a mask.” The aggressor is oblivious to the fact that his victim suffers a history of asthma and anxiety problems. A neighbour puts on a face covering and plastic gloves before wheeling her dustbin to the end of her drive. These are three recent examples of many similar events I’ve observed or read. What could be the main reason for such extraordinary behaviour? Has the emergence of the SARS-COV-2 virus magically re-wired our brains, transforming many of us into vindictive germaphobes?

No, of course not. These extreme human reactions are, I believe, primarily the result of the Government’s deployment of covert psychological ‘nudges’, introduced as a means of increasing people’s compliance with the Covid restrictions.

... The methods of influence recommended by the SPI-B are drawn from a range of ‘nudges’ described in the Institute of Government document, MINDSPACE: Influencing behaviour through public policy, several of which primarily act on the subconscious of their targets – the British people – achieving a covert influence on their behaviour. The three ‘nudges’ to have evoked the most controversy, among both psychological practitioners and the general public, are: the strategic use of fear (inflating perceived threat levels); shame (conflating compliance with virtue); and peer pressure (portraying non-compliers as a deviant minority) – or ‘affect’, ‘ego’ and ‘norms’, to use the language of behavioural science. (Specific examples of how each of these covert strategies have been used throughout the Covid crisis are described here).

My contention is simply that these techniques rely on the basic tendencies of human nature, rooted and expressed in our family life. In the much more detailed article to which Sidley links this becomes more clear, as he notes the tendency to obey and rely upon 'authority' (parent) figures and to 'get along' with sibling figures--to fit into the national, societal 'family.' Dissenters are not to be reasoned with but are regarded as misfits--traitors or outlaws as regards the 'family.'

Here is the link to that article, which appeared in October, 2020:

How the MEAN psychologists got us to comply with coronavirus restrictions

"MEAN" is actually an acronym that describes the primary psychological techniques in question: MESSENGER, EGO, AFFECT and NORMS.

It's an interesting article, but I'll excerpt just those portions that bear upon the MEAN acronym. Under the "Messenger" heading we see the appeal to authority figures, but by his use of the term 'admiration', as well, we also see the use of celebrities of various sorts in addition to authorities--whether governmental, scientific, or whatever.


The characteristics of the person communicating the message will significantly influence the degree to which the recipients take heed of the information conveyed. If the messengers are perceived as possessing high levels of authority, or to be worthy of admiration, people will be more likely to believe them and follow their advice and directives. ... Similarly – playing on the widespread respect for NHS staff – nurses in full uniform continually appear on our TV screens bombarding us with the latest Government mantras.

The Government’s behavioural specialists also recognise that messages delivered by people with whom we can identify are likely to be impactful. ...


We all strive to maintain a positive view of ourselves and, in so doing, exhibit cognitive biases in the way we make sense of the world. For example, to preserve a virtuous self-image, each of us routinely display what psychologists refer to as a ‘fundamental attribution error’, whereby we take the credit for good outcomes while blaming others for bad ones. This inherent drive to protect our ego, to act and think in ways that make us feel better about ourselves, has been comprehensively exploited by the BIT specialists to nudge – nay, push – us to conform with coronavirus restrictions.


Over recent weeks the ego-massaging slogans have swung into overdrive. Professor Whitty, in a TV press conference on the 21st September, said that anyone who increased their own risk of exposure ‘increase the risk of everyone’ around them. ...

Furthermore, the ‘fundamental attribution error’ (mentioned above) ensures that the altruistic majority who are openly conforming with the diktats will blame any subsequent increase in coronavirus cases or deaths on those who didn’t comply, while themselves taking the credit for any positive change in the statistics.


There is, however, another motivator that is the most potent of all: fear.


It has long been recognised by psychologists that our current emotional state will significantly influence our mental processes and behaviour. This ‘mood congruence effect’ will result in a person selectively noticing and remembering information that is consistent with an existing mood. Thus, if I’m happy, I will be more likely to remember my past successes, to notice the positives in my current life and to develop optimistic beliefs about the future. If I’m sad, I’ll display preferential access to memories of failure and loss, notice the negatives in my current life and subsequently harbour pessimistic beliefs about myself and the world. But if I’m fearful, my memory will be skewed in favour of past scary events, my attention will selectively focus on potential dangers in my current environment, and my mind will be swamped with thoughts about future threats and potential disasters; this re-calibration of our mental faculties towards fear mode has been superbly exploited by BIT psychologists to ensure mass compliance with the Government’s coronavirus diktats.

The decision to scare us into submission was a strategic one. The minutes of a meeting of the Government’s expert advisors (SAGE) on the 22nd March – a forum that includes psychological specialists – displays a clear intention: The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent' by ‘using hard-hitting emotional messaging’. They knew that a frightened population is a compliant one. And haven’t they delivered.

... Methods deployed have included:

a) Daily statistics, displayed without context: ...

b) Recurrent footage of death and dying: ...

c) Scary slogans: ...

d) Mandatory face coverings

... a crude, highly visible indicator that danger is all around, face coverings are making a major contribution to the maintenance of the widespread hysteria. (See previous blog).

This deliberate and intensive campaign to elevate fear levels above what would be rational for the threat posed by a respiratory virus has been a remarkable success. Surveys show that UK citizens believe that coronavirus has killed around 7% of the population, a death toll that, if true, would be in excess of 4,500,000 people – at the time of writing, the official mortality figure is around 44,000. But research is not necessary to grasp how scared people are; just take a walk outside and watch pedestrians swerve off the pavement into the road to get out of your way, or hold their breath and press themselves against a wall as if you’re a bio hazard.


After using messengers we respect or identify with to promote compliance-inducing fear and self-righteousness, the BIT has deployed another weapon to pound us into submission: a hefty dose of peer pressure.

Awareness of ‘social norms’ - the prevalent views and behaviour of our fellow citizens – can exert pressure on us to conform. We are strongly influenced by what others do; awareness of being in a deviant minority is a source of discomfort. The Government has repeatedly used normative pressure throughout the coronavirus crisis to gain the public’s compliance with their escalating restrictions.


In order to enhance and sustain normative pressure, people need to be able to instantly distinguish the rule breakers from the rule followers; the visibility of face coverings provides this immediate differentiation. ...

And there's much more.

And here's a video that ends up getting into similar territory, as well as offering brilliant context for the recent 'authorization'. Consider, while you watch, whether the MEAN techniques just might apply to personnel behavior at the FDA--or most other government agencies. Now the governments goal is that we should all be MEANies:


  1. I'm just stunned that both Australia and NZ are the poster children for this mass psychosis. The Soviet technique of getting you to rat on the non-complaint and them believing that someone sneezing in the elevator will keep them from celebrating Christmas this year.

    The Police commissioner in Sydney must share the same family tree with Stalin, Mao, or Darth Vader.

    1984 is alive and well down under. Let's hope the protests last weekend down under continue to grow otherwise they'll never see freedom again.

  2. I live in Australia. You are quite right.

    In a nutshell, we're a fat lazy rich nation that never really faced any adversity. Our institutions have been conquered by the Left.

    I, and many others I know, are having very serious discussion about emigrating.

    1. Hi Charles, thanks for your comment. I’ve been to your country twice already and I loved it when I was there. Other than all the things in nature that can kill you in Australia but we won’t go into that. I am wondering regarding the election of your premieres if you guys are using dominion voting machines as well? I’m sure you’ve been following the American election last fall and they are certainly seems to be a lot of questions regarding votes truly counting that people cast. My suspicions were raised based on the fact that everyone that’s saying it was the most secure election ever are the ones fighting audits tooth and nail and don’t want us to find out if everything was on the up and up or there was no funny business going on. Having a computer background I keep thinking how would you craft a voting system to prevent any kind of fraud and I am still scratching my head on that to ensure that everyone’s vote truly counts and there’s no opportunity for people to monkey with the numbers or the database on the putting tabulation machines. We haven’t heard yet from the audit in Arizona but I suspect it’s going to be quite ugly. My point of course is, how could these people get elected that are essentially tyrants. I’ve watched your premieres on TV and I am shocked at how horrible they are and manipulative. I just hope for you guys that you get your freedom back because it was such a neat place to visit and Australians are always fun and friendly.

    2. Thanks Mikey,

      Yes, the American election is highly suspect. In Australia, I haven't seen any indications of fraud to be suspect. Sadly, there is no counterweight to leftist media and academia (in the US, there the Tucker Carlson 's and the Church, to a degree). So the people have simply been taught to love their captors.

  3. One other comment, that would be worthwhile for Americans to understand. Australia is actually not under authoritarian rule. The restrictions etc are politically extremely popular. Since March 2020, two Premiers (equivalent of Governors) with extreme pro lockdown policies won elections in a landslide.

    The problem, in my view, is education - most are sincere adherents of Scientism. Hence the desire to emigrate - there is nothing to fight for, or save here. It's like be an Afghanistani, if you have any ambition you just want to leave this shithole.

    1. Unfortunately the same process has been / is underway everywhere else. Britain is just a few steps behind Australia and the U.S. just a few steps behind Britain.

    2. But then I think: How the hell did Sweden, of all places, become an island of freedom and sanity?

  4. On vax mandates at U Cal Irvine:
    "Aaron Kheriaty, professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the UCI School of Medicine, and *director* of the Medical Ethics Program at UCI Health... has filed a *lawsuit against* his university, arguing that the policy violates his and others’ rights, under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause." .

    1. We seem to be seeing more and more pushback. Chicago PD is vowing to fight mandates; ditto Toronto PD. Any outfit with a union could see similar actions.

    2. It may be too early to say "peak Covid Panic" but we may be getting there.

  5. I just bet $100 cash, that there won't be any mandates by the end of the year (in the USA).

  6. I'm surprised that no one here has posted about the Babbit news, so one place to pursue it is at :
    "When Progressive radical terrorists stormed into the state capitols of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Georgia, none of them were shot. When radical left-wing mobs tried to break down the door to the SCOTUS while Bret Kavanaugh was sworn in, no one was shot...."