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You Broke The Rules!!

Updated on February 12, 2015

Psychology 101

Anyone who has taken
Psych 101 knows that
everything is a 'trick'
and that the difference
between being a student
and a test subject is blurred.

Putting the Undergrad through
a rat's maze; (of one kind or
another) is common.

One of the easiest is called by
different names and often
associated with
an Obedience Experiment.
For the purposes of this article
I call it "The Rules."

The Game

Each Student is a participant. They are told something like;

"We are going to play a Game and your job is to discern what the rules are."
Sounds simple?

The Game does not have playing pieces. It is usually verbal. There are no 'give aways'
Figuring out the rules is quite challenging.

Players listen very hard, trying to figure out why Diane was disqualified. What did she do, say...was it how she sat, was it a gesture?


What Is Really Going On

There are no rules.
All disqualifications are random.
It could be a flip of the coin, spin of a wheel; in short being disqualified has no bearing whatsoever on what you do/don't do, say/don't say in the Game.

(Sounds like your Psych class, huh?)

The Purpose is to see the Student Guinea Pigs squirm.

Not precisely.
The purpose is to see how human beings concoct reasons to explain the unexplainable.

Apparently humans believe in logic. Everything has to make Sense. The reason why Diane was eliminated and Linda was not has to be attributed to the Rules.

Diane had to 'break the rules' and Linda didn't.

As time goes on and more players are eliminated the remainder become more and more stressed out. They grasp to some plateau of safety...they grip the 'Rules' they have imagined as if this will protect them.

At some point the Psych Prof will question them 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. This is when the fact that there are no Rules is admitted and that this student was eliminated and that one was not, was based on a coin toss.

{Watch the Faces, now}

What's the Point?

The purpose of the Test, (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.


Follow the bread crumbs.
For the ease of Explanation I'll use an online Publishing Site I'll call "Bubbled".

Bubbled is a Ponzi. It is based on getting as many people contributing to the site as possible by promising to pay them 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.

Hence, 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 that person was not paid.

"You Broke The Rules!" they shriek.

Now of course you know that there are no Rules. It is a matter of a coin toss. When the owner reaches the level where the complaints are louder than the voices of the Shills he shuts the site and moves on.

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

As I mentioned, this 'Game' is often played in conjunction with Obedience experiments.


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