Friday, August 19, 2005

The 98% Red Hammer

There's this Internet email meme, I think of it as the "2%-98% red hammer meme". Click directly to the comments to read it. You might want to read it first, then return to the spoiler below. That is what I would have opted if presented with a spoiler before reading the thing.

Anyway, the email arrives (thanks Rick), boldly proclaiming "This is really weird." Then it gives instructions to scroll down the page doing some simple additions along the way. Toward the end it primes you further with "Just a little bit more". When I reached the punch line, it did have a weird effect on me for a moment. I hope it is "for a moment" with others on whom this trick works, but I suppose some people may go on misunderstanding the reality.

Here, I already wrote this in an email (OK, now I've edited it a little bit):

No, it's just a trick.

When I read this thing and did the additions and scrolled down and then it asked for the color and the tool and I thought "red hammer" and then scrolled further down to be told I was part of a certain important group of people, I felt . . . . impressed. When I came to the part where it says "You were thinking "red hammer" weren't you?", I got a really strange sensation for a minute. Complete incredulity. How the hell...?

It's just a trick that works sometimes.

First, I think the 2% / 98% claim is bogus. It's a lie for effect. It's to increase the stickiness of the meme. Which will work better?
  1. Telling them they're in a highly significant and, by extension, prestigious group, or
  2. Telling them they part of a large but probably non-majoritarian group, but that the grouping itself is irrelevant?
If they'd said the more-true number 2, the trick wouldn't work as well on those for whom it works. Even if it doesn't work on most other people, the ones likely to think something other than "red hammer", the trick would still play on a lot of people, whose who will say "red hammer".

So the number is bullshit.

Then, apparently they have researched the likelihood of a person answering a question a certain way out of the blue ( "they" being the scientists). The majority of people (a large number of them anyway), when asked for a color out of the blue, will say "red". It's the same when people are asked to name a tool out of the blue. Most, or a large percentage, will say "hammer." They're just two thing that are likely to come to mind first, except these are more likely. Put the two together and you get some percentage (not necessarily a majority) of people who'll think "red hammer". For that group of people this thing can work (at least the first time they see it). For some people the most likely answers are not "red" and "hammer", but who cares. Then they give you the false 2% / 98% statistic and prime the ones who answer "red hammer", they are primed with the apparent (though explainable) weirdness that the email "knows" you were going to say "red hammer". Some of the supposed 2% wind up wondering what's wrong with them.

If you are falsely primed for an answer to an unanswerable question about an unknowable truth, you'll stand for something so won't fall for anything. Besides, those other people may be stupid. HA! Let's make that meme more sticky. Bullshit can be sticky.

The purpose of having you do the additions as you scroll down the page is to put you into concentration on something else, so that your answers to the questions actually do come from out of the blue.

Maybe some day scientists will discover subtle neurological differences among different types of different sorts of people's brains. I wonder what they'll find different about some people, who read the red hammer meme in the email and pick the color "fuck" and the tool "you" and wonder why they read this far. Why they did the additions. Why they forwarded the email.

Anyway, it was an interesting diversion. I thought the momentary initial reaction when the trick worked on me was pretty cool, and I think the explanation (though there's more to it, I'm sure) is pretty cool, too.

115 comments:

Steve said...

Here's the email. It doesn't have the html effects but you get the drift.

- start quote -

This is really weird.

At the end of this message, you are asked a question. Answer it immediately. Don't stop and think about it. Just say the first thing that pops into your mind.

This is a fun "test"... AND kind of spooky at the same time! Give it a try, then e-mail it around (including back to me) and you'll see how many people you know fall into the same percentage as you.

Be sure to put in the subject line if you are among the 98% or the 2%. You'll understand what that means after you finish taking the "test."

Now ... just follow the instructions as quickly as possible.

Do not go to the next calculation before you have finished the previous one..

You do not ever need to write or remember the answers, just do it using your mind.

You'll be surprised.

Start:



How much is:

15 + 6









3 + 56









89 + 2









12 + 53









75 + 26









25 + 52









63 + 32









I know! Calculations are hard work, but it's nearly over..

Come on, one more...







123 + 5









QUICK! THINK ABOUT A COLOR AND A TOOL!









Scroll further to the bottom...









A bit more...









You just thought about a red hammer, didn't you?









If this is not your answer, you are among 2% of people who have a different, if not abnormal, mind.







98% of the folks would answer a red hammer while doing this exercise.







If you do not believe this, pass it around and you'll see.



Be sure to put in the subject line if you are among the 98% or the 2% and send to everyone, including the person that sent it to you

- end quote -

Anonymous said...

poop

Anonymous said...

PEE!

Anonymous said...

poop

POOPY PANTS said...

PEE POOP PEE

CRAP

BUM

FART

POOPY PANTS said...

POOPY PANTS VOTES STEPHEN HARPER! GO CONSERVATIVES!

Steve said...

Thank you for your enlightening comments, Anonymous.

I especially agree with the part where you associate pooping, peeing, craping and farting with conservatism.

Thanks for that, and for checking out my blog.

Jake said...

Interesting, I am surprised that this goes across language/cultural barriers. I got this email from some friends in germany.

Why is it that we do think of red and hammer first?

Steve said...

Well, my guess is that many or most of us don't think "red hammer", but for those of us who do, the trick works pretty well.

Anonymous said...

what does it mean if you answer Purple Shovel, i think the percentages are probably way off and would be closer to 50/50.

Anonymous said...

shut up, all of you

E as in "Ecstasy" said...

ummm ... i thought of pink screwdriver ... it only makes me believe even more now that i am special :)
<3
E

Jeff said...

l

Anonymous said...

I said purple screwdriver.
I new it was bullshit before I got to the bottom.

There is an older/similar puzzle about doing additions that involve the number 6, and then stating the name of a vegetable. The predicted answer is carrot - with the reason for working is that carrot has 6 letters. I said carrot, and so did a lot others.

I think this new meme is a rebirth of the 6 carrot meme, but based purely on bullshit.

Anonymous said...

that is so cool i said red hammer

Tom Cash said...

I thought of a pink rivet gun.

Gale,Emma said...

Well im an intelligent girl... i was looking for the catch and normally I find it.. but I didnt.. i think its cool and at the time I even thought of the obvious... which could be a a silver hammer or a rusty saw... and changed it quickly to a red hammer... how many hammers are red?

Anonymous said...

Everyone i knew said blue hammer. Hmm..

Kira-Lin said...

My sister showed me this one. She thought 'red hammer' and was really surprised and excited.. When I did it I guessed 'Yellow Scythe' because I was vaguely thinking of 'Harvest Moon'. Then I tried changing my answer to 'Yellow Hoe'.

But it is pretty clever, though they probably lied about the 98% and the 2% because everyone's minds are different. Though there's a surprising amount that will behave similar and may be considered normal. I kind of like these puzzles, because it's fun to guess how they made it and what tricks or slight suggestions they used. ^^

Anonymous said...

Concurrent with the anonymous response above, I knew this was bullshit as well... so I answered "purple screwdriver".

Weird.

Lucas Amorim said...

I thought of a Yellow Plumber Tool. I think you got the point Steve... ;)

Anonymous said...

try this one. answer these as quick as possible


6+4




5+5





7+3




8+2





2+8






First vegetable that comes to your mind
|
V



|
V



|
V




Carrot?

Anonymous said...

Durka Durka mohamad jihad

Anonymous said...

I SAID " GREY MONKEYWRENCH !!!! "

Anonymous said...

i agree with poop

Anonymous said...

I got a blue wrench. :D

Oriana said...

Thank you for taking the time to explain this phenomenon to us. There are some of us who appreciate it - and there's the true 2%, it seems.

Sheetal said...

I thot of a RED HAMMER tooo!!!!!

The Barry Cooper Debate said...

sorry, I didn't have time to do your test....seems interesting...may come back sometimes, maybe not...good luck to you...you are very interesting...

Black hearts Pink skull said...

purple screwdriver lol

Anonymous said...

Wow, I think you worry waaay too much about this stuff. It is not like they are scamming you out of money or something. I said red hammer, btw.

Anonymous said...

Blue Shovel.

Doorslover29811 said...

somebody said that a lot of people that they knew said blue hammer. that is what i thought of. Wonder what that means? anybody know???

Anonymous said...

Ya poop!


i said green shovel.

haile said...

red wrench.

the word TOOL in caps always makes me think of the band, and they have a wrench logo. im solid on the red though.

my theory is that there is a single colour and tool (and vegetable) that exemplify the category. go up to somebody on the street and ask for a random vegetable, without any prompting, and you will probably get a lot of carrots. ask for a random word starting with 'a' and you will get a lot of apples. does this effect come from childhood alphabet books?

also, colour is tied in closely with emotion. red might come from the set-up where we have to concentrate on the maths-- red is a colour of concentration. what if the set-up was: 'relax. visualize yourself on a quiet beach, with bright sunshine and a gentle breeze. you are lying down on a chaise-longue, holding a marguerita with a little paper umbrella. now name a colour and a tool.' maybe we would get some more blue shovels (for the beach sand).

Oriana said...

haha, haile, I bet you're right with the concentration thing.

Anonymous said...

bunch of people here in office in philippines said red hammer too, including me... but my wife thought of a black shovel and another guy got a yellow wrench

-Rommel

Jonathan said...

I answered pink hammer

Matt said...

It seems to me that the "hammer" is just the most common exemplar of a tool (much like "carrot" for vegetable). The "red" comes from the associations with a sense of urgency, which the instructions try to induce by focusing on speed. I was a "blue hammer" by the way.

Anonymous said...

Saying blue hammer means you have deep unresolved issues with your mother and should get professional help immediately.

Oriana said...

Well played, Anonymous. Well played.

Luke said...

I got this one a few years ago, and i said red hammer.... i was so suprised, because i couldn't figure out how they did it, like some of the other obvious ones i get. But they might have still stretched the truth about the "98% thing" though

Comrade said...

Red Hammer?!? I can see the nasty fingerprints of commies right there!

I'm sorry sir, but you've been brainwashed by the KGB.

Anonymous said...

lolz communist... read 1984, yes|no?

Kara said...

Haha, I had pink hammer and then I was like "no no no I want red."

I guess I am half individual? :P

Also, to whoever said about the carrot thing and the sums that add up to 6, I don't think that people get the answer "carrot" because there are six letters in the word, I think it's because "six" sounds like "sex", and think about how carrots are shaped... ;)

SinanCanan said...

OK, here is my theory:
After dealing with some simple math challenges, our brains are forced to turn into a verbal state by asking to choose a color and a tool "immediately". During this rapid task shifting phase, brain searches the best possible answer in a ver limited time. The best possible way is to select the clues from the words "color" and "tool". In the word "color" the letter "r" can be most readily associated with "red" (and this syllable is stressed in this word). When we search for a tool, the first letter, "t" is a perfect candidate for a "hammer" (this one is also stressed in the wrod). So if you are concentrated enough, you can catch this subtle clues and think a "red hammer". But if you are somehow confused or busy in your mind, you can come up with anything else..
It is also working in Turkish language maybe in a similar manner [colo(r)=ren(k); (r)ed=(k)irmizi; (t)ool=ale(t); hammer=cekic]

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing that no one seems to get. You can test whether the email has any "magic" in it or not by doing a simple experiment. Go to 10 separate people who haven't read the email and ask them to think of a color and a tool, instructing them, as the email does, to pick the first thing that comes into their mind. See how many say red hammer. Then do it with the email.

In my experience, the email yields a much higher percent of red hammers, implying there is something more to it than red hammer being the most common firsr thought.

Victor said...

The math operations are intended to make use of your left side of the brain. Once you are in that zone, it takes most people some time to transition to using their right side of the brain (their creative side) depending on how well-developed their Corpus callosum is (the interconnection between the two sides of the brain.) So because we are stuck in the left side, the analytical side, we tend to give the most common, logical answer rather than a creative one. At least that's one theory :D

Sam Was said...

I picked a black hoe. Freudian or what?

Anonymous said...

I'm 50:50 red screwdriver! :D

SheCaptain2 said...

Taking this little exercise into another arena:
What this is actually proving is that Most Folks are easily swayed into thinking a thought that isn't their own... We hear a speech and then think a thought that is our knee jerk reaction. We then think this is our Own thought and yet it is implied by the speaker with Intent! Scary to me to think that the majority of people can be so easily swayed to thinking they think something when actually they are led like cattle to the slaughter?! Watch out folks... I'm sure this technique has several applications that aren't just for fun and games... as most things we are sent to 'toy' with. Gives me goose bumps!

janette sanchez said...

Its just a simple trick that shows how the brain works.
We discussed this in my psychology class and we came up with:

The calculations activate a part of your brain that specialize in mathematics. So with the sudden stimulus of the color and tool (both visual) your brain quickly goes to red, and hammer. Which are usually the most common of each. From what we noticed, the students either thought of green or red, and hammer or shovel.

I personally said red hammer. :)
Of course its not going to work for everyone.

KathyWalking said...

So my friend writes to me and at the beginning of the little quiz, she writes, "I said 'red screwdriver so am I 50/50?" which ruined the whole thing for me. My answer was totally jaded (no pun intended) by hers. So, if you really want to test this at random, just send out the email and tell people to just do it. Heck, mention your answer at the very bottom if you have to but not first!

Anonymous said...

red hammer :)

and for those of you that got otherwise, you probably overthought about it or are special.

Anonymous said...

I thought blue shovel. Big deal. This is bogus.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that the clue is the command: answer immediately. Then one scrolls to the bottom of the page. RedHammer jumps out. What else would you think of? Pretty elementary psychology here.

Anonymous said...

Great blog as for me. I'd like to read a bit more about that matter. The only thing your blog needs is a few pictures of some gizmos.
John Flouee
Cell jammer

Anonymous said...

i thought of CC3300 and visual studio

Anonymous said...

my wife said purple hammer and then said she was thinking of my dic. so red hammer may have another meaning

Anonymous said...

Makes sense. Red's long been my favourite colour, so it's logical I'd come up with this right off. If others are that way, then it simplifies the trick. Hammer didn't work, though as I'm in the computer field and we use screwdrivers a lot more than hammers, so got that one 'wrong'.

Anonymous said...

My 7th grade teacher gave us this test, I remember because I was only one of a few people that didn't pick the red hammer. I had "blue saw".

Anonymous said...

I'm from romania.
Although usually these tests fail with me, this one was right on the money. Me and 2 other friends answered RED HAMMER. In romanian of course (CIOCAN ROSU). There are some intelligent people behind this test, no doubt about it...

Anonymous said...

my mom showed this to me and i said green wrench unlike u other 98% of people i was in the special 2%. also was both of my parents

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the reason majority of people think red because they feel pressured/stressed when adding, and hammer because the last digit being added is a 5 which, visually resembles a hammer.

Cool post!

Anonymous said...

I also thought of 'red hammer' and became curious for an explanation.
Personally, I think 'hammer' is just such an obvious tool so that it pops up immediatly in many people's minds. The color is however less evident and the outcomes I've heard off reveal mostly that people differ in choosing colors..what the, I don't know what the explanation is..

I really liked this 'test', but I do not at all agree with you when you talk about the inteltional 'group-feeling' to be created when you talk about the 2% vs the 98%.
I'm sure I wouldn't have felt either special or abnormal if I'd had answered differently..
I think the people of the '2%' just aren't as shocked as those who answered 'red hammer' and that they would therefore pay less attention to this mind trick

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, I've been trying to find out about he "Red hammer" email that was forwarded to me by a friend ... the thing is, I actually DID see , firstly the colour Red or more of a Cerise actually in my mind, then I visualized a Hammer !!!!! ... I want to know how this happened ( by the way, I had the weird feeling too as I scrolled down the page and read "you were thinking of a red Hammer " ... I had a brief very strange feeling. I went back over the email and I think it must be subliminally programmed into the unconcsious mind ... if you look closely at the background as you scroll towards the question think of a colour, it looks very faintly pixelated with a dark pink or red colour , hardly detectable though, also , with regard to selecting a Tool, I think the answer's in the writing / the way the words are formulated. It's left me very curious !!.

Anonymous said...

Orange Screwdriver... Could a drinking problem be ahead?

Pot Called the Kettle said...

am a green hammer...does it count if i only got half of the answer different??

j.t. said...

6 letter hypotesis is 98% percent wrong.
why ? same test in other language gives same results.
carrot = marchewka in Polish, and ppl are saying the same.

same with red hammer.

why red hammer ?
imagine that you are in the bus, traveling from lets, say turkey to greece.
bomb is exploding and you wake up, or disturbed while doing math, and what things would you need ?
isn't that hammer which is near the glas whis is there to save u ?
is the first aid kid green ?
hope you share my opinion cuz purple screwdriver wont help u.

another thing is that those ppl wich are NOT amazed by that test - wont share it with others.. why ? coz they consider it worth nothing and fot them it doesnt worked. only ppl 'amazed' with that thing will show it to their friend...

thats an elimination algorithm, and the percentage of amazet ppl grows. Even if its based on statistics and only 30% responders said red, and said hammer further elimination makes it different cuz ppl arent random.

why red hammer ?
nobody asks you for a tool of any color. you are asked for a colour AND a tool. when you are asked if thats red hammer your brain does excacly the same thing like in the begining - adding two things or more preciseli integrating.

evere of us have a blank space in the eye, and shoud see a black dot there, due to lack of photoreceptors in that part... whats interesting, brain will alwys fill that part of with something to make the whole thing 'logical'.

thats only my first opinion after i found that test again after years, hope its usefull for someone, especially if the 6 letter hypotesis is considered true.

freud would say that this is all sexual thing, carrot, red, hammer (imagine a nail and a process)... okay baseball bat could be better to imagine something, but something alone, not the thing which is a main goal of all living cells on earth. oldschool bullshit or a piece of truth.

and yes carrot is better than banana in that part, cuz its always hard... a banana wouldnt do the trick but of course its more hmm esthetic to methaphorize some things.

peace!!!

Anonymous said...

and sorry for an unclear message, and thats not an explanation or something, kind of a 'first impression'.

Anonymous said...

and i could be wrong, but please, don't take the whole thing as a mistake, cuz you really need that red things when you are supposed to act immidiatelly (yes i know a dictionary).. red cross, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, alarm button, also red light saves your life everyday when you cross a street. no matter where you are red is imho the most valuable colour to keep you alive. why does blood need a colour as long as it in veins ? where theres no light, and it is not possible to see colours. its obvious it carries an information.
btw red colour has the shortest wave lenght, is one of RGB primary colours
many national symbols have red parts... stars, hammers;), stripes, circles, dots, etc.
and on the other hand almost no one has red walls in his room...
but i bet that many girls have red underwear, which is also usfefull in special cases.

Anonymous said...

why ending question is have you imagined a red hammer, or _hammer of a red colour_ after summing ?

why not a RED and a HAMMER ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Venn_A_intersect_B.svg

this shows boolean logic. A AND B. if they have nothing in common result is zero, red hammer does not exist, brains turn on his attention an gives something else.

try with or nor nand etc.
these are more complicated things, but our brain functions logically, so the answer is like with adding number - every sum have a sens and is a good answer, so sum of a red colour and a hammer is also correct.

the examiner gets excacly what he is asking for.
for the sum. not for the AND operation (Intersection???)

Brenda said...

ok,so it seems that lots of logic was behind this meme. but that just further fuels my curiousity on the choices ppl make. for example, regardless of the variety of colours folks in this thread expressed along side the variety of tools they expressed... i'm quite surprised that the tools are all traditional ones.

yes, i'm apparently a 2%. my answer was an orange computer. What I think would be a cool stack of data to analyze against the 2%/98% would be some myers briggs/colour theory tests on each of the respondents! For example, are their personality types that are more likely to read/respond to this kind of game puzzle and certain types less likely? :)

hehe, it is fun to speculate! And, not an unpleasant diversion!!

Anonymous said...

red wrench

Tom Barrister said...

How many people, besides me, said: "Blue chisel"?

Anonymous said...

green dildo

Anonymous said...

My calculator battery died. What's the question? Why am I doing this?

Anonymous said...

I said magenta staplegun

Jesus said...

I think you are all going to die soon anyway so it doesn't really matter anyways...

boob the builder said...

i got blue talking backhoe

Anonymous said...

i said purple nigger
for some reason my mind says nigger everytime i have to think of something quick

Anonymous said...

"Red Hammer".....Hmmmmm, sounds like a Porn movie title....or a body part....better that than "Pink Noodle".....

Anonymous said...

I saw this elsewhere and thought 'yellow screwdriver'. Looking through these answers, at least, screwdriver seems to be the most common answer, not hammer.

adonettos said...

After thinking about this for a while, I started to seriously consider a link to something that most of us have seen and experienced in the past, and this is emergency fire exits and alarms.

When we get our brain into the "spontaneous reaction" state, by asking quick and easy questions, then when the real question comes, we get our spontaneous > emergency > FEARFUL reaction response. Since our subconscious mind already has the correlation of "Fear > Emergency > Rush > Reaction" in place, then without realizing it we revert back to what is associated with this spontaneous reaction, and choose the Red colour (that's obvious i think), and the Hammer (which might perhaps be linked to a subconscious correlation to an emergency situation as described above).

This subconscious correlation, of course, has its roots into very well known brain-washing tactics. There is a red box and a hammer/axe nearby in every public building/service (schools, hospitals, trains, etc...)

What do you think about this?

adonettos

Pavel said...

Adonettos, that sounds very logical but makes 'hammer' largely dependent on 'red'. However, I'm not the only one who said 'blue hammer' and I'm not convinced the hammer is there just because it's the most typical tool (I'm not even sure it is). But maybe the 'red' is there unconsciously even with people who select a different color.

Echo One-Three-Six said...

The color preference comes from human evolutionary biology, I think.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081028074323.htm

AresVIII said...

Mat has it right,,Hammer is the quickest that comes to mind for the general global population and the urgency used inside the test causes a small sense of panic which induces most to think of red. BUT,,it would be cool if a psychoanalysist found that certain numbers caused the red hammer reflex??

Anonymous said...

I personaly am in the two percents, by saying "blue saw".

But where I should really have a real "abnormal mind" is... am I the only one with whom the words "red hammer" immediately links with communism ?

Anonymous said...

i was going to skip over but then i saw poop and pee in the comments... :)

Anonymous said...

Any chance many people say "hammer" because it's probably the "simplest" tool?

Anonymous said...

Lol haha x'D

Anonymous said...

Blue Hammer. good thing "M.C." isnt a colour - it would make me a cannibal.

Anonymous said...

I thught of brown eye

Clayton Brannon said...

I thought of Blue Wrench! Crazy, huh? I wonder what it means...

claytonb142@gmail.com

Ryda641 said...

I think that we choose red because it is the first colour we learn and simplest to remember.

The hammer because it is a tool which we first use or learn and has to simplest use.

Anonymous said...

10yrs ago I was sitting in a university lab sharing an adult juice box (box wine) with another grad student. We both came up with the answer yellow screwdriver and have been best friends ever since

Anonymous said...

The math sequence of question is needed to keep the associative part of your brain inactive, then suddenly you are asked to name a tool and a color. By culture the majority of people has a subconscious knowledge that associates a hammer to the concept of tool, and red to the concept of color. A very simple answer to a shocking test! We are all the same, after all! Note that this test works in any language where culturally those items are the predominant for those concepts (a lumberjack or a farmer may not answer "hammer" as they are more exposed to different tools).

Anonymous said...

pssh, also thought of a blue wrench.

Anonymous said...

It stems from a symbology... Red hammer and sickle = socialist party... This is a sociology experiment gone awry, understand?

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed the questions are in bright blue type against a pure white background. We are probably hypnotized into thinking red white and blue, red white and blue, as we do the sums, and up pos red in our mind. AS for the hammer, we have all got one and no doubt use it more than another tool, a no brainer.

criticCritic said...

This is a variation of an old trick. There is an explanation, albeit not the mystery it makes itself out to be. SOME, not 98%, people will both think of red and hammer when asked for a color or tool. For the people that answer both correctly, the test seems amazing. For everyone else, they consider the test crap and don't bother forwarding it to anyone. The percentage cited was not official or established in any capacity. It is a trick in itself to make people want to get the answer right. Those that are disappointed typically do not bother responding to the test by calling it crap like I do. So the people that post on this test are ONLY the people that got "red hammer" and are impressed because they too seem to be in the majority. So the facebook posts all lLOOK like people are coming up with the same answer because most people who don't get the same answer don't bother responding. There is an increased probability that people will come up with red when asked for a color and hammer when asked for a tool. But it is not 98%. It is equivalent to those mass emails sent out where the claim is that they can predict a stock is going up and insist on you buying. 50% of the recipients look at the prediction and call it crap because the stock did not go up. But there is a 50% chance that the stock will go up, so half the recipients will be amazed that the claimant can predict stocks, and will forward the email on and buy the services of the claimant. Then the claimant makes another 'prediction' and half of the people that bought into it are satisfied a second time. They then give the claimant more money to keep on predicting. Both this test and the email example rely on people not calling out the test/claim for the crap trickery that it is. I have a trick: Think of a number between one and ten. You thought of 7 right? There is a probability for 7, so I will get a lot of 7's. Those who get the number wrong find my test full of crap and ignore it. Those who think of 7 think I am a psychic and post in amazement "wow! I thought of 7 too!!"

Anonymous said...

Gold Rake? What does it mean??????

Sam said...

I think the last addition problem is part of the trick. It's the only one that contains a 3 digit number and it comes after a break between a larger group of addition problems. I'm guessing there's a dominance of red answers due to the 3 digit number you just saw. The second number is the last problem is 5, though and hammer has 6 letters, so not sure how/if/why that would work. Maybe hammer is just a common enough tool. I definitely don't believe the 98/2 ratio, though. I would imagine it's not even 50/50 since there are so many possible combinations.

Anonymous said...

I saw this on Facebook this morning, and said "red hammer". Then starting wondering why. Red is one of my least favorite colors, and the only tool I ever use is a screwdriver. Why would I say "red hammer"?

Micah Houghton said...

98% of people scroll ahead and subconciously read "Red Hammer" before they can think of a tool and a color for themselves. The mind is searching, the eyes have seen, the mind disk has been written, the IRQ has been prioritized, "NOW!", L1 Cache is not responding, load first available data in L2 Cache. RED HAMMER.

INCEPTION PROGRAM SUCCESSFUL>

Salvatore Nel Prossimo de La Mia Vita said...

i think there is a common statistical trick: however would anyone be able to measure the percentages?

Christian Rivera said...

Getting "red hammer" or not is just half the fun from what I see. I see a lot of great theories, ranging from the logical, to the ludicrous. But regardless of the obviously bogus statistic, a casual observer might take note of the various personality types that actually thought of "red hammer" compared to those that didn't.

A very curious point of interest, is observing those who claim to have said something else other than "red hammer". Read back on all the comments and anyone who has small instruct in the field of psychology can pick out those who did and those who did not. From this very remark iy is pretty obvious what answer I gave

Anonymous said...

It's more like mental conditioning. You are given a series of words or numbers or anything that conditions your mind to process based on a certain pattern prodding you to think towards a certain direction, to an idea or anything, then leads you to act (like say red hammer, or carrot... or in the case of lawless elements employing hypnotism, to give them your valuables).

Same concept is basically being used in a lot of magic tricks.

Well, this is just what I learned from Neuro Linguistic Programming class I had before.

BTW, not everyone gets affected by such conditioning, but you'll find a larger number of people who do get affected.

Blueline said...

So did I.

Anonymous said...

Red is the first colour in virtually everything (rainbow, RGB, paint) and a hammer is the most well known tool. geddit know? ;D

Anonymous said...

Red Sander. There is something that draws the mind to action nouns. Anyone who said hammer needs answer me what a hamm is.

InDesignKat said...

I read this and thought "yellow hammer", was surprised how close it was, then read it out loud to my wife. She promptly replied "red hammer". Weird.

Anonymous said...

97.6% of people that new this was a silly trick of percentages answered purple screwdriver. Now that's the real kicker.

Anonymous said...

I got, black Kanye West.

Claude said...

My mind went blank and said, "Banana Yellow."
Now you know that yellow is a tool.