I can read your mind!
Posted by Lasse Balama on Wednesday, February 24, 2016
If you think mind reading is the stuff of fantasy, you might want to set your beliefs aside for just a second and give this video a try. Mindreader Lasse Balama claims he can tell what number you’re thinking of in a video which has been shared on Facebook over 66,000 times.
Watch video before reading on: spoilers.
He first asks you to do a series of simple mental math questions, and then asks you to pick a number. The number he guesses will be right in a large number of cases, and it’s kind of mind melting. So go ahead and let Balama read your mind, and read on to discover how he knows what you’re thinking.
So did you guess the magic number? If you did, you’re not alone. A recent poll of 30,000 people found that seven is overwhelmingly our favorite number, with three in second place. From the infinite number of choices available, a remarkable 10% of those surveyed gave seven as their lucky number.
But why seven? Well, there are a few reasons for this. As far as the video goes, consider the numbers Balama shows us in the equations: 5+3=8, 9+2=11, 10-6=4. Balama then asks the viewer to pick a number between 5 and 12. We’ve already been exposed to every number fitting that description except for 7 and 12, so it’s a lot less likely we’ll pick any of those numbers, since we’ve been primed to see different numbers every time, thus forcing our brain to continue thinking in this pattern and choosing a number it hasn’t yet seen. The fact that it also says “between 5 and 12″ creates a disconnect, as the subject will likely not choose 5 or 12 as a matter of playing it safe on the chance that “between” doesn’t mean “including”.
In addition to this, the number seven is embedded in the core of our society. Seven days in a week, seven colors in a rainbow, seven notes in a scale, and even the seven seas should stick with most people.
It’s also an odd number, which according to mathematician Alex Bellos, is particularly appealing: “Our brains see numbers and want to try to split them in two. They can’t do that with odd numbers so people feel their ‘personalities’ are different and more appealing.”
This article originally appeared on Viral Thread.