Picture this.  You’re heading to the elevator at work…at a mall…anywhere, really.  You enter, push the button to your floor, and immediately push the “close door” button before anyone else can enter right behind you.

We’ve all done it.  There’s no shame in it.

But what if we told you that those buttons mean absolutely nothing?

Elevators, according to Karen W. Penafiel, executive director of National Elevator Industry Inc., said that elevator doors must remain open a certain amount of time in order to accommodate those with wheelchairs, crutches, canes, etc., so pushing those buttons does nothing to make the doors close faster.

Elevators aren’t the only buttons that do nothing, too!

Apparently, those “Push Button To Cross Street” deals at crosswalks do absolutely nothing too!  ABC News found after a survey in 2010 only one functioning crosswalk button sign after a study of three cities, Austin, Texas, Gainesville, Florida, and Syracuse, New York.

Even office thermostats aren’t immune to these placebo buttons.  In an informal survey conducted by the The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News, 50 fo the 71 offices that replied confirmed they had installed “dummy thermostats.”

So why not remove these fake buttons?  Apparently “perceived control” is incredibly beneficial to our health, so companies give us the illusion of having control over these situations in order to avoid depression and mental stress.

Via NY Times

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