Rubber Arm High School Psychology Experiment

Rubber Arm High School Psychology Experiment

We were testing to see if the human mind can be tricked into associating a fake arm with their own body after we establish a connection between sight and touch with the fake arm.

Our hypothesis was that the subjects’ minds will perceive for a short time after the sensory connection is made that the fake arm is attached to the subject’s body and is their real arm.

We asked for volunteers from the classes who were willing to participate and who had not seen this experiment before. We had each individual subject follow us into an isolated room and sit down at the table. The table had a divider set up on one side of the subject. Participants were asked to place each hand on either side of the divider. A rubber arm was placed in front of the subjects on one side of the divider and positioned so that it imitated the subject’s hidden arm. The fake hand and the hidden hand were than brush simultaneously with a paint brush while the participant is instructed to watch the fake hand. This forces the brain to make a connection between what the hidden hand is feeling and the brushing being seen on the fake hand. As subjects were watching the fake hand being brushed we pulled a hammer from under the table and hit the fake hand unexpectedly.

Our subjects consisted of Traverse Bay Area Career Tech students, and a teacher, in Graphic Arts who were willing to participate and had never seen this experiment done before.

Reactions were recorded on video and observed while they answered a few questions about the experiment including, “How did it feel?”, “Did you expect it to hurt when I hit the hand?”, “Did you feel like that was your arm?”, and “Did you try to pull the fake hand away?”.

Materials needed for this experiment included an isolated room to conduct the experiment, a table with a divider, a rubber arm (with a sleeve), a camera, a hammer, and two paint brushes.

Our independent variable was striking the fake hand with a hammer, while the dependent variable was the participant’s reaction. The constant variable was the situation with the rubber arm. This was a laboratory single blind study.

After conducting the experiment and recording our observations 11 of the 19 subjects claimed that they felt no connection to the fake arm. 6 said they felt some sort of connection and 2 were unsure about how they felt. A majority of participant’s did not feel a connection so our hypothesis was wrong. We determined if each individual felt a connection or not based on their reactions and their answers to prompts after the hitting the fake hand with hammer. It should be noted that a few subjects did look away from hand during the experiment after being instructed to keep watching it. This means that they watched the hammer being pulled out and were able to have a reaction prior to contact with the fake hand and this may have influenced the results(cheaters cheaters pumpkin eaters). But based on the 19 subjects we tested, our conclusion is that the majority of people were unable to connect the fake arm to their body even after being primed by the paint brush stimulation.


October 14, 2014 / 42 Comments / by / in
  • Wow Sky! Awesome! Its me, Moonshinewarrior! Just wanted to drop by and say, WOW!

  • Oh my god. You scared me when you hit his hand! Just watching it made me feel like it was their hand! I might tell this to my science teacher!

  • Sky, I love this test! I did it to myself once with my brother ad jumped so high my chest hurt XD Are you chewing gum?

  • Strange, yet interesting

  • Woah

  • lol the hammer scared me

  • cool you are great at videos and you are the best animator ive ever seen! I hope you never ive up and keep on improving :3

  • Are you the one asking the questions? And is Fefe in this?

  • She so satisfied when saying "how did that feel?"

  • good experiment
    bad execution

  • "How did that feel?" ,"what are you, my therapist?!"

  • h o w d i d t h a t f e e l ?

  • This video sucks ass! You took to long to hit, next time have someone else hit them when your still stroking the hand. And don't chew gum because you look like a bitch

  • shold have put blanket over fake hand and their arm

  • 0:18 that looks like blonde Laniey boy her face an eyes look like Laniey bot

  • I think to make is more effective would be to put the persons arm under the table, and a realistic arm above it. Then have someone stab the fake hand with a knife

  • hit the rubber hand slower to give time for reaction of fear.

  • How can u ask same question again and again??? Creepy

  • so dumb… you have to do something slow like a needle.

  • If this comment had a like for every time she said "How did that feel?"

  • I watched a video somewhere else that had it with older people, and they moved (flinched) their other hand out of the way. So I'm thinking maybe age has something to do with the reaction time and the type of reaction. That would be a neat experiment idea for y'all to try! "Does age have an effect on reaction times and conformity?"

  • Fail… nobody jumped, they just reacted to the hit being loud

  • poooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooop

  • How does that feel?

  • I'm pretty sure you're supposed to put a towel to cover the rubber hand (arm) up to the participant's shoulder otherwise the sight breaks the illusion.good try though.

  • HOW DID THAT FEEL??????? ha ha (-__-) meh

  • Was that the Sublime sun drawn on the wall?

  • hOw Did ThAt fEeL?

  • that guy at 3:10 was staring at her like mmmm ama fuck some pussee

  • 3:20 JB

  • Drinking game: take a shot for everytime she says "how did that feel"

  • has sex
    Girl: How did that feel?

  • First of all, I thought it was Mia Khalifa doing that experiment. just for a sec

  • no one felt 😂

  • Don't use a real hammer, the left hand is so close.

  • give them a black hand


  • does it work on a black person with a white hand

  • Love them high school gals. I keep getting older they stay the same age 😎.


  • She looks like mia

    If you know what i mean

  • actually this hand thing is true but you need a more detailed fake hand the way it works is you see the fake hand but not your own you feel your hand and see the fake hand being touched after a little while your brain starts to forget that it's just fake, then when the fake hand gets stabbed you spook a bit because your brain, for a fraction of a second thought your real hand was stabbed it's a psychology trick just be careful if you're the one doing the stabbing you don't want to stab the real hand of your test subject, people tend get a little mad if they get stabbed in the hand. Hahahaa……

  • Was waiting for the moment she'd miss and smash the left hand of the opponent like… "how did that feel?"

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