What kind of photo can make you believe a pack of lies?


Descriptions of research accompanied by brain scan photos were rated as better written than the same summaries without the photos. All the research contained unsubstantiated, dubious claims.

Via The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us:

In one clever experiment, David McCabe and Alan Castel had subjects read one of two descriptions of a fictitious research study. The text was identical, but one description was accompanied by a typical three-dimensional brain image with activated areas drawn in color, while the other included only an ordinary bar graph of the same data. Subjects who read the version with the brain porn thought that the article was significantly better written and made more sense. The kicker is that none of the fictitious studies actually made any sense— they all described dubious claims that were not at all improved by the decorative brain scans.

Don’t question this study. It’s true. See?

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