Freedom of Choice – Mind Field (Ep 5)

published on July 13, 2020

Ah nothing like bacon and eggs in themorning it's a hearty meal that holdsyou together for the whole day it's acombination so obvious that it's beenaround for as long as both foods existedhumans naturally loved these foodstogether so they became a staple of

Breakfast or did they what if I were totell you that the traditionalcombination of bacon and eggs isn't partof our natural history but is instead acorporate conspiracy orchestrated bysociety's Tru puppet masters it isn't a

Breakfast for champions it's a breakfastfor sheeplewe think that a lot of commonplacethings are the way they are because ofcollective free choice when in factsometimes one or two people alone made a

Decision and created something that isnow taken for granted as part of societyjust part of life here's the real storybehind bacon and eggs it all begins withSigmund Freud or rather his nephewEdward Bernays Bernays is credited as

The father of public relations theproduct of a time when the world hadbecome just small enough that you couldmanipulate a lot of people at oncebecause of the way that advertising newsand radio could reach a large number of

People quicklyBernays took advantage of mass media notwith the intention to inform but withthe intention to control in the 1920sEddie Bernays asked a doctor who workedat his agency whether a breakfast should

Be heavy or light and the doctor prettymuch said I guess heavy would be betterBernays then had that doctor get 4500other doctors to confirm that all ofthem then Bernays lobbied newspapers topublish that all these doctors were

Saying you should eat a big oldbreakfast but he wasn't doing this toimprove public health he was doing thisbecause Beechnut packing company a majorsupplier of bacon was paying him to doit they say that bacon went up and I

Still have a letter from Bartlett Kellpresident of beech in a packing companytelling me so so we collectively as acountry agreed that bacon was ourbreakfast meat of choice but we didn'tfreely make that choice at all and

That's just breakfastour lives are full of decisions that wethink we make of our own free will butdo we these days our markets areinundated with products and choices butas having many choices good or bad

Most people say they like a lot ofchoices but do they really we took ourcameras and a few pounds of jelly beansto Venice Beach to find out first weinvited people to pick one of two flavorchoices it wasn't a choice to make I

Chose it because I wanted somethingfresh in my mouthI like it I like lemon and Cyprus and Ithink like thatgood taste I'm happy with my choice mostsubjects were content with their

Selection when it was a choice betweentwo options but what happens when weoffer more choiceswell the subjects be just as happy withtheir decisionI see North licorice okay connect them

Wasn't manhmmwell I'm kind of regretting not trying afruit one because with jellybeans it'smore fruit is more natural I probablyshould have gone for my first choice a

Raspberry maybe I would there's um Imean there's a lot to choose from I'mgonna try one okay marshmallow you'realways questioning like did I make theright choice right like initially Iwanted to try pineapple but then I

Thought marshmallow I don't want to missout on marshmallow or peach or blueberryeven if I could choose again I wouldprobably pick peach pineapple very goodmy favorite fruit mmm I could have had ablueberry which is also one of my

Favorites kind of an impulse decision Ikind of wish I looked at the whole thinga little bit more maybe I would havepicked a better flavor so maybesometimes we are actually happier withfewer choices in fact researchers have

Been exploring this idea for yearsaccording to the famous Jam experiment astudy by Sheena Iyengar and mark leperpublished in 2002 many similar choicesmay even stop us from making any choiceat all the study compared to store

Displays one with six varieties of jamand the other one with 24 although fewerconsumers stopped a sample jam at thedisplay with limited choices a fullthirty percent of them made a purchaseby contrast only 3% of the consumers at

The more extensive display actuallybought a jar of jam this is calledchoice paralysis but life is all aboutchoices we like having choices don't weor are we happier when we have no choiceat all

Hello and welcome to teatime wordscrambles the game show where thecompetition is safe and trouble isalways brewing some of our contestantswill be given a choice of caffeinatedblack tea or soothing herbal tea and the

Others will be given no choice at allonce the tea takes effect they'll beasked to unscramble some words whichcontestants will be happier with theirperformance those that have their choiceof tea or those who don't well let's

Find out it's tea time my name isMichael Stevens your host today let'smeet our contestant Giselle nice to meetyou tell me a little bit about yourselfI'm from New York and I've lived in LAfor almost Oh

Giselle you know what that sound meansthat means it's tea time go ahead andtake a seat in the tea seat okay wellyou're in for a treat Giselle becausetoday you are going to be unscramblingwords a task that requires energy

Because a time limit but it alsorequires focus steady calm nerves Godpatience yeah so today the choice isyours you can either have some herbaltea that will keep you calm and focusedokay or you can have some black tea

That's caffeinated that will give yousome energy hmm black tea yeah all rightgo ahead and pour some black tea Trentyou know I'll have somewonderful no what made you pick blackteeth I want to be energized okay

Here's to you cheers Cheerswhoa you know what that sound means it'sword scramble in time rememberthis subject had a free choice of whichtea to drink will freedom of choicebring her happiness and satisfaction

Giselle these are your words oh my godwhen do I start it well we're gonna putthree minutes on the clock okay go aheadyou can use these steps to access theletters the goal here is to solve asmany as possible within the three

Minutes got it and starting with worknumber five is LS kitten that looks likeit could be the right answervacuumlooking good is up Giselle come on downand let's take a look at how you did for

Number one you got vacuum which iscorrect very good job very good job fornumber two hearth correct very good jobnumber three you have TAF rid it's avery good word but it's not one theactual answer is a drift so stuck on

That number five you have hidden thatwas the first one you solved and kittenis correct very good job now down hereat the bottomthe answer is lounge you have wellGiselle you received one two three

Points so how do you feel you did Ishould have probably had the other teasbecause I know to calm my nerves I showyou chose the other team this subjectclearly regrets her choice the fact thatshe chose the tea herself gives her the

Opportunity to second-guess her decisionwhat about the other subjects who weregiven freedom of choice norick we werelooking for ironic no we're looking forwas hard her adrift shroud are thesewere actual real words

Yeah they are tell me how do you feelyou did today I'm not as well as I hadhoped if you could do it again would youchoose a different team yes you can onlyget better you can't get worse than oneI think probably if I'd chose not other

Tea I would have gotten everythingcorrectnone of these contestants were happywith the choices they makebut what happens when the freedom tochoose is taken away Trin tell us which

Team has been randomly assigned toAthena today Athena has been assignedblack t Oh caffeinated energizing blackteeth here's to you good luckoh wow that's good tea Athena you've hadthe tea we assigned you black tea

Caffeinated tea let's see how thatserves you in this challengeoh boy here are your works you havethree minutes beginning now lots ofchoices King finally don't worry Athenawe've had far worse two minutes two

Minutes for anything is coming to methese words are not easy Wow and that'stime Athena come on down and let's takea look at how you did so forward numberfive you have kitten kitten is correctgood job

And for the final work you have loungeand the answer is lounge very good verygood work so you got two out of thetwelve tell me how do you feel you didI'm just happy that I got two of them doyou think you would have been able to

Solve more if you'd had a calming teaprobably not you need a little somethingto kickstart your brain activity thissubject who was given no choice washappy with the tea assigned to herdespite getting only two words right and

She wasn't the only one how do you thinkyou did I think I did pretty prettygreat if you could do it again would youhave preferred to have been assigned adifferent team no studies have shownthat sometimes we are happier when we

Don't have a choice well for two pointsyou you win nothing this game isactually more about investigating themind so in reality the real winner todayis everyone thanks for playing andremember no matter where you live or who

You are it's always teatimedamnit I just found another wordso it's not always preferable to be inthe driver's seat of your life sometimesthe pressure to make a decision cancause you to dwell on the options you

Didn't choose and hinder yourperformance but what if there's adifference between the physical processof making a decision and yourconsciousness being aware that adecision has been made what if all your

Decisions are made by someone knowsomething else a split-second beforeyou're aware you've made themthis task seems easy enough just pusheither button before the light comes onso why is it so difficult Wow

It's difficult because this machine isactually reading my mind it knows when Idecide to push a button and lights themup before I can actually push one howdoes it feel when it's happening itfeels like like right then it already

Knew I'm trying to not have my mindright here's how the box works mydecision to push a button doesn't beginwhen I think it does it's actuallypreceded by subconscious activity I'mnot aware of but that the machine can

Detect now the machine isn't predictingwhich button I will push it'sdetermining when I'm about to push onebefore I know it for the first fewminutes I push buttons in the Boxrecords my brain activity learning which

Behaviors follow which subconsciousprocesses eventually the box can knowwhat I'm about to do before even I do inother words it can read my subconsciousmind and tell me what I was going to dobefore I know I was going to do it

That's the part that freaks me out thisis called a free will experiment becauseit begs the question of what free willactually is if your subconscious knowswhat you're going to do before you do itis it really your decision or do you

Just think it's your decision WowI'm trying to surprise it theinteresting thing is to see that forinstance that you become closer to theMachine and you definitely speed upI feel very competitive I don't want my

Mind to be red I find this processfrustrating hmm even though I know howthe box works but what if you didn'tknow what the box did before you triedit I want to introduce you to Moran andthis is Diana from the YouTube channel

Physics girl one of my favorite YouTubechannels Derek thanks for being here I'mvery excited to introduce you to MoranCerf from Northwestern nice to meet youand he's brought his box Diana and Derekhave scientific minds but they have not

Been told what the box really does Moranexplains the deceptively easy game verysimple experiment we're gonna put thison your head in a second we're gonnastart measuring brain activity then wewould ask you to make a simple choice

Which is which button to press if thelights are onjust don't touch anything so we couldselector on don't touch ityeah once the box begins to beat they'reconscious decision making to the punch

Will they be able to figure out what'sgoing on a jellyfish amazing good stokedfor the first 15 minutes the Boxcalibrates and learns how the subjectsmind acts before making a decision thenthe fun begins

Try to make sure it doesn't both of oursubjects seem increasingly confused andfrustrated I know exactly how they feelit's hard because sometimes like thelight comes on well I'm going to push ityeah yeah hombre and you want to tell

Him so this box here is reading the burnactivity and tries to predict not whichbutton you're gonna press at women inthen turn the lights onjust before you press the button this ispredicting when I'm gonna make the

Decision what yeah this is amazing Idefinitely noticed the lights going onoften when I was going to hit thebuttons but also there were times whenlike I wasn't gonna make any choice andthey just went on so I was like whoa how

Do you know that maybe the lights juststop your brain from telling you to makea choice it's not just oh he's about topush it but it's he is about to becomeaware that he is going to push thebutton I'm trying to think like I'm

Still trying to how think you like I'mtrying to be like oh I'm gonna push theleft button I'm gonna wait now I'm gonnado the rushing like what a dumb playthank you because really it's not aboutout thinking us it's about out thinking

Yourselfthe implications of this are kind ofchilling we could find things out aboutyou that you didn't know your self workdidn't want to say we could tell youthings like which of these two paintings

Will you prefer how do you really feelabout someone imagine using this fordating because it's reading yoursubconscious mind we might be able totell that you prefer someone that youdon't actually think you do

Well that sounds scary but at the sametime I feel like I don't know I'm such ahuman Michael I feel like I have myhuman responses like okay there's aprocess my brain goes through I get ityou learned it but it's still my brain

Is still my process I think what you'regoing to write now denial yes I wasgonna use a different word but if youall go through when we're exposed to thefragility I'll see you in opticallimitations and by the way we know that

You're gonna have chicken salad fortomorrow yes that's very clearlike falling dominoes a whole chain ofthings has led up to now this verymoment in your life those dominoes mightbe your parents your childhood the books

You've readyour friends things that have influencedyou what you had for breakfast how youfelt this afternoon everything has ledup to now that final domino but how itfalls well that's your choice right or

Is itMoran's box kind of questions some ofthat if your brain can tell us whatyou're going to do before you even knowyou're going to do it is your consciousmind actually being controlled by your

Subconscious mind and if yoursubconscious can be fooledthen who is actually in charge do youtruly have free will or are you justlike a puppet a puppet who thinks it hasno strings does your conscious aware

Self just take credit for things yourunconscious bodies already decided to dowell more research needs to be done butwhat we do know is that things younormally wouldn't consider part of youare a gigantic part of you I think

Kermit the Frog said it best althoughI'm not sure exactly what Jim Henson didwhatever it was it really moved me

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