What branch of science? Logic? Psychology?

  • #1
DaveC426913
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Every few years I Google this book and then ask about it book here on PF on the off-chance that someone recognizes it. I cannot nail down anything specific that Google can work with, so ultimately it fails.

I'm going to try something different this time that should improve my Google search technique.

My question is: what branch of science is this?

Here is a synopsis of the book:

The book documents an actual experiment carried out in an auditorium of people.

The curtain rises to show a table upon which sits a tall, narrow featureless box. Nothing happens for several minutes. Then with no preamble, the box falls on its side. End of presentation.

The audience is given pen and paper and asked to explain what caused the box to fall over. There were as many answers as people in the room, but that wasn't what was fascinating. What was fascinating was at what point people decided that the question had been satisfactorily answered.

Some simply said 'an internal force pushed it over', some went a little further, positing plausible ideas such as a stiff breeze or a string pulled by someone offscreen; some made elaborate explanations, filling their page, replete with diagrams and cutaways of levers, or blocks of melting ice.

Analysts found answers fell on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 being "it just fell", to 5 including diagrams.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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DUDE! That's not science! They're just...messin' with people's heads!
 
  • #3
DaveC426913
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Ha ha. No seriously.

Perhaps this could be moved to GD lest it die of loneliness.
 
  • #4
Borg
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Are you trying to find the book on Google or references to it? It sounds like a psychology experiment to me.
 
  • #5
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When the cat died when the poison gas container broke, it fell against the side of the box with enough force to make the box fall over.
 
  • #6
Borg
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Well if you want to go there, I think that Harry Potter waved his wand at it from the back row. I've got several four-year-olds who will back me up on that. :tongue2:
 
  • #7
Was that the only experiment outlined in the book? And it was a whole book?
 
  • #8
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The description of the experiment almost makes it obvious it's in the category of psychology. Logic is more within the realms of philosophy(or certain topics in computer science and mathematics). I'm not sure exactly what topic in psychology that experiment covers, but it definitely includes surveying, and filling in missing information.

It's probably an experiment either about selective attention, or how people fill in missing details(e.g when they're given imperfect information about a system).
 
  • #9
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The experiment is described in a book called How We Decide. I don't know if that's the book you're referring to but, if not, I'll bet that book has the reference where the author got that information from. I can check when I get home.

Edit: Oh, sorry, that wasn't the question. But, again, I'll look at that portion of the book again and see who was performing the experiment. Something with the word "neuro" in it is niggling the back of my brain.
 
  • #10
DaveC426913
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The experiment is described in a book called How We Decide. I don't know if that's the book you're referring to but, if not, I'll bet that book has the reference where the author got that information from. I can check when I get home.
No, that's not the book.
That would be great if you found any reference to the experiment.

Was that the only experiment outlined in the book? And it was a whole book?
Yes and yes.

At least I think so. My mind has a way of discarding things.

Are you trying to find the book on Google or references to it?
Either one.
It sounds like a psychology experiment to me.
Well yes but that's too broad to be much use.
 
  • #11
Yes and yes.

At least I think so. My mind has a way of discarding things.
I know what you mean. I often only remember parts of things.

I have some m4d g00g13 5k1lls so I'll see what I can do as long as I am sober.
 
  • #12
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Yeah, okay, now my mind is messing with me. I've read that exact experiment in short form, the way you just wrote it out, Dave, in something I'm reading or have read very, very recently. I've skimmed four books and can't find it. Now I"m on a mission. I'll find it.
 
  • #13
DaveC426913
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Yeah, okay, now my mind is messing with me. I've read that exact experiment in short form, the way you just wrote it out, Dave, in something I'm reading or have read very, very recently. I've skimmed four books and can't find it. Now I"m on a mission. I'll find it.
If you find it I will happily extend my leg-shaving services free for life.
 
  • #14
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If you find it I will happily extend my leg-shaving services free for life.
Just what I needed, even more incentive.
 
  • #15
ideasrule
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Yeah, okay, now my mind is messing with me. I've read that exact experiment in short form, the way you just wrote it out, Dave, in something I'm reading or have read very, very recently. I've skimmed four books and can't find it. Now I"m on a mission. I'll find it.
Deja vu?
 

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