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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Power Of Words

A psychologist named John Bargh asked a few hundred people to make a so-called scrambled sentence test. On a sheet of paper they had to make a sentence out of words such as worry, old, silence, gray, forgetful. The participants thought the test would be about their ability to form sentences or their way of thinking. But what Doctor Burgh was interested in was the how his visitors left his office after the test and how they backed down the hall. He could prove that all those who had made the test, no matter how old they were, walked slower away as they came. Unconsciously the words they had read induced their brain to imagine being old. The whole thing also worked the other way round. Giving the participants words suggesting youth made them act younger than they actually were.


  1. Certainly it works with beautiful and ugly, too. It is the same with the finale of a concert. No musician would play a sad and distressing piece at the end of his performance. (Unless it is music of the 20th century and the musician wears sport shoes.)

  2. Isn't Tchaikovsky's 6th synfony a wonderful happy end? He has commit suicide then. In the 20th century musicians finally learned how to avoid suicide. One should not make jokes on these things.

    Napoleon in Egypt walked through the beds of his soldiers being ill of pestilence to comfort them and to show them that the desease wasn't contagious!

    Did Mr. Bargh test also disobedient people?