“I think positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time.” – Dom Cobb (Inception, 2010)
If I was Albert Einstein, and the idea of an Atomic Bomb was wrapped around the idea of killing thousands of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, then I would not have acted upon that idea. I would have rejected it from my mind.
However; if I were Bella Swan, and the idea of death is wrapped around immortality and a sparkly hot guy, then I MIGHT consider it.
See the difference?
Inception has provided us with this insight: Positive emotions trumps negative ones.
People are more likely to respond to positive emotions (i.e. love, self-actualization, happiness) than to negative ones (i.e. guilt, anger, sadness).One reason may be because these positive emotions can somewhat satisfy our needs (see Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). Negative emotions; however, have a way of deepening our insecurities.
All of this can bring one thing to mind: Framing.
Ideas need to be framed, whether the medium for it be dreams, television, or print, more so when we are talking about New Social Media. NSM is an arena for millions of people worldwide. Unlike the other mediums, this has a wider range. Thus; framing must be carefully done to ensure maximum effect.
In the movie, Team Inception have had the choice of two directions in which to take their idea.
Wrap the idea around the target’s anger and contempt for his father.
The target would dissolve his father’s company out of spite.
Wrap the idea around how the target’s father has loved and believed in him all along.
The target will dissolve his father’s company in the belief that his father preferred for him not to follow his footsteps and create an even greater empire on his own.
Obviously, Team Inception chose the latter, resulting in a scene that makes one reach for tissues. Not that I did that or anything. Still, it worked, the idea was planted and Leonardo DiCaprio was able to come home, blah blah blah.
In the real world, this is also evident. Product sales have soared due to commercials proclaiming family love. Employees have willingly participated in activities that were deemed to improve team cooperation.
So far, my experience with new social media has made me reach the same conclusions. Negative emotions attached to messages in the field of new social media have had the tendency to turn people off. Meanwhile, positive emotions have greater chances of being accepted. Online campaigns, forums, and even simple Facebook statuses are all proof of this.
This is really not about being an optimist or a pessimist. This is not about seeing the glass as half full or half empty. It is merely about framing ideas in a way as to evoke positive emotions instead of negative ones. More often than not, they will be accepted rather than rejected.