Man fooled into developing assertiveness by a placebo

This is the place to ask about that story you remember so well -- but can't remember the title and author.

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Man fooled into developing assertiveness by a placebo

Postby woodbeez13 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:02 pm

A short story from 1950's / 60's in an anthology that I probably read in the '70s? A man is walking down the road feeling a real failure. He sees an attractive sports car on someone's driveway and on impulse decides to steal it. On breaking into it he is gassed and falls unconscious. He awakes in the house of the car owner who after listening to the man's story says that he will help him by giving him a special device, strapped to his back under his shirt which will cause people to respect him.
The secret device is a great success with the man's wife and boss noticing the new assertiveness and it improves his self-respect massively. He goes back to his benefactor for some reason and is told that the device is simply a placebo which buzzes inaudibly when he talks and that the new respect shown to him by everyone is simply a function of him having a different attitude and respect for himself. Thanks in advance.
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old idea

Postby hegemon » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:30 am

The idea of this story is an old one, and not always told as science fiction. Often, it is about a college fraternity that starts dating a shy girl and she turns into a popular girl because she thinks she is popular.
This is the race that will rule the sevagram!
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Location: On the road

Postby shrike522 » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:32 pm

Way too late but I couldn't let this one go unanswered for goodness sakes. The story you are thinking of is "Won't You Walk-" by Theodore Sturgeon. Written in 1955 I have in a collection titled Visions and Venturers from 1978.
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