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Fried Green Tomatoes

In the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, there is a scene where a young boy is playing on a train track. His foot gets stuck on the track, and a train whistle loudly blows. You can see the train bearing down on the lad who is frantically trying to free himself.

Fade to black to the sound of a train screeching to a halt.

The next scene is a funeral full of mourners. A sad scene as the camera focuses on an ultra-small casket… too small for a person—even a small boy. The camera pulls back, and the boy is there, missing an arm. They are burying his arm.

The audience is relieved. After all, we thought he had lost his life.

Why is it that we can feel so good about losing an arm? That’s the power of relativity. An arm versus a life. Relief over a tragedy turned into a minor inconvenience when considering the alternative.

A Scientific Example

Pour very warm water into 1 bucket, very cold water into another bucket, and room-temperature water into a third.

Put your left hand in the cold water and right hand in the warm water, and wait a minute.

Remove your hands from their current buckets and place them in the same room-temperature bucket. What do you feel? Well, if you’re human and have a fully functional nervous system, you’d feel that your left hand is in a warm bucket and your right hand is in a cold bucket. Yup, both hands in the same bucket send your brain a confusing signal.

That’s because of the relative difference in temperature of the buckets from where your hands originated.

Try This Excercise

Imagine you are buying an $80,000 automobile. Here are two options for the purchase:

  1. You can drive 30 minutes to the dealership. Spend 30 minutes on the paperwork. Drive 30 minutes back home and pay $79,600, or
  2. You can spend 15 minutes filling out forms on the web and have the car delivered for $80,00.

Which choice do you make? If you said choice number 1, let me pose another question.

If I offered you $400 for an hour and 1/2 of your time, would you take it?

Practical Application

The way you present concepts, products, and prices affect our perceptions. That’s why after buying an expensive $1,200 suit, a man presented with $150 dress shirts and $100 dollar ties is more likely to buy those products after the suit purchase than prior. You’ve just spent $1,200, what’s another $100?

How can you use relativity to support your case? How receptive would an employee be to a cut in pay when they thought they were going to lose their job?

Brain Wiring

Human brains are hard-wired to make decisions in certain ways. This hard wiring is immutable. Neuroscience is advancing at a remarkable pace and marketers, leaders, anyone in the business of influencing others is playing blind if they don’t avail themselves of the science of Neuromarketing.

Check out Influence the seminal book on the subject by Robert Cialdini Ph.D. and thank me later.

Want to spend some time strategizing ways for you to use neuroscience to lead and drive the success of your business? Schedule a complimentary coaching session.