TAG | mumbo-jumbo
It’s the latest must-have accessory for the world’s biggest stars and it costs just £20. Robert De Niro, David Beckham, Gerard Butler, Demi Moore and Kate Middleton have all taken to wearing ‘mystical’ black silicone wrist bands – which they believe will boost their performance. The Power Balance bands incorporate a hologram which its manufacturer claims is ‘infused with healing and restorative powers’.
The bands are meant to enhance the body’s positive frequencies and block out negative ones from devices such as mobile telephones and radios. Sports stars including Beckham, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal and Formula 1 racer Rubens Barrichello have been wearing the bracelets at work and play. Now Hollywood stars have also adopted them despite claims they are mere lucky charms without any scientific or medical benefit.
Via the New York Times:
Sometime around 9:30 a.m. on weekdays, Itzhak Beery enters a second-floor office in Greenwich Village to preside over his piece of the material world. It is an advertising agency, the latest he has owned in a 30-year career. Five computers await him, each thrumming with software for graphic design. Shelves hold the awards he has won.
On Sunday mornings, though, Mr. Beery returns to cover all the practical apparatus with sheets. From a cabinet, he withdraws volcanic stones, candles, finger cymbals, bottles of rum and cologne, each with symbolic value. He arranges these on a red cloth, and lays beside them a carton of eggs and bunches of red and white carnations.
Such are the instruments of the shaman of Sullivan Street….
Read the whole thing.
The tendency to believe vague statements designed to appeal to just about anyone is called the Forer Effect, and psychologists point to this phenomenon to explain why people fall for pseudoscience like biorhythms, iridology and phrenology or mysticism like astrology, numerology and tarot cards. The Forer Effect is part of larger phenomenon psychologists refer to as subjective validation, which is a fancy way of saying you are far more vulnerable to suggestion when the subject of the conversation is you…Those who claim the powers of divination hijack these natural human tendencies. They know they can depend on you to use subjective validation in the moment and confirmation bias afterward. They expect you will see yourself in a mirror of a thousand faces, and then later on you see only the things which validate that reflection.
The natural human tendencies to seek order in chaos and believe in generalities both get enhanced when the information supposedly pertains to you, when it is personal.
Read the whole thing.