This very clever stealth tactic challenges the subject to attempt something that they’re already likely to fail at. And the harder they try, the likelier the subject will fail.

The conscious and unconscious mind are two separate entities. One of the reasons why the law of reverse effect works is because people try to do something consciously when that particular action is designed to be done unconsciously. Using words and challenges that imply failure is very important for this technique to work.

For example, let’s use the classic example of the hand clasp test. You may have heard a hypnotist say something like:

Try your hardest to open your hands and you’ll find that you cannot. Try harder, and the harder you try, the tighten your hands will lock together.

When someone attempts it and fails, the powerful psychological effect in this challenge creates a belief in people’s minds that they’ve externalized their ability to resist. It may sound confusing to you at first, but you can read more and see more examples about the law of the reverse effect here. x

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