What Is It Like To Be Invisible?
Next time you feel wracked by stage fright, don’t imagine the audience in underwear—pretend you’re invisible. Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm recently used virtual reality goggles to trick people into experiencing invisibility. (Participants were asked to look down at their torsos. Thanks to the goggles, it looked as if their bodies had disappeared.) When the researchers brushed the people’s bellies with a paintbrush, the participants saw it brushing thin air. The experience made them feel invisible. When they placed the “invisible” people in front of an audience of strangers, participants reported significantly less social anxiety. No word on whether the goggles will be available for your next job interview.