Positive reinforcement may have an effect even on…PLANTS!!!

Okay, this post really has nothing to do with myeloma (although one could argue that it’s related to stress, in some way…), but I found it absolutely FASCINATING.

It describes an experiment by IKEA, which recently placed two of its own plants in a school in Dubai and asked students to verbally abuse one of them while talking in a positive manner to the other. See: goo.gl/DJFsBF

As you will see in the video, after only one month, the “abused” plant looked terrible, all wilted, with brown-spotted leaves, while the “complimented” plant was healthy, with lovely green leaves.

As you can read in the article, some people were skeptical about the results of this experiment, which they even called a hoax.

Well, here’s what I think: I doubt that plants understand actual WORDS (except in “Little Shop of Horrors”  and perhaps other, similar horror movies featuring killer plants), but I do find it easy to believe that our TONE OF VOICE could have an impact…yes, even on plants…

It’s the difference, say, between whispering gently and shouting angrily. No, I don’t find that outrageous at all…

Besides, the article mentions another experiment carried out by Mythbusters in two different greenhouses. The “silent” greenhouse performed worse than the other greenhouse where “recorded messages” were played. In this case, it seems quite clear that the CONTENT of the messages was totally irrelevant. What had an impact, IMO, was the “noise”…Of course, it has to be a nice, gentle noise. I doubt that loud music such as heavy metal could possibly be beneficial to the plants. But hey, you never know… 😉

Okay, I’m ready to test this theory. I’m off to our terrace to whisper words of encouragement to my lemon tree, so that all of its pretty little flowers will turn into delicious lemons…mmmmh, yeah!

(Last year, you see, all its flowers fell off for unknown reasons, so we ended up with zero lemons…Fingers crossed for this year…).

At any rate, good job, IKEA! 🙂 

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