Derren Brown and cycle helmets

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Re: Derren Brown and cycle helmets

Postby horizon » 15 Oct 2016, 8:42pm

drossall wrote:But curiously I'm not sure that helmets ever have been marketed for their safety benefits? The manufacturers can only make supportable claims? Whereas everyone else...

I believe the helmet manufacturers are well out of it. They just scoop up the cream like fat cats with access to the fridge.

So, here are the four steps again:

1. You create a high level of anxiety by focussing on a body part. Remember, it's the attention on the head that creates the anxiety. This was a voluntary effort by various prganisations. Please do not underestimate the power of focussing on just one potential area of injury.
2. You present an expert authority to demonstrate that the fear is not groundless - that is to say there is a real chance that a fall is likely and injury will occur. This has been done by various organisations using statistics as authority.
3. You present a second expert opinion that a helmet will mitigate or avoid the injury. I don't personally believe that people have any kind of gut feeling about this: a helmet is so obviously useless that the entire decision making process is governed by (a) fear and (b) authority.
4. The final step is to exert social and group pressure on cyclists. This only works on those for whom group conformity is important but there are plenty of such people. Establish some role models and you are home and dry. We are currently in stage 4.

Nowhere in this process do I really see the hand of helmet makers except in the background: they are laughing all the way to the bank - they have had really to do nothing but manufacture a flimsy piece of rubbish and paint it a pretty colour. The marketing is just a bit of friendly competition between makes - the heavy lifting has been done by misguided do-gooders who have a need to perform an evangelic role - but that's for another thread.

PS I don't object to people riding with helmets and this post is not meant to be derogatory - i'm just fascinated by Brown's techniques.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher