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Whether it is being a contestant in a magic show or making every day decisions, how much is truly free-choice? With the amount of influence society is exposed to, the decisions we make are skewed by others. We are not in control of our subconscious mind and it is the objects we are oblivious to that drive our decisions – such as listening to French music in the supermarket significantly increasing the chances of buying French wine, almost as much as the choice you make for dinner on the menu at a restaurant is based primarily on the location of that item on the menu (typically towards the top and bottom since it is more appealing to the eye). Recognizing manipulation allows you to make more cognizant decisions and prevents you from being manipulated by others. Examples of manipulation from friends or colleagues include: eye contact and slight touches leading people into becoming more open for suggestion, the speed of speech can affect how quickly someone is able to reach a decision (faster speech = faster decision), the placement of an object within a person’s field of view can alter their decision, and planting questions to make others feel as if the idea was solely their own, empowers them and builds confidence. Recognizing these societal manipulations takes practice, but the more you become familiar, the less susceptible you become. Click here to read more!