Marshall wrote:The strength of this connection was associated with how much mimetic desire a person felt, the team found. A stronger connection meant a deeper longing for someone else’s candy. “The stronger the connection, the more susceptible you are to social influence,” Pessiglione says.
These results raise lots of questions that can now be tested, Iacoboni says. “This could start a whole snowball effect.” Similar experiments could test whether people with autism spectrum disorders, who seem to value social interactions less, have a weaker connection between the mirror neuron system and the brain valuation system.
It suggests there is a built-in channel from one region of brain to another. Almost like a part of your anatomy. If the connection is weak you might be less apt to learn by social interaction. If it is extra strong you might just naturally be a copycat whether or not you want to be.
Apart from biological defects (and in most forms of autism the main "anatomical" defect appear to concern long-range connections, so nothing to wonder if the connection between the two systems are weaker...), I would not use the expression "naturally be".
Most connections in the brain are subject to plastic changes during development and following each experience.
Although few words are spent in textbooks about descending connections from the cortex to the subcortical systems in charge of attributing "worth" (gratificational and motivational value), it is rather obvious that they are there and play a quite important role. In fact, we are able to FEEL PLEASURE as a consequence of emotional, social and cognitive activities of the brain (including resolving a problem, looking at the ocean or the sky or Monna Lisa, seeing a happy child, making somebody happy). Furthermore, the relative ability of these activities in eliciting pleasure is different in various subjects depending on culture, social environment, education and personal experiences.
This indicates that all pre-wired systems that let us attribute a value to an (external or internal) experience (or desire thereof) are widely plastic.
The ability, in marketing, consist in exploiting the paths which appear to be most efficient in the target population. No need to change the efficiency of one or the other path.
Sadly, if you aim at influencing an audience toward a more socially, ethically or culturally concerned attitude, then you would need to make the connections that reward social acceptance, empathy and discovery stronger, which is not easy to do, unless you act on overall culture and education.
1) YOU CANNOT SUCCESFULLY MARKET WHAT GOES AGAINST CULTURE AND EDUCATION.
2) if the prevailing worth attribution system is [">" means greater than]:
- WORTH(having) > WORTH(mimicking) >> WORTH( knowing | doing | being)
- you are bound to lose your marketing battle