Question the Herd | Brain Games video transcript

We’re on the deck of the USS Intrepid, conducting an experiment and the rules of the game couldn’t be simpler.

You’ve got to decide which of these 3 straight lines are the same length as this first card. Take a look for yourself. Think you’ve got it? Before we reveal the answer, we’ll show you where these people stand. I think it’s A. A. A. It’s A. I’m going to go with A. It looks like everyone is going with A. Definitely A. Do they know something you don’t? What do you think? Take one last look. Are you going with these people who all picked A? Or did you choose to go with B? Or C? Time’s up. Got your pick? It’s A. You’re going to go with the group? Yeah. Alright great. Is that what you picked or did you go with another answer? It turns out the answer to this round is C. And while you likely chose C first and stuck with your answer, we also know that some viewers might have felt the peer pressure and switched to A. It’s A.

I want to ask you something. Did your gut at first tell you that the answer was actually C? Yeah but everyone was choosing A so I felt like I had to pick A too. You felt the pull of the crowd? Yeah.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, we’ll let you in on a little secret. The first 9 people in this line were working for us and each time we ran the experiment they were instructed to pick the same wrong answer. Seeing all these people choose A, left the last person in the line who wasn’t in on it, with a tough decision; to go with their gut or with the group. Although not all of the test subjects fell for it. I think it’s C. Despite what everybody else thinks? You don’t trust the wisdom of the crowd? I’m trusting my gut. Ok. To be perfectly honest, I think C looks closest. So you think that they’re all wrong? Yeah. Ok. Hi guys. And don’t beat yourself up if you were tempted to go along with the crowd. Make your choice. I’m going to have to go with A. Ok thank you. What happened? I have a confession, I actually thought it was C. Did you start to question your own judgement? I did. I don’t want to be the dumb kid, I don’t want to stand out so I was like A.

Have you ever ignored the truth to fit in with a group? Just think, what if those weren’t lines but evidence in a murder case. Would you be able to see past the group consensus and just go with your gut?

Studies show that when someone holds a different opinion than the rest of the group, the anterior cingulate cortex, also know as the ‘oops’ area of the brain produces an error signal. We try to fix that by modifying our opinion to be in line with the group, even if it’s a viewpoint that we’re uncomfortable with or know is wrong. That’s because there’s some major evolutionary advantages for those who follow along with the group, namely survival. If you want to stay safe, stay with the herd.

Question the Herd | Brain Games video

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