I became aware of the role digital devices play in our lives in an airport in Cancun, Mexico while watching two men discuss and display their various devices. It occurred to me that there is some kind of a force, which I call “the electronic imperative,” that may be operating in our unconscious that derives important gratifications from having and using digital devices or one kind or another. I reference work by a professor at the Harvard Business School about what he calls the “95-5 Split” in our minds, with the ninety-five figure being our unconscious, which, he argues, shapes much of our behavior. I used the term “gizmos” because it is a common term that we use for devices whose name we momentarily forget and quote the French sociologist Jean Baudrillard who explains that gizmos are getting more complicated and tend to dominate us. I then quote from Ernest Dichter, the father of motivation research, who explains that objects tell us a great deal about ourselves. Finally, I discuss the meaning of digital by quoting from Peter Lunenfeld’s book, The Digital Dialectic, on the meaning of “digital.”


Harvard Business School Digital Device Motivation Research Electronic Gizmo Electronic Imperative 
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© Arthur Asa Berger 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Asa Berger
    • 1
  1. 1.San Francisco State UniversityUSA

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