Absolute Conviction:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché, 

Why, when it is obvious someone is absolutely nuts, do some seemingly non crazy people follow them?

 Dr. Rapture,

 Dear Dr. Rapture,

Humans as a social animal have both instinctual pecking order and herd order behaviors.  If an individual states something with absolute conviction, others tend to believe them no matter how absurd their words may be.  We defer to the strongest belief or reality no matter how “crazy” it is. Look at any religion and they all contain absurd beliefs… but faith comes from deferring your reality to another’s story. If you examine any religion you are not part of, you might say “that’s nuts!”

 Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says:

As those other religions might also say of you.

I think that one of the reasons people follow charismatic speakers is because they themselves lack conviction and feel weak and helpless. When they see someone who stands tall and speaks without fear, they imagine a strength and clarity which may not be present.

 An actor can make a convincing speech if it’s his role, but he didn’t write the lines. A politician can have had a team of workers help him determine exactly what he has to say to win people over and believe little of it himself. Yet we suspend our disbelief because we want to hope that somewhere out there, someone knows what they are doing.

Unfortunately, in our world, the people who seem the most convincing in their game are usually the con artists and salesmen on our screens.

About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at dr.brilliantcliche@yahoo.com and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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2 Responses to Absolute Conviction:

  1. A reader commented:

    S.H. – “Years ago I did a persuasive class for my Communications degree. I was voted the # 1 person they would want defending them if on trial, since I spoke with conviction and passion. What I learned in this class was that a study confirmed that a town that was originally against having a prison was later convinced they must have the prison due to persuasive speech. In my graduate studies on energy syncing up, like pendulum clocks, again charismatic speakers are able to have the energy to pull people along, via going along with the crowd. We also have this power to NOT be abused when working as mental health professionals to help be a stable anchor for confused and energetically weakened patients, therefore at times being a positive force in keeping them on course until they can get clearer minded for themselves. It’s all energy that includes sound/voice, etc. Nutty charismatic leaders like Camping, who had his own radio show and a good radio voice, were persuasive and it’s in part an energetic vibration that keeps folks on the band wagon. Yep, in agreement here Dr. Brilliant Cliché!”

  2. T. says:

    Dr. C… Your explanation: “…instinctual pecking order and herd behaviours” and Granny’s views: “When they see someone who stands tall and speaks without fear, they imagine a strength and clarity which may not be present.” make sense. Also, ‘clarity they themselves might aspire for and find lacking’ appeals more to my way of thinkng. This also answers my question regarding why politicians get away with building their case on hatred of a section of society and get away with it. Thanks for the insight.

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