It's sometimes not what we see

It's sometimes not what we see, but what we do not.....

A beverage station in an office in Newcastle, England, requires workers to pay for coffee, tea, and milk on the honour system. Money is supposed to go into a box - 30 pence for tea, 50 for coffee, 10 for milk. No hovering clerk stands nearby.

Researcher Melissa Bateson decided to turn this dispensing area into the central prop for a social-science experiment. She tracked how much milk was dispensed each week over a 10-week period and how much cash was collected. During odd-numbered weeks, the box received on average nearly three times as much as it did on even weeks for each litre of milk consumed.

What gave? On the odd weeks, Bateson affixed a pair of watchful eyes to the sheet of paper that listed prices. On even weeks, the eyes were replaced with a picture of flowers. When quizzed, none of the office workers remembered the images. But the simple presence of an iconic gaze seems to have made a big difference in how they behaved.

The whole session appeared to be a waste of time.... nothing appeared to be working properly. I didn't lose consciousness. I didn't go into a trance, or at least I didn't think I did, and yet after that session, not only did I stop smoking but I actually enjoyed the process. Allen Carr (an extract from Easy Way to Stop Smoking).

Dear Phil,

I believe people these days are all too quick to make a complaint and not enough to praise the people who deserve it.

I came to see you early March 2009 as I was struggling to stop smoking. I have to admit I came to you a little sceptical however ready to give anything a go. By the time I left your practice I had no doubt in my mind I would never pick up another cigarette again.

I just simply want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart, you have no idea what you have done for my life, my husband has also been successful and with the money we have saved we have been able to buy a second house which will forever keep our family financially sound. I have still had no desire to have a cigarette. You have shown me how powerful my mind can actually be.

It really hit me this new years eve as everyone was making their new years resolutions this was the first time for many many years mine hasn't been to quit smoking. I have never felt so fantastic in all my life.

Again I just want to thank you, you very well could of saved my life and I am referring everyone I know to you.

I wish you and your practice a wonderful new year for 2010.


Alicia D

Honestly before arriving I was sceptical and nervous but within a few minutes of being there I felt relaxed and confident. The session was fantastic. I felt that Phil was excellent at how he controlled the session and reassured me throughout. I now sit with my friends who smoke and the thought never crosses my mind.

J. Clarke of Mundaring