What an interesting perspective.
He also touches on the misuse/abuse of psychology to sell. Increasingly, over the years, advertisers use psychology to sell their product. What better way to sell, then to get into the inner constructs of the human psyche? With the help of well-paid researchers and psychologists, advertisers now have access to in-depth knowledge about children’s developmental, emotional and social needs at different ages.
In 1999, Gary Ruskin, head of Commercial Alert, and Allen Kanner, a clinical psychologist, wrote a letter to The American Psychological Association (APA). This letter targeted the misuse of psychology in the field of advertising. The letter’s main statement was that psychologists were using their knowledge “to promote and assist the commercial exploitation and manipulation of children”. The letter went on to state that psychologists were “helping corporations influence children for the purpose of selling products to them”. Ruskin and Kanner appealed to the APA, saying that the core mission of the APA - “to advance the understanding of the human psyche in order to promote health” - was being undermined by psychologists' association with advertising.
It is this exploitation and manipulation of children that Ruskin and Kanner, as well as 60 other psychologists that signed the letter, wanted to bring to the public eye. The letter also spoke of the laws that protect children in other countries:
“Sweden and Norway prohibit television advertising directly targeting children below twelve years of age. Greece bans television advertising of toys to children between 7:00am and 10:00pm. Quebec prohibits television advertising directed at children below the age of thirteen. However, in the United States, children have no such protections, nor any protection against the use of psychological insights and expertise to manipulate or influence them”.
Easy to see several reasons why we're a nation of fatsos, when toddlers can identify the Golden Arches.