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Card Trick Experiment - Moran Cerf, Northwestern University

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The experiment:

  • Participants were shown photos of 2 people and asked to pick the more physically attractive

  • Once they have selected, they were handed the photo they picked. 

  • They were then asked to explain why they chose this person

  • At random intervals, the examiner handed them the wrong photo, the opposite of what the participant picked

  • Most participants did not notice that they were handed the wrong photo. 

  • They went on to formulate a story of why they "picked" the photo, even when they didn't!


What this means:

  • We create stories to help us explain why we acted or made the decisions that we did.

  • Often, coming up with a story of explanation is as important as the decision or action itself. And as this experiment shows, regardless of which photo the participant picked, we are able to formulate a story to justify our choices. 

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