How we learn socially is key to marketing

Mark Earls

Within an hour of being born, humans are busy copying and learning from the actions of those around them. Mark Earls looks at what this means for the ways that ideas and technologies are spread in society

Much Of the 1989 Rob Reiner romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally is eminently forgettable toothsome fare. But one scene has since become a classic of late 20th century Hollywood: Sally (Meg Ryan) treats Harry (Billy Crystal) – and the other customers of what is in reality Katz's Delicatessen in New York – to an exuberant, whooping demonstration of a fake female orgasm. When at last, Sally/Meg's cries and tics and whimpers die away, an unnamed woman at the next table (in fact played by the director's mother, Estelle Reiner) leans over to the waiter and intones the simple phrase: ‘I'll have what she's having.'