Goddamnit, they knew it. Those shifty engineers just knew that if us mouth breathers saw a button before crossing the street, we’d push it. Not because it actually does anything, but just because buttons are meant to be pushed. Just ask my girlfriend.
But those crosswalk buttons aren’t actually working for the pedestrian, they are placebos that foster the illusion of control but that in reality do not work worth shit, the New York Times reports.
Now I know what you’re thinking: but dickface, what if I push it harder, longer.
To which I’d say, please don’t call me names, and your hard, long push won’t bring any success. Just ask your girlfriend.
If you think about it, how fucking self-absorbed do we have to be to think that the universe will stop the flow of traffic for us quicker if we’re impatient instead of relying on computers to choreograph traffic signal patterns? Like “Fuck the algorithm, this douchebag needs to get to the Starbucks across the street.”
So why in God’s green earth would they trick us like this? Ellen J. Langer, a psychology professor at Harvard University, said that the illusion of control is functional in itself–“Perceived control is very important. It diminishes stress and promotes well being.”
What about the ‘Close Elevator’ buttons? Are they bullshit? Is the earth round? Is that my real dad? I don’t know what to believe.
[h/t New York Times]