Today, I had an idea.

I contacted fifty-five people and told them about my idea.  Around half of these people liked this idea and decided to help me out.  The idea was this:

  • Choose a target whose birthday is not today.
  • Let the target know that they are the target and tell them to go with the plan.
  • Post various "Happy birthday" greetings on the target's wall.

The idea was to see if people who were not in on the plan would begin to say happy birthday to the target as well.

Although the plan is working and people I don't even know are saying happy birthday to the target, certain people are approaching me and telling me that this is rude--I'm intentionally misleading other people to believe a lie.  Although I'm not directly talking to them, I have affected them.

Is this rude?  The idea was not to trick people.  The idea was to try to find out if people would actually look at the target's Facebook page and see if it was actually his birthday.

I'm starting to feel guilty.

Tags: Facebook, experiment, social

Views: 165

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Well their good friends probably will realize somethings wrong but their facebook friends, as they're called, might wish them a happy birthday. Why would they look their birthday up? If they have no idea when their friend was born and they see people wishing them a happy birthday why would they doubt the validity of it? So the experiment makes a few people look like idiots, until a closer friend calls you guys out on your shit at least and everyone decides that you're just an asshole who wants to make people look dumb.

Generally with social experiments, the subjects should know they're taking part in an experiment (and preferably sign a waiver to that effect, if you're planning on using the results). They don't have to know what exactly is being tested, however, because obviously that would spoil the experiment. You have to design the experiment so that they think they're being tested on one thing, when in fact you're looking for something else.

 I'd say this is fine. 

We are basically doing this sort of thing just by talking to people. The only difference is that you're paying attention to what happens afterwards. Sure you're changing people's behaviour for a moment but we do that everyday. If you say someone's name and they turn to you, that's changing their behaviour. So we do it everyday.


I don't see anything wrong with what you're tying to do, this would do less damage than your average troll or prank. If anyone complains after the fact just shout "FOR SCIENCE" very loudly.  

I think you have no reason to feel guilty because in order to write on their wall you have to go to there wall you can look at their info and see whether or not it actually is their birthday, and second because when people feel they have been wronged or tricked they get mad and post blame even though the blame is valid in this case and people don't like being messed with period stick a fork in it it's done they don't like. True like Abreo says why would they check if they're your friends they are just being good friends but I personally think you have nothing to worry about stop feeling guilty and move on to the next social experiment in human behavior i'll even take part in it as a subject.(just don't mess with me or i'll become rude lol jk)  

That sounds quite amusing and I don't know why I never thought to do it myself. It is not rude at all, as long as people understand that what you are doing is merely just a joke. Social experiments are best performed when most of those participants are ignorant to the situation. 


Youtube Links!

Here are some YT links to channels related to Nerdfighteria and educational content!

*Can you think of any more? Pass along any suggestions to an Admin who will then add it to this list should it fit!

© 2015   Created by Hank Green.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service