| May 1, 2012

It’s not uncommon to hear people at Boston University discuss a very peculiar phenomenon that occurs here: the doppelganger effect.

What is the doppelganger effect? Its when you spot someone on campus that looks explicitly like someone you know from back home, or a celebrity. Yes, from my extensive research (which consists of anecdotal evidence gathered from conversations with friends) I can safely say that this doppelganger effect is a common occurrence amongst the BU population.

Not one to simply accept an oddity without further questioning, I sought to discover the true meaning of this doppelganger syndrome. How is it that we seem to see old friends, enemies of the past, and Jersey Shore rip-offs walking down Comm Ave?

After a relaxing walk in the woods, my mind began to formulate a theory that could explain this. My theory – “Facial Recognition Overload Syndrome Traumatizes You” or FROSTY for short is really simple to understand. Our brains can only hold facial information for a certain number of people. I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but the voices in my head say it’s somewhere between 250 to 350 faces-per-person. What this means is that we can only process a limited number of faces to our memory. Any other face that we come into contact with, will assume the facial characteristics of someone else we already know (to haunt us like demons!)

When I realized the implications of FROSTY, it instantly made the doppelganger effect much more reasonable. I knew that Eddie George (a plebeian from high school) wasn’t going to be at BU, he’s a moron! And no way in hell is Matt Damon walking on Comm Ave without a bunch of papa-nazis haunting him; it’s all FROSTY at work.

I hope you guys find this new scientific discovery as useful as I did. I’ve been contemplating submitting this into BU to get a research grant and teach a course on it. It’s always been my dream to pretend to care about students while hiring foreign graduates who don’t speak english to teach my class, but I’m not sure I want to go through the whole process of being a faculty member. But on the bright side, I thought of Culture Shock before I thought of selling my work; aren’t I loyal?

Anyways, good luck as the semester draws closer. And breathe a sigh of relief, your high school ex isn’t trying to kill you, your brain’s just playing tricks.

(But she really is though)

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About the Author ()

Tarif (CAS 13') is a student of life. He is currently living in Boston and writing for BU CULTURE SHOCK.

Comments (3)

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  1. adowd says:

    I laughed out loud during this! You’re so smart and funny Tarif *mentally pats head like with Mew*…just don’t let your ego get so big that we have to extend our podcast’s length ;)

  2. Eric Baker says:

    According to Alexa and Tino I have a doppleganger at BU though I have yet to meet this handsome chap.

  3. Cecilia Weddell Cecilia Weddell says:

    Tarif, you made me laugh out loud a few times throughout this post! Thank you :)