Fearing the Aphantastics


Is it possible that aphantasiacs may be exploited by law enforcement and the military who’d view them as weapons if they were to join due to the fact that aphantasiacs don’t experience trauma the way that most people do and there are no repetitive traumatic images in an aphantasiac’s brain?

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on March 23, 2021

I don’t think it is likely, I also speculate aphantasics may be generally less-exploitable than the average person. Since imagery, whether seen or imagined, has been shown to play a critical role in emotions, it is possible that communicated motivations would be less effective at persuading aphantasics, and people/animals will not do something unless they have motivation to do so. Now motivation can also come from things such as coercion, however most motivations are internally generated such as curiosity, passion for an activity, a feeling of purpose, or fear of missing out, loss, or failure.
So imagine law enforcement was trying to recruit people by saying, “our enemies are trying to kill us and if we don’t do our duty, they will get our families!” or “you will climb the ranks and be general in no time, and the president will be asking you for advice on a regular basis.”. The average person will see imagery representing these things, and presumably experiences the emotions their mind relates to these ideas. 
And as discussed, motivation is often emotional in nature. So if emotions are more effective signals of persuasion that reasoning, than it is reasonable to speculate aphantasics are less likely to be persuaded to do something they don’t already have some relevant emotional connections to.

on March 23, 2021

One exception I’ll point out though, is much of the visual signals we receive that drive emotion are the emotions of others. So if we see someone really scared or sad or happy, this as an influence on our emotions to. So for me, I can have a discussion with someone whose belief strongly opposes mine with little to no emotional rise. But if they start raising their voice and turning red in the face, I will feel my heart rate elevate and face get warm. For this reason, I often try to bring it back down at that point and if they cant do that I’ll tell them we could discuss this later once we’ve cooled down.