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Philosophical Question - The Spren Effect



While thinking a lot about Spren lately, it’s got me wondering if there’s not some applicable truths to the real world about Spren (and cognitive shadows) being shaped/influenced by the perception of others. I have heard a quote or two that go something like “people will often live up or down to what your expectations are of them”. The idea being that if we raise our expectations of others then we will likely interact differently with them, which in turn motivates them to live up to that expectation. Or it could go the other way.

This seems pretty similar to the way that expectations, perception, etc. help to influence and shape how Spren and Cognitive Shadows behave, think, and likely feel. In a larger sense, if more and more people hold the same beliefs or expectations about someone, does that have a similar effect as it would with Spren? If this is a real thing, is it also proportional and affected by quantity? Let me know what you think or if you have other interesting thoughts on the universe :D

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3 minutes ago, NerdyAarakocra said:

I think that you´re spot on, with one small change - you have to interact with the person for your expectations to matter. After all, humans are social animals.

I like that, good call! I suppose if the person is aware of the way they are perceived by the masses that might have an effect as well. I don’t really know any celebrities but there is definitely a “persona” or perception that I have in my head with most of them, I wonder how often they live up to that simply because it is more work to try and prove people wrong? Just random thoughts haha

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On 9/15/2022 at 9:45 PM, CognitiveShadow said:

The idea being that if we raise our expectations of others then we will likely interact differently with them, which in turn motivates them to live up to that expectation.

This is a key facet of leadership (at least in my experience and studies). Not everybody can be helped through expectation management and mentorship, but finding those who can, and nurturing them on a path to self improvement is one of the keys to good and effective leadership.

However, I see the Spren version as more of a consensual reality situation, possibly best compared to Linguistics.

(Note: the following example is just that - an example, with no intended emotional connotation - set in a spoiler tag so people that don't care can skip it easily )


Two examples of linguistic drift:

Gay previously meant "Happy" and is now a term of sexual orientation. However, the change was recent enough that not only does a significant percentage of the population remember the original meaning, there is significant quantity of media that uses the word in it's previous context (With the Victor Victoria Song "Gay Paris" being a strong example of recognizing the drift as it began)


Sinister previously meant Left or Left-handed. Being left-handed was (arguably) considered evil in the middle dark ages (as a sign of demonic affiliation or presence) and slowly came to mean evil, sly or untrustworthy. This linguistic drift was so long ago, that very few people even know of the original meaning and I don't know of any popular media in the last century that uses it in it's original context (exception: Heraldry still uses Sinister in its original "Left" context - with Dexter/"Right" - but that is far from "popular media"

Consensual reality has resulted in Sinister means "evil" because enough of the English speaking population thought and used that word in that context for so long that few, if anybody, recognizes the previous meaning. . .

So I view Spren as similar: those traits, ideas,  and concepts that have the most "weight" (as a balance of time and number of minds contributing to the concept) are the ones that will be most strongly expressed.


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