The convincing gibberish of Dr. Fox

Translation: "Flrbbbbb!"

In 1970, Dr. Myron L. Fox gave a twenty-minute lecture to physicians during a continuing education retreat. He was introduced as an expert on the application of mathematics to human behavior. He was not. In fact, he was not a doctor. He was actually the actor "Michael Fox", hired by three professors to start a discussion on how to improve learning. He gave the lecture based on an article they'd given him on game theory - which he knew nothing about  - and was told to improvise, invent and spout nonsense.

Nobody noticed.

The professors realized that trying to evaluate whether students actually learned from a teacher's lecture would be difficult, because students could be wowed by the style, give great marks to the teacher, and still learn nothing.

The audience reaction to these types of teaching performances - where dazzle masked a lack of content - became known as the "Dr. Fox effect."

Another odd effect of the lecture: after Dr. Fox was revealed to be a fraud who was mostly spouting nonsense, some of the doctors were interested in learning more about the subject of game theory.

The doctors were also much more skeptical about subsequent lecturers on that retreat.

"Hey, I recognize him!"
Four years earlier, Michael Fox 
played "Inspector Basch" 
on the 1966 Batman TV show.

The Dr Fox Lecture

(On an unrelated note, actor Michael Fox is not related to actor Michael J. Fox, who supposedly, due to Screen Actor Guild rules, had to add the "J" to his name to distinguish himself from Michael Fox.)

I found this thanks to "Dr. Fox's Lecture" on Metafilter>>

Explore further:

- The Legendary Dr Fox Lecture - Footage Found! Weird Experiments>>
- THE DOCTOR FOX LECTURE: A PARADIGM OF EDUCATIONAL SEDUCTION. Donald H. Naftulin, M.D., John E. Ware, Jr., and Frank A. Donnelly. Journal of Medical Education, University of Quebec, Montreal>>
- The Secret Lives of Big Pharma's 'Thought Leaders', The Chronicle of Higher Education>>
- Onomatopeia, Batmania>>

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