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Experiment time again

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Experiment time again
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Blog of ReasonHelperUser avatarPosts: 240Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:28 pmLocation: League of Reason

Post Experiment time again

Discussion thread for the blog entry "Experiment time again" by rabbitpirate.

Permalink: http://blog.theleagueofreason.co.uk/reason/experiment-time-again/
Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:22 pm
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Experiment time again

Okay I did your experiment. That's one :lol:

One problem I foresee is that you used facts that people could already know are true (I knew one myself) and/or could reason their way to the one that is false. They are pretty obscure facts but it might be a confounding factor.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:43 am
YesIAMJamesPosts: 48Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:57 amLocation: England Gender: Male

Post Re: Experiment time again

Interesting idea, I love bullshit like this. Your video is a good idea but it does leave room for improvement. You need it to be a placebo control test to account for other variables. The extra time listening to what is more than likely nonsense (reverse speech) could well give the subconscious extra time to work out which is a lie compared to the group which heard the statements straight through.

To counter this you would need a placebo group which is played a different sound than the reverse of the original. You may also want a control group who is played silence after as well. Of course you would need a very large sample size. You would also need to make sure that the person making the statements wasn't aware of the purpose of the test (otherwise he could theoretically sabotage the test ). You'd also have to make sure that people taking the test were primed in the same way, if you're told that reverse speech will make you better at picking out the lie you will probably try harder than someone who isn't primed.

Even so your test will no doubt not make the reverse speech people give up their beliefs. They will probably still claim:
1. The sound quality wasn't good enough.
2. The people taking the test weren't trained well enough (or no one knows enough about the phenomenon yet.)
3. The sample size wasn't large enough.
4. Reverse speech only works with specific types of lies (or doesn't work with some peoples speech patterns.

I highly doubt certain words and phrases are giveaways, surely they depend purely on the words you say. I highly doubt you will prove the effectiveness of reverse speech but supposing you do get a positive correlation this would be my hypothesis as to why it might work:

Normally your brain pays too much attention the actual words being said and so by playing the message backwards you focus a lot more attention to the gaps between words, and other tonal differences that are key indicators of a lie.
I highly doubt that the brain has evolved any mechanism for constructing reverse messages as I cannot see any evolutionary benefit, indeed we have enough trouble with a task as simple as saying the alphabet backwards.
Sworn enemy of the Illogicons!
Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:47 pm
rabbitpirateLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 101Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:29 pm

Post Re: Experiment time again

YesIAMJames wrote:Interesting idea, I love bullshit like this.

Awesome, thank you very much for the suggestions. I came across reverse speech while doing research for a book I am writing. When I failed to discover any experiments conducted on some of the specific claims they were making I decided to set up a simple test of my own in order to have something silly to point to in the book. I also wrote up the methodology used in the experiment as well as the statements used as an appendix to the book. However I will now have to go back in include the various excellent suggestions you have made as to how the experiment could be improved. Don't worry I'll give you full credit for your work ;)
Thetis: What if courage and imagination became everyday mortal qualities? What will become of us?
Zeus: We would no longer be needed. But, for the moment, there is sufficient cowardice, sloth and mendacity down there on Earth to last forever.
Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:29 pm
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