Candy from strangers

Thanks to BoingBoing for this example of the importance of skepticism:

A gang of thieves in Istanbul, Turkey have reportedly been dressing like doctors and distributing sedatives door to door, telling residents the medicine was related to a test for high blood pressure. Once the victims dosed, the thieves would rob them. As part of the police investigation, officers attempted the same trick but used placebos. Apparently 86 out of 100 people who answered the door took the pill right away. Police then attempted to explain why that was a bad idea. From Reuters:

Turkish police in other provinces have also used novel methods to test citizens’ gullibility.

Officers in Adana in southern Turkey last week called at houses, announcing through the intercom: “I am a burglar, please open the door.” Police said they were stunned at the number of people who opened the door, the Radikal daily newspaper reported.

Emphasis added.

Maybe this explains why people swallow the wild tales of birthers.

Comments

  1. #1 Physicalist
    April 28, 2011

    Sometimes I don’t believe the world I live in.

    I seem to recall hearing that creationism is rampant in Turkey. Do you suppose there could be a correlation?

  2. #2 Shawn Porter
    April 28, 2011

    Their most likely is a correlation, perhaps indirect, it’s called ignorance!

  3. #3 NBR
    April 29, 2011

    Thanks for the Friday Follies post. Makes me laugh and scratch my head at the same time.

  4. #4 MacTurk
    April 29, 2011

    This is more about Turkish culture, which is very respectful of authority figures, and the education system, which despite Ataturk’s thoughts, does not encourage any form of questioning.

    And you definitely do NOT question authority figures.

    A doctor – in a white coat, with a stethescope – is at my door, telling me I should take this tablet now. Yes, Doctor!

  5. #5 Porlock Junior
    April 30, 2011

    ‘Officers in Adana in southern Turkey last week called at houses, announcing through the intercom: “I am a burglar, please open the door.”‘

    Good grief, didn’t people know the guy would turn out to be an encyclopedia salesman?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lSLzYKVd2s