Buttons by Anna

Buttons. They’re very satisfying to push aren’t they; but have you ever thought about the fact that they might be lying to us? There are special types of buttons that have actually no effect on the machines that they are supposed to control. Some would call this a “placebo button”– a button which, objectively speaking, has no control over a machine or system, but which to the user at least, is psychologically fulfilling to push. It turns out, that there are numerous examples of buttons which do nothing and are designed and only exist to deceive us. But here’s the really surprising thing. Many increasingly argue that we actually benefit from the illusion that we are in control of something – even when, in reality, we’re not.

So next time you see a button on the train or at a road crossing, don’t even bother wasting your energy  just to make it go ‘ding’ and light up.

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