The other day my inbox got hit with a press release on behalf of Jim Fannin. Jim is a life coach, specifically for celebrities, which I found to be pretty cool. Jim, don’t celebrities need a psycho-therapist, not a life coach? The press release had a very short, but powerful synopsis of Jim Fannin’s project, the “90 Second Rule”:
If you’ve been away from someone you care about or love for at least two hours, the first 90-seconds that you see them has more impact on the relationship than spending hours with them later.
Damnit, he got me! It makes perfect sense (and resonates with me) if you look at it from a psychological perspective. Remember hearing about Pavlov and his salivating dogs? I studied psychology all throughout university, so I heard this story one too many times. Dr. Ivan Pavlov won the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for this experiment.
We all know that dogs naturally salivate when you bring them food, if you don’t know, just try it. Ivan Pavlov inserted a special device that measured how much saliva a dog produced when food was brought to it. This was the control of the experiment.
Next, Dr. Pavlov added another factor. He synchronized a bell *dong*, with bringing the dog food. Surely the saliva level was the same. He continued to condition the dog repeatedly for some time by always giving the food and the *dong* together.
After doing this conditioning for enough time, Dr. Pavlov was able to force the dog to salivate by merely ringing the bell. Measuring the levels of saliva, they were significantly like the control, when the dog used to salivate over food. Pretty wild stuff right?
The scary part is that this could easily happen to us. And it does. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way, and the worst part is that we don’t always have the self-awareness to know that it’s happening to us. Not just wish salivating, but with EVERYTHING.
We’re Like Dogs Too
We’re like dogs too, in the sense that we can be conditioned for just about anything. Imagine everyday at school, in first period, the teacher walks in, yells at you, and smacks you in the back of the head with a ruler. What will your opinion be of this teacher? More interestingly, what will happen to your blood pressure and anxiety level as soon as she first walks through the door. This is not a good type of reinforcement.
Imagine at the start of your work day, your boss comes up to you and gives you a hearty greeting. Your boss praises you, and tells you not to hesitate to approach her, because it’s your bosses job to serve you, and you’re all working towards a mutual mission. Pretty good reinforcement eh?
90 Second Rule
What’s up with the whole “first 90 seconds” thing, what’s the significance in that? This is my take on it: At “first” our brain experiences a sense of novelty (a new experience), at which point we’re much more mentally stimulated, excited, and aware. After this, our brain gets used to the other person being there, and they’ve already had an opportunity to set an impression on us and set the tone to go in a certain direction.
The other reason is that when someone is gone, you miss them, and this is the opportunity to enjoy being reunited. When someone’s been by your side for 10 hours, you’re not really “missing them,” are you?
The 90 Second Rule video, created by Jim Fannin, is really simple, that’s what I like about it. Sure it stereotypes men as the bread winner, but surely we can look past that, in order to see a perfect illustration of the 90 second rule principles. Enjoy.
Dear readers, which relationships in your life do you think would most benefit from using the 90 second rule?