Publish at 05 janvier 2022 Updated 19 janvier 2022

Emotional manipulation for teaching

Taking emotions into account in an integral pedagogy

Mental Bidding

"We shall call emotion an abrupt fall of consciousness into the magical. "

Jean-Paul Sartre

During the postwar industrial boom, the time-honored phrase was "leave your emotions in the locker room." Restraint was de rigueur; now affects and emotions, the personal part, is summoned to work and training. The intimate is a capital like any other to be exploited in the great productive machine.

A part of the tasks has become invisible for the "knowledge workers". With increasingly interactional and relational activities, emotions become a part of the context that is managed as the work force was managed and organized. Management, science and technology, and training devices all contribute to engaging emotions and desires. Professional training is no exception to this irruption of emotion.

The managers of the soul

"The managers of the soul" is a premonitory work that describes the way in which management still and always adapts to our emotions and desires, and even enlists them in order to better enslave us. We need affection, we are worried about the world; our happiness managers reassure us in return for our commitment. The work contract is transformed into a psychological contract.

The material present, the sharing of power and benefits are replaced by the promise of an emotional cocoon and a future full of promise. Transitional logic substitutes for immediate issues. Promises of personal growth and development mark the transition from training to do one's job to another where the company is surfing on the desires to achieve and learn. The domination of the desire to learn from others is the dark side of learning.

Behavioralist approaches

Behavioralist approaches and Level I and Level II conditioning are brought back into focus by neuroscience. These conditionings aim to make us react in the expected way by deploying well-dosed stimuli. Initially to the stimulation itself (level I conditioning), in a second time, after a time of habituation, simply by being immersed in the context of exposure of the stimuli.

This is notably the strategy of software aimed at adaptive and personalized learning. It is not they who adapt to our progress, on the contrary they guide the path to follow according to pre-programmed iterations.

The misuses of neuroscience

The knowledge of our brains develops in some marketing and eformation professionals a desire to make us adopt their ideas. French television viewers remember the "available brain time" of a commercial son. Now, a scientific basis is needed and the use of decision bias and expectation of rewards becomes legitimate. Incentive as policy seems to be a good equivalent to the anglicism "nudge".

Do these sciences nurture self-esteem, a sense of self-efficacy, self-direction of our learning, or do they offer new opportunities for some to project their intentions onto us? Do these sciences promote learning (process) or learning (attitude favorable to the desire to learn)? This remains to be demonstrated. And if it seeks to capture our desires, is it not by weakening the freedom to choose and accomplish by oneself, key to the sense of self-efficacy at the basis of motivation?

Emotional vacuum technologies

  • The ubiquity of screens

    Technology is now one of the most powerful ways to affect emotions, even create epidemics. If we think of social networks and the permanent public lynchings that take place there with force of photos, shocking videos and a stupefying mass of comments, the Internet user is stunned by the emotional content that emerges and is caught between several reactions of nausea, flight or even howling with the wolves.

    The climate of hysteria and one-upmanship that reigns increases our emotional reactions and puts us to the test of not very calm debates producing permanent tensions, dilemmas and agitations.

  • Artificial intelligences

    These social networks are combined with adjuvant programs, sometimes called artificial intelligence. These programs take the form of conversational agents, algorithms for connecting, accessing, or exposing data and members of communities beyond our control. Windows pop up with their share of video dramas or target our favorite subjects.

    Our emotions are surrounded interpreted used in a climate that ends up becoming anxiety-provoking. And this is good timing because what better way to fight anxiety than to buy or grumble online? The process could be further amplified with metavers that deprive us of our body image by suggesting the false freedom of an anonymous avatar. Here we are one step further away from our body next to ourselves ever more in the grip of our desires.

  • The empathy helmet

    Always further. The empathy helmet would be a solution to develop empathy for example of prevention against domestic violence, it would allow us to put ourselves in the place of the other.

    But, it would also be a way to develop this posture of empathy with corporate employees to better understand the internal states of a customer or employee. Virtual reality is able to make us experience more emotional intelligence and a cognitive perception of the psychological states of others and, finally, in real time , the adjustment of its own behavior according to the simulated situation.

Getting to know one's true self

With the possibility of connecting to each other, it is also the opportunity to penetrate the intimacies, or even to share as never before to the largest number of people one's secret garden. Some people take advantage of this propensity to spread out to capture for their own benefit the expression of the most secret desires and manipulate us.

Others propose to take emotions into account in an integral pedagogy that touches the whole being and not only the cognitive functions of the brain. In both cases, as Jean Paul Sartre reminds us, emotion has to do with magic and its indefinable effects on human behavior.


Soul Managers Valérie Brunel  -

Virtual Reality. Training employees to empathize with virtual reality

Wikipedia - Cconditionnemt

The conversation. Is emotional intelligence ready to understand our emotions?

Thot cursus - My learning companion will be an AI yes but which one?

Jean Pierre Bouchez - The New Knowledge Workers

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