By Lance McCarthy
Ok, I have something I want you to try. Find a friend and a table. Then pick a song. Let’s say the Star-Spangled Banner, or Uptown Funk if you watched the Superbowl halftime show. Then tap out the song on the table and see if your friend can guess what song it is. Seems pretty easy, right? You’ll be surprised.
I stole this from an interesting study several years ago by Elizabeth Newton at Stanford University. Over the course of the study, 120 songs were used, but only 2.5% of them were guessed correctly. But here’s the really interesteing part. The tappers were asked to predict whether the listeners would guess correctly. They predicted 50%. They were 20 times less successful than they thought they would be! Ever felt like that?