Most of us will, at point in our lives, have heard some variation of phrase, “So if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?”, usually from some kind of authority figure. It was a personal favorite of my mum. So common in, fact, that I took to sarcastically responding with, “yes. If all my friends jumped first, I’ll have a soft landing.” Don’t be a clever clogs, kids, it’s never worth it.
Psychological illusionist @DerrenBrown put our audience to the test, seeing if social compliance could make them do something they were never instructed to do. pic.twitter.com/52fiAhw2gQ
— Megyn Kelly TODAY (@MegynTODAY) March 21, 2018
Of course, as an adult I realize that my deliberately stupid answer isn’t that far from the truth. There’s mountains of studies suggesting that not only are most people incredible prone to succumbing to social pressure, they’re actually very good at picking up behavioral cues subconsciously. It’s an interesting phenomena that can have some funny effects, as English illusionist and mentalist, Derren Brown, proves in the video above.
Brown’s appearance on The Megyn Kelly Show was to promote the recent US release of Derren Brown: The Push on Netflix. Originally released as Pushed to the Edge in the UK back in 2016, the show demonstrates how an ordinary person could potentially be manipulated into committing murder.