The Rules

kaylarStarred Page By kaylar, 21st Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

One of the many, (and most popular) experiements run in Psychology 101 on unsuspecting students

Being a Guinea Pig

Those who read Psychology at University are often used as 'subjects' in experiements. They don't realise when they sign up for the class that the Professor often has a lot of tricks up his/her sleeve. The best thesi are written with the use of unsuspecting students.

The original Obedience Experiment was done in a psychology class.

The leading expert in memory, Dr. Elizabeth Loftus began her studies at the University and has come to national/international prominence with her thesis on False Memory.

The experiment I am about to describe is well known, in one of it's many versions and is currently being used in many Online writing Scams.

The Basic Experiment

The Students are told something like;

"We are going to play a Game. You are to figure out what the rules are. After each round of theis game, one player will be eliminated."

The Game is verbal. Players are to listen, concentrate, and figure out why John was disqualified. What did he do, say...? Was it a gesture, a way of standing?

Each player has a pencil and a piece of paper and they are to make notes, and the first to correctly discern the rules wins.

What is really going on here

This is not really a game.
And there are no rules.
Disqualification is random.
It is a coin toss.

The Purpose of the game is not merely to build stress. The purpose is to see how human being concoct reasons to explain the unexplainable.

Humans have a need for logic. Everything has to make Sense. There has to be rules and they have to have some rational.

The reason John was eliminated in the first round and Trevor was not has to make sense.

As time goes on and more players are eliminated the remainder become more and more worried. They don't want to be eliminated. They grasp some comfort in the belief the 'Rules' they have imagined will protect them.

At various junctures the Prof will question the students as to what they think the Rules are and how they feel, and the usual stuff you can expect from a psychologist.

The big deal is at the End when the fact that there are no Rules is admitted.
The revelation that this student was eliminated and that one was not was
based on a simple coin toss.

How the findings are used

The purpose of the Game, (besides giving the Professor a Jolly time) is to expose students to the fact that when there is no immediate logic, the brain creates one.
And this creation is why Scams and Ponzis work.


Take the Writing Ponzi calledl "Bubblews".

This is a Scam. It is based on having a lot of users writing for the site. Having a large user base gets more advertisement and makes more money for the owners.

To get these participants, the site claims to pay higher than any other site.

It pays everyone that first time, then, it's a coin toss who will be paid and who won't be.
The coin is a bit unbalanced as those who write from the 1st world are paid and those from the 3rd World are usually not.

At the end of a month (after the Owner takes his cut) there is X dollars to divide. All first time users have to be paid.

What is left over is used to pay the others.

Those who are not paid complain.

Those who remain in the game concoct reasons why others are not paid. Because they are afraid, because they need to believe they are safe they claim those who were not paid "Broke The Rules!"

The Owner need say nothing, need do nothing. The Shills, those frightened sheep will do all the bleating for him.

Now there are no real Rules. There is nothing to prevent anyone from being ripped off. It is more likely an American won't be ripped, but that is just as long as there is enough money to pay Americans. (And with Bubblews, considering the owner is an Indian, he does have a sweet spot for some of his country men).

However when complaints are louder than the voices of the Shills he must close the site and move on.

Of course, he might wind up having the site shut for him if he makes a mistake and rips off the wrong person who has contacts, i.e. writes to the Attorney General of the State in which he operates, for example.

The Shill however is certain that there are rules and if she is very careful and doesn't break them she will be paid.

A Taste of Reality

Now we may sit back astounded that a user of a site can presume to know why another user isn't paid. What kind of effrontery is it for some nobody who has no more control over the site than you do to dare to confront with; "You Broke The Rules?"

Think about if for a second.

How can one make this inference? And make it with the tone of authority? Clearly, the psychological aspect, the fear of being unpaid is so enormous that the presumptious user believe that anyone who wasn't paid had to break a rule because the site is real and good and logical and.....?

It is not strange, as any Psychology Instructor will tell you, for the human brain to concoct rules to explain why. These explanations provide a sense of safety. "It won't happen to me!" The Shill says the day before he isn't paid.


College, Experiment, Logic, Obedience, Psychology, Rules

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author avatar kaylar
I am passionate about history, culture, current events, science and law

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author avatar M G Singh
22nd Sep 2013 (#)

Most interesting

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author avatar kaylar
22nd Sep 2013 (#)

Thank you Madn. BTW...notice EC is not back may never return.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
22nd Sep 2013 (#)

dont like rules..nor regulations...wont write for bubblebup or whatever it is called...thank you kaylar...

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author avatar kaylar
22nd Sep 2013 (#)

There are no real rules at Bubblews. It is the mind dead morons who write there who assume ther are rules

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
22nd Sep 2013 (#)

wot is EC?

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author avatar kaylar
22nd Sep 2013 (#)

Expertscolumn. It announced it was 'going down for maintenance' and to 'reorganise' in May.
It was supposed to be up by September.
It still isn't

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
22nd Sep 2013 (#)

Nice article.

Another similar psychological game: Teams are formed 10 minutes apart, chosen by random draw. Each team has a few supplies but not enough to complete the competition. They also have duplicates that they cannot use and are allowed to trade for needed items from every other team but only if the other team needs what they are offering, and you have asked the teams in numeric order.
A bunch of people running around trying to bargain for what is not there.

The last team to form, thinking it doesn’t stand a chance in this grab-as- can- game, has everything it needs and wins by default.

The rest are left wondering what they were competing for anyway. ~Marilyn

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author avatar kaylar
23rd Sep 2013 (#)

Most Psych Teachers don't know the difference between an undergraduate and a guinea pig.

I can imagine the students in the experiement you describe raising their stress through the roof.

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author avatar C.D. Moore
22nd Sep 2013 (#)


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author avatar kaylar
23rd Sep 2013 (#)

thank you

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
23rd Sep 2013 (#)

Interestin piece!

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author avatar kaylar
23rd Sep 2013 (#)

thank you Fern

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