Do Crosswalk Buttons Do Anything?

Have you ever stood at a crosswalk helplessly pushing the walk button over and over? You may not be as crazy as you think you are-many crosswalk buttons purposely do not function. They are really just "placebo buttons" to make you feel like you are in control. Placebo buttons basically exist to make people think they are getting what they want when they want it. So, why do people continue pushing the meaningless buttons? It all comes down to conditioning: our lizard brains have learned in the past that pushing buttons will get us the things we want. Under stressful situations, this conditioned thinking takes over and we start pushing away at the placebo buttons.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Placebo buttons are put in place to give us the illusion we're getting something we want. 00:22

  2. Public thermostats are another example. 01:43

  3. Here's why we still try to use these buttons anyway: 02:25

Written by Curiosity Staff January 23, 2015

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