YANSS 041 – The Football Game that Split Reality and the Ceiling that Birthed a Naked Man

In this episode, two stories, one about a football game that split reality in two for the people who witnessed it, and another about what happened when a naked man literally appeared out of thin air inside a couple’s apartment while they were getting ready for work.

In story one, you’ll learn how, in 1951, a brutal game of football between Dartmouth and Princeton launched the modern psychological investigation into preconceived notions, models of reality, and how no matter our similarities we each see a different version of the truth depending on the allegiances and alliances we form as adults.


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In story two, Devon Laird was brushing his teeth one morning when he heard a loud crash. Moments later, underneath a gaping hole raining insulation, a naked stranger was adjusting furniture in Laird’s living room…right before opening the door and running away. There was no explanation afterward, but plenty of speculation. You’ll learn how the brain prevents unexplainable events like that from scrambling your reality by inventing plausible stories that allow you to move on with your life (and you’ll learn the bizarre truth behind the incident).

Links and Sources


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“Dartmouth Football: Season by Season Results: 1940-59.” Dartmouth Sports. Dartmouth College, 30 Aug. 2006. Web. Aug. 2012. Link.

Hastorf, Albert H., and Hadley Cantril. “They Saw a Game; a Case Study.” The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 49.1 (1954): 129-34. Print.

Eagleman, D. (2011). Incognito: The secret lives of the brain. New York: Pantheon Books.

Maisel, Ivan. “1951 Heisman Winner Dick Kazmaier.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Web. Aug. 2012. Link.

Simons, Daniel J., and Christopher F. Chabris. “What People Believe about How Memory Works: A Representative Survey of the U.S. Population.” Ed. Laurie Santos. PLoS ONE 6.8 (2011): E22757. Print.