I want to point something out. I was just considering marketing strategy regarding purchasing motivation. I don't have a good reference, I learned this stuff in a variety of seminars when I was involved in technical sales support at a software company.
have a binary motivational personality trait, similar to the binary
personality trait of extroversion/introversion. Psychology is kind of
weird in that binary thinking patterns are considered a mental disorder
and then they break down psychological traits into binaries "the big
five" and then classify people as either/or as opposed to accurately
positioning them within a continuum between the two traits, or better
yet, somewhere in a ten point circle where all traits influence each
other to create an individuals unique personality matrix. Okay, off
topic there a bit.
So, binary motivational personality trait. Some people are motivated more by desire and some people are motivated by avoidance.
I'm trying to someone with a focus on desire why they should buy
something and all I talk about is the problems they will avoid they will
kick me to the door pretty quick. On the other hand, if I talk to them
about all the problems they will solve they will buy.
isn't quite that easy, actually you have to pitch both avoidance and
desire, just focus a little more on one based on an estimate of a
person's location in the continuum between the two extremes of the
motivational trait. If someone is 70% desire and 30% avoidance and I
explain seven problems they will solve and three problems they will
avoid I've kind of hit the sweet spot in their motivational trait.
Now, other personality traits influence all this stuff, so it isn't really black and white.
that knowledge I considered the motivation of criminals. Are they
primarily avoidance, dissuaded by considerations of problems? Are they
primarily desire, encouraged by thoughts of success? Especially those
with poor impulse control.
I think the vast
majority of criminals don't give a rats ass about potential
punishment. I think they are motivated more by potential reward. This
means that no matter how severe punishment is it will not motivate the
criminal to avoid because most criminals behavior is not motivated by
I think a criminal justice
system focused on helping people define what they want and how they can
legally achieve it will work better when applied to a Pavlovian
punishment/reward behavioral modification system such as the current
criminal justice system.
But, the criminal
justice system isn't focused on behavior modification, it is focused on
revenge or retribution so no one really cares about behavior
modification, reducing crime, and so our prison population is increasing
as we become more and more focused on punishing people, getting
retribution, revenge, for mala prohibitum offenses like prostitution,
recreational drug offenses, gambling, and non-violent mala in se
offenses like various forms of theft.
Which ends up costing us a ton in court costs and imprisonment costs and lost labor, etc.
about that, we get revenge on a guy for getting busted multiple times
for possession of too much weed and argue about how much damage stoners
do our community, a revenge that lasts sixty years and costs us a crap
load in prison costs.
Is revenge that is
specifically designed not to address behavior modification and costs us
an incredible amount of money really worth it? Does it do anything to
solve the problems of society or is it just creating more?
I would say revenge is creating more problems than it solves and I
think the data on increasing ratios of incarcerated people in the States and increasing crime rates proves it.
Pew Report: One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008