I’m sure you guys have seen these infomercials for iRenew/ Power Balance bracelets and other forms of crockery claiming to restore natural harmony to our “biofields” and other pseudo-scientific garbage.
Unfortunately, my friend was suckered into getting one. In my attempt to convince him that he just wasted his money on BS, he tried to test it on me by doing the same procedure in the infomercials: He forced my arm down and I lost my balance, then he did the same thing with band on and I kept my balance with ease.
I tried telling him it was the mere power of suggestion, something magicians employ all the time. Much to my dismay even when using negative reinforcement to will myself into not subconsciously falling for it, I still resisted. So that night we decided to experiment on multiple people, skeptics and believers alike. The damn experiment worked every time.
We tried various angles and used 2 skeptics, because I felt that there was dual effect of the believer trying not as hard, while the test subject subconsciously tried twice as hard. Still, it worked. Even on a stammering drunk chick it still worked.
What occurred to me was that the power of suggestion is incredibly powerful. Even when a skeptic like myself knew that this was an artifice, the same result still happened. I’ve participated in other suggestive magic tricks and beat them by simply being aware of their knowledge of human nature and statistics (EX: think of a tool, then think of a color: Apparently 90% of people will say a green hammer for whatever reason, I think of magenta pliers) but this one perplexed me.
I think I need to find control groups who have no idea what the bands are for and test it on them. But the problem is, the mere inference of the experiment can still subconsciously lead them to conclusion of the desired effect.
I guess could tell them it is designed to make one lose their balance and test it that way?
What are other powerful suggestive techniques out there that can be learned? If the placebo effect is so powerful, it can be used to more productive ends, like self-improvement.
YVAN EHT NIOJ