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Paul Grobstein's picture

100 monkeys, or humans

What's to be skeptical about? Do you both know the story of the birds in England that quickly acquired the capacity to pop the little papers sealers out of milk bottles? Yes, lots of animals, including ourselves, learn by unconscious copying or mimicking, and so new understandings can sweep rapidly through a population. See Malcom Gladwell's Tipping Point.

And yes, there's a down side to this as well. We are indeed influenced by "body language ... or other things that guide our unconscious to trust or not trust, like or not like ..." (see Malcom Gladwell's Blink). All of which is to say it pays us to be aware of BOTH unconscious and story communication.

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