Obama’s “Society of Fear”
Nov 13, 2013
In observational experiments, researchers constantly battle a phenomenon called the “Hawthorne effect,” where subjects of experiments alter their behavior when aware of being studied. For example, in 2011, researchers at Carnegie Mellon mailed postcards to customers of an electric company, informing customers they were the subjects of a company study on electricity usage. Researchers found that customers who received weekly postcards – simple reminders that their electricity usage was being observed — cut electricity usage by nearly three percent.
The Hawthorn effect is not just limited to psychological studies. Behavior modification is the hallmark of any “society of fear,” in which citizens live under the constant threat of government surveillance. In an environment where individuals reasonably believe their actions are being tracked, recorded and monitored by government agents, citizens are prone to avoiding behavior that will raise red flags. Using such psychological terror, States are better able to control and minimize anti-establishment behavior, and even undesirable thoughts.