Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Power of Narrative. (I have ways of making you THINK!)

The Power of Narrative.  (I have ways of making you THINK!)

Simon Singh, a British Author has a neat trick.

He plays a snippet of “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, and then plays it BACKWARDS.

Time and again to new audiences, it sounded like Random sounds to most of the people in the audience.

The second time he plays it backwards, he provides lyrics on the screen, like Karaoke lines.

As people follow along “the audience unmistakably hears the words, where before they heard nothing.” (The Success Equation, Mauboussin, p33).

It demonstrates how our mind has a great ability, and NEED to explain the world around us.  It does this through creating stories of  unlinked events, patterns in the clouds out of random air movements, and impressionist paintings of dots into a complete image.  It is such a strong occurrence its often difficult to ignore!

Taken further, “our love of stories, and need to connect cause and effect,”  “leads us to believe the past was inevitable and to underestimate what else might have happened.”  (The Success Equation, Mauboussin, p34).  This leads to biases and inevitable errors in judgment.

We are provided with unending narratives daily via the media.  It’s quite hard to see through that, when an opinion has been provided and seemingly backed up with some facts, to find our own opinion independently afterwards.  More so to refute that opinion completely.

I found a video on YouTube that demonstrates this effect.  I don’t want to pre-empt the lyrics, but its an entertaining 6 minutes!  After seeing the lyrics presented, close your eyes and TRY NOT TO hear the words that have been planted.

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