The Hidden Truth About The Buttons That Do Nothing But Make You Feel Good
placebo: something that appears real and might make you feel better, but doesn’t have a real effect
Ever pressed a button and wondered if it worked? You’re not the only one! Many buttons around the world, like those at crosswalks or elevators, might not work at all.
These buttons are named “placebo buttons.” They look real, but don’t always have a function. Ellen Langer, a Harvard psychologist, believes they’re not useless. “They make people feel they have some control,” she said. This feeling is nice, even if the button does nothing!
In New York City, for example, most crosswalk buttons don’t change the traffic lights. And the “close door” button in many US elevators? It doesn’t work either. Too keep disabled people safe, the doors legally cannot close more quickly.
So, next time you press a button and nothing happens, don’t worry. It might be a “placebo“, but it’s there for a good reason!
1. The doctor gave her a placebo pill, and she felt better even though it was just sugar.
2. Many believed the old charm was a placebo because it only made people feel safe but didn’t actually protect them.
3. Sometimes, a placebo can help because the belief in its power can boost confidence.