Science

Do you consider yourself spontaneous, someone who is unpredictable and goes against the grain of what the majority of people are doing? Well, prepare to have your mind blown as a psychologist shows you just how predictable you are.

For his recent video on the YouTube channel , Richard Wiseman asks “How predictable are you?” and provides test to check. The test is interactive and involves you putting your finger on your computer screen above slips of paper he has made and following his instructions perfectly.

Before we go any further in explanation, take the test:

So, you ended up on the smiley face too, right?

There are a few potential explanations for this: 1) It shows that Wiseman is a mind reader; 2) he psychologically influenced you by briefly flashing a smiley face in the video; or 3) he’s illustrating a similar mathematical problem to the Seven Bridges of Konigsberg, which many commenters pointed toward.

Assuming that Wiseman is not a mind reader, let’s discuss the other two options. Did you see the flash of a smiley face in the video? Skip back to 1:00. Right at 1:03 there is a flicker of a face. But would this lead everyone to take the subliminal hint and end up on the last card that he predicts?

This brings us to the Seven Bridges of Konigsberg. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a mathematical problem that originated using real bridges in Konigsberg, Germany, according to MathForum.org, which discusses the topic introduced by Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1735:

In Konigsberg, Germany, a river ran through the city such that in its center was an island, and after passing the island, the river broke into two parts. Seven bridges were built so that the people of the city could get from one part to another. A crude map of the center of Konigsberg might look like this:

(Image: MathForum.org)

The people wondered whether or not one could walk around the city in a way that would involve crossing each bridge exactly once.

Euler’s solution to this would ultimately lead to graph theory. To solve the problem, Euler identified the land on either side of the brides with a dot and connected the dots with arcs.

(Image: MathForum.org)

If you were to try and trace your way over all the bridges only once without picking up your pencil, you’d find it’s impossible. Euler found if a network of dots (vertices) have either none or two dots that have an odd number of lines connecting to it, then you would be able to trace over all in the network without picking up your pencil. In the case of the Seven Bridges of Konigsberg though, there were four dots with an odd number of lines going to them (each dot had three lines connecting to it).

One commenter of the YouTube video explains in simple terms what is going on:

It deals with even/odd occurrences of transfer across adjacent places, just like in this video.

You’ll notice that even if you remember the order in which he removed the papers, and try to get to those papers, you will never reach them, but instead end up on one of its adjacent sides.

Check out MathForum.org for a more detailed explanation here.

If you took a look at the comments on YouTube, some complain that they did not end up on the cards Wiseman predicted. This means they either didn’t start on the appropriate card; they moved diagonally, which was against the rules; or they didn’t move their finger the correct number of times as he was counting.

(H/T: Gawker)

• ##### lylejk
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 1:25pm

I must have not listened right since it was off. lol

:)

• ##### 4xeverything
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 3:06pm

I call Shenanigans!!!

• ##### Rosech
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 5:52pm

I agree. Didn’t work at all for me. Seems more formulaic and no way to read a mind telephonically, at least not yet.

• ##### Mudd
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 1:08pm

Wow, it worked on me. He’s a witch! BURN HIM!

• ##### RedManBlueState
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 1:56pm

Does he weigh the same as a duck?

• ##### Stonegarden
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 2:02pm

Throw him in a lake, if he floats he’s a witch, if he sinks and drowns he isn’t.

• ##### Hatchimon
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 2:18pm

Why do we burn witches?

Wood floats. What floats besides wood?
Small rocks, lead, churches, and a duck.

So yes, if he weighs the same as a duck, then he is a witch.

Can’t beat that logic!

• ##### RabidPatriot
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 3:48pm

Now I can’t get the vision of giant wooden scales and British accents out of my head.

• ##### VRW Conspirator
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 4:18pm

EXCELLENT…this is probably the best string of posts EVER on the Blaze.. .LOL….

“She turned me into a newt….I got bettah…”

• ##### RabidPatriot
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 8:38pm

It is the same logical method used to discover man made climate change.

• ##### htowneric
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 1:07pm

this has nothing to do with the subliminal smily face, its a numbers game, thats it. pretty sneaky trick.

• ##### U-R-Busted
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 12:57pm

NOT even remotely close to my choices. Maybe I’m just very unique or this is some sort of sham game.

• ##### RedManBlueState
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 1:58pm

OR, maybe you don’t know to follow directions. It’s MATH. You MUST end up on the Smiley face, otherwise you did your part WRONG!

• ##### BenInNY
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 4:31pm

Not true Red. He didn’t say not to backtrack, only that you couldn’t move diagonally, right? I was on the wrong square like 3 times in a row. Question is, did I notice the sentence just below the video?
“So, you ended up on the smiley face too, right?”
I don’t know.

• ##### loneindividual
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 12:44pm

It’s not impossible to not choose the smiley face at the end. You had the Q & the :)…the last choice was between the two.

Wow you people are really stupid for making that impossibility claim…

And I am the least predictable. He got them all wrong for me…except on r the last one where He didn’t really count and I panic and picked the smiley. I was going to stick with the Q….cuz I typically qq rather than :)

• ##### guz75
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 1:02pm

just go back, do it again and LISTEN CAREFULLY to what’s being said. There are no predictions, no win or lose, it’s just a mathematical trick. There is only one possible outcome if you actually listen to the instructions and everything that is said.

• ##### ZengaPA65
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 2:47pm

I chose the house the first time but he said he predicted I didn’t. /FAIL

• ##### BMroxy
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 12:17pm

Something kept telling me to avoid the smiley face at all costs… I finally deliberately chose it somewhere along the way but felt uncomfortable in doing so and I only chose it that once. I did not end up choosing it in the end… Not sure what that says about me…lol

• ##### oceandove
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 12:12pm

No, it didn’t work for me. I followed the instructions and when 4 squares were left, he got his prediction wrong.

• ##### tonkaslim
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:36am

I stopped to sniff my finger and lost my place.

• ##### lynnissmart
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 12:07pm

Ah, ha, ha, ha!

• ##### chucksue351
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:31am

the greatest mind game that has been played is convincing so many people to vote for obama, now that is amazing

• ##### Small World
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 1:02pm

Bingo ! Remember Hitler was elected.

• ##### Happy Killmore
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 2:48pm

That’s a myth. Hitler was NEVER elected.

• ##### tajloc
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:09am

If you follow his guidelines you will end up where he says. Duh!

• ##### 123456beatriz
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:06am

sorry my finger chose different symbols from the beginning

• ##### spudwhite
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:06am

Nope, my finger wasn’t on the smily face.

• ##### thegreatcarnac
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:06am

A few times his prediction for me was wrong…but the final one was right.

• ##### Exiled
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:05am

This isn’t news! This video has been out there for YEARS.

• ##### Gary_K
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:02am

His third perdiction was wrong for me.

I WON !!! lol

• ##### guz75
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:04am

Not being able to follow simple instructions isn’t really a win, is it?

• ##### Gary_K
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:28am

I followed the instruction and did not move diagonally.

• ##### guz75
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:32am

I can’t believe you actually responded. If you follow the instructions properly, you can’t wind up anywhere else at the end of it.

• ##### Gary_K
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:51am

If his prediction is wrong its game over.

• ##### ITGuy
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 3:13pm

Reading all the comments on how they beat this thing, I now know why Romney lost.

• ##### Duey2000
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:45am

It is a simple math trick. By controlling the direction that you can move and the number of moves that you can make, you are limited to only certain options. By picking the starting point, only having nine tiles, and giving you the number of moves (odd or even) it can be determined which one you would pick.

• ##### Xyskalla
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:28am

If you follow the directions, it’s impossible to avoid the smiley face at the end. In fact, it’s impossible to land on the squares he removes if you’re actually following his instructions.

For example, the first square he removes is the Start square. If you start on the Start square, then move once, it’s impossible for you to still be on the Start square. Every square he removes is just like that, impossible to land on (try to land on one of the squares he removes–you can’t do it without breaking the rules). And since he keeps removing squares and cutting down on your options (NUDGE… Cass Sunstein, anyone?), it eventually becomes impossible for you to end up anywhere but the smiley face. Kinda lame, actually, certainly not Blaze-worthy.

• ##### guz75
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:36am

‘Kinda lame, actually, certainly not Blaze-worthy.’
I don’t know, it’s kind of entertaining listening to people trying to convince themselves they’ve beaten it, when all it means is they’re too stupid to follow some simple instructions.

• ##### Xyskalla
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:51am

Another way to look at it: Imagine if the grid were set up like a chess board (with alternating black and white squares) instead of with the symbols it uses. If you’re on a white square and move an even number of times, you’ll still end up on a white square. It doesn’t matter how many times you move as long as it’s an even number, and it doesn’t matter which square you land on, it’s impossible for you to land anywhere but a white square. So then he removes a black square, cutting down on your choices.

Then if you move an odd number of times from that white square, then you will by necessity land on a black square, so he’ll remove a white square. Lather, rinse, repeat, until you have no options left but to end up where he “predicts” you will land.

“it’s kind of entertaining listening to people trying to convince themselves they’ve beaten it, when all it means is they’re too stupid to follow some simple instructions.”

That’s true. There’s a lot of that both here and on YouTube.

• ##### kickagrandma
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:39am

My finger was on the third from last choice which he removed. TA-DA!

• ##### Lord_Frostwind
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:39am

Not bad, but not nearly as much of a mindscrew as Byzantium Security International, I’m still trying to figure out how that one happened.

• ##### bdandsl
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:28am

Just took all five tests and made the 1%.

• ##### VanceUppercut
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 11:34am

@Lord_Frostwind

After reading your post I decided to see what Byzantium Security International was. My mind has been thoroughly blown. The picture I had drawn looked just the one they predicted.

• ##### jackact
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:37am

There is only so much this clueless POTUS can sweep under the carpet.
Ultimately Benghazi-Gate will end up with the DOJ. Despite Obama’s vote of confidence in Holder, expect to see a resignation during next year.
That will be the proof of this incompetent, reckless and dangerous administrations complicity in the coverup of the Libyan Embassy jihad terrorist attack.

• ##### Tri-ox
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:35am

BREAKING: Hamas terrorists launching rockets at Jerusalem …

• ##### JDoles
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:33am

The reason that you end up at the smiley face is that he subconsciously programs your mind for the smiley face at 1:03. You’ll notice that there is a quick flash. If you catch it just right, you’ll see it.

Also, I remember learning about the mathematic reasoning on how to do this, but it escapes me right now. It’s nothing special. Just mind manipulation.

• ##### ZAP
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:32am

Prepare to Be Amazed? I was prepared but not amazed……

• ##### PorkPIG
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:32am

I ended on the wavy lines . :shrug:

• ##### 4xeverything
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 3:10pm

If I were Bill Murray I would shock you now. Heh heh heh.

• ##### NO_MORE_OBAMA
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:29am

I predict you cost me 2 minutes of my life with this drull.

• ##### Lesbian Packing Hollow Points
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:29am

Nope. When he removed the null sign (Ø), my finger was on it.

• ##### guz75
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:38am

Then you didn’t follow the instructions properly. It’s mathematically impossible to avoid the same result every time.

• ##### Katie822
Posted on November 16, 2012 at 12:02pm

Yea I was on that one as well and he removed it. And I don’t really care Guz, I’m not playing again.

• ##### Lesbian Packing Hollow Points
Posted on November 17, 2012 at 7:40am

The instructions were very clear.

1) You can move side to side.
2) You can move up and down.
3) You can revisit previous squares.
4) You can’t move diagonally.

Nothing in there said you have to move only into adjacent spaces with a symbol. I think I moved from the lower left corner (three arrows) to the upper left corner (V) jumping over the removed house symbol. I still moved from one symbol to another symbol using only the above four rules.

How was that violating the clear and simple rules as they were laid out?