You have doppelgängers. They’re quietly influencing your life. | Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

  • Published on Feb 25, 2019
  • New videos DAILY:
    Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos:
    Smarter Faster™
    Big Think is the leading source of expert-driven, actionable, educational content -- with thousands of videos, featuring experts ranging from Bill Clinton to Bill Nye, we help you get smarter, faster. S​ubscribe to learn from top minds like these daily. Get actionable lessons from the world’s greatest thinkers & doers. Our experts are either disrupting or leading their respective fields. ​We aim to help you explore the big ideas and core skills that define knowledge in the 21st century, so you can apply them to the questions and challenges in your own life.
    Other Frequent contributors include Michio Kaku & Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
    Michio Kaku Playlist:
    Bill Nye Playlist:
    Neil DeGrasse Tyson Playlist:
    Read more at for a multitude of articles just as informative and satisfying as our videos. New articles posted daily on a range of intellectual topics.
    Join Big Think Edge, to gain access to a world-class learning platform focused on building the soft skills essential to 21st century success. It features insight from many of the most celebrated and intelligent individuals in the world today. Topics on the platform are focused on: emotional intelligence, digital fluency, health and wellness, critical thinking, creativity, communication, career development, lifelong learning, management, problem solving & self-motivation.
    If you're interested in licensing this or any other Big Think clip for commercial or private use, contact our licensing partner, Executive Interviews:
    Follow Big Think here:
    ✉ E-mail:

Comments • 150

  • Nur Khansa
    Nur Khansa 2 months ago

    Sounds like how social media algorithms work in real life

  • This Mystic
    This Mystic 3 months ago

    WHAT??? Oh come on........

  • Roman De La Cruz
    Roman De La Cruz 5 months ago +1

    D.N.A is limited and it's on a loop.

  • Malvinder kaur
    Malvinder kaur 5 months ago

    there has been some kind of reality where people with means have been looking for characteristics and their own qualities or even younger self's in others and then promoting them or infusing them with what they would have liked to be or seeing qualities in others they try and build those qualities in some random people rather then to encourage or promote in the ones who have it, or the worst is this sick twisted 'rivalry bits'mostly in media you can observe it, these 'schatten spielers' and its quiet a fascinating study.

  • S.C. Jones
    S.C. Jones 6 months ago

    Why did he describe my depression to a T though? Is he my depression doppelganger?

  • Layla Glez
    Layla Glez 6 months ago +1

    I have a twin so does that mean I have two other doppelgängers?

  • ibrahim abdullah
    ibrahim abdullah 6 months ago


  • Ekim Yazici
    Ekim Yazici 7 months ago

    İ love this idea! İs this already being used or is it in the works?

  • Ms. Chanandler Bong
    Ms. Chanandler Bong 8 months ago

    My family found ALL 4 of our dopplegangers during a day trip to a Spanish zoo whilst on holiday. It was massively trippy.

  • PayaM Sh
    PayaM Sh 8 months ago

    Sorry but his examples from medical doctors and their patients are mostly incorrect. That’s not how physicians work. Diagnosis and treatment is based on guidelines which are again, based on meta analysis studies. I know it was just his example and I don’t mean to be cherry picking but maybe next time give examples from a process you are more familiar with?

  • Sid
    Sid 9 months ago

    I like to go to reddit and hit the random link until I find an eccentric subreddit, then I'll find an interesting person and pretend to be him until I get bored, meaning that I'll go on RU-clip and look up videos relevant to that persons interests. My liked videos and watch history looks like that of someone with multiple personality disorder.

  • Reanetse Moleleki
    Reanetse Moleleki 9 months ago +9

    Was expecting a video about how my evil twin is ruining my life.

  • S B
    S B 9 months ago +1

    Don't Facebook and Google do this since day one?

  • mojoman2001
    mojoman2001 9 months ago

    Click bait. Nothing about people who look alike in the video. Lame.

  • Pavor
    Pavor 9 months ago

    My doppleganger has the same name as me!
    I didnt believe it, but searching my name (no this is not my real name) led me to a guy with the same name that looked almost exactly like me Oo. I use him as my social media proxy seeing as I like my privacy. I figure a bunch of people I used to know or that look for me think that he is me! He must hate me by now.

  • Dave Hammond
    Dave Hammond 9 months ago

    The judge at our local court house won't accept this as a reason to not put me in jail

  • Leonardo Isidoro
    Leonardo Isidoro 9 months ago

    I found mines when I met him he told him some guys bought he was me and tried stabbing him lol I was a trouble maker when I was young .

  • Conan The Barbarian
    Conan The Barbarian 9 months ago

    I clicked hoping to discover what nefarious plans my doppelgänger had concocted.

  • Adam Hamilton
    Adam Hamilton 9 months ago

    Every speaker on this channel has the aural affect of applying one's eardrums directly to a cheese grater.
    Please, uhm, think of, uhm. Like, what you're going to uhm. Say. And then say it. 😡

  • artbagua
    artbagua 9 months ago

    You stand in front of a mirror. The mirror influences your life, silently.
    There is no exact match because a circle is not a square.
    In terms of Big Data, the question of probability is becoming more important as the amount of data is exponential.
    In real life, the doppelgängers I might have mean a lot more to people who are searching than they mean to me. Life is about probabilities and conditions, too. Actually, I can have a choice regarding the influence of Doppelgängers. Influence is not a decision. Lies are a Human construct. If we e. g. don't know the answer to a question, our brain constructs a solution to the logical problem.
    What are You searching for?

  • LouisRafael
    LouisRafael 9 months ago +1

    I've wondered whether Spotify uses such methods for the Discover weekly list...

  • iChillypepper
    iChillypepper 9 months ago +1

    Anyone else think this is frightening? Some of this data should be private. We are more than algorithms

  • Adam Smith
    Adam Smith 9 months ago

    He renamed KNN? Did he create KNN or something wtf, you can't just rename something like that lol.

  • Panicking Shmuley
    Panicking Shmuley 9 months ago


  • Heretician the Philosopher
    Heretician the Philosopher 9 months ago +35

    I HAD a doppleganger. There can be only one

    • Katie •
      Katie • 13 days ago

      Welp! If you ever needed a decoy for something you’re outta luck now!

    • This Mystic
      This Mystic 3 months ago

      Heretician the Philosopher Not the same thing....

    • MountainMaple
      MountainMaple 4 months ago

      I had a doppelgänger. I dressed up in red, wore a glove, and had scissors in my hands.

    • Seeking the Trinity
      Seeking the Trinity 5 months ago

      Heretician the Philosopher You murdered them? Why did you feel only you could survive?

    • Young Grump
      Young Grump 7 months ago +2

      Heretician the Philosopher 😂you savage

  • ScienceGuy
    ScienceGuy 9 months ago

    What was the point of this video?

  • Jealfr Omniverse
    Jealfr Omniverse 9 months ago

    Hey I sleep much of the time. I can't be assed to bring myself to do most things much of the time.

  • Ayoub Khalil
    Ayoub Khalil 9 months ago

    I want to meet the guy that reads the same books as me. He must be such an enlightened being. Or she...

  • Ian Kelley
    Ian Kelley 9 months ago

    What a weird looking thumbnail

  • Željko
    Željko 9 months ago

    Doppelgangbanger would be weird

  • The Gaytheist
    The Gaytheist 9 months ago

    I feel bad for my doppelganger.

  • Brother Santos
    Brother Santos 9 months ago +25

    This means I'm also influencing that person's life. I make sure that 1 out of 3 purchases online are completely random and follow up every important search with a search for fart jokes. Screw them and their 'algorythms'. We should start a "Feed the Machine Crap Data" movement. Muhhahahahaaaaaa........

    • ark_bleu
      ark_bleu 9 months ago +3

      Or even better a "feed the algorithm crap" algorithm/app. Adblocker should probably work this way instead

  • Warren33
    Warren33 9 months ago

    I think there are arch-types of facial features, bone structure, voice patterns, personal physical traits that hail back to our first ancestors. I don't live by any subscribed creation theories but we all came from somewhere. So as 'turning the frigging frogs gay' as this sounds I think ( only think, ppl ) templates exist in our common DNA chain. Initial building blocks that are changing and increasing as we continue on. But set patterns do repeat.
    I recently met a friend who is a dead ringer for one of my buddies I grew up with in another province. They are apprx 15 yrs apart, make their living in very different fashions. But the friend I recently met walks, talks, gestures near identically to that of my older friends mannerisms. it's all there. Different ppl, personalities entirely. But the template is readily apparent.
    All surmise on my part.
    Cheers if you read all this.

  • Juan Morales
    Juan Morales 9 months ago +1

    Excuse me, I have no intention of being impolite or offensive, but, how is this idea new? I mean, you just mentioned that medicine for example has done it for a while now, this "seeking for similarities" let's say, to mention just one example. Excuse my ignorance.

    • guigosul
      guigosul 5 months ago

      "You're welcome, you're welcome, for all that I bring, to the world;
      You're welcome, you're welcome, for everything, in the world!
      I'm Silicon Valley Santa, I'm am the gift for the world! *guitar riff*
      I'm Silicon Valley Santa, I'm the American Pearl!"

  • Dave BB
    Dave BB 9 months ago

    My brother got a slap in the face from a girl who thought he was someone else. Took a while to convince her she was wrong.

  • Konrad Kiljan
    Konrad Kiljan 9 months ago +2

    Big Think got really good at inventing misleading video titles. How is this piece about 'quietly influencing one's life'? You suggest mistery and conspiracy to talk about useful data analysis. Seriously, you can do better.

  • DawgPound 69
    DawgPound 69 9 months ago

    Good video. No BS

  • PandaGmail
    PandaGmail 9 months ago

    That voice is dry AF

  • miniimufin
    miniimufin 9 months ago

    Speaking of depression....can we get a talk on that!

  • Jessica
    Jessica 9 months ago

    My doppleganger is myself. There is no one like me.

  • Francis Srečko Fabian
    Francis Srečko Fabian 9 months ago

    It makes me sad to think someone else looks like me. Poor guy.

  • PureDoe
    PureDoe 9 months ago

    The good ole click bait

  • My Gaming Diaries
    My Gaming Diaries 9 months ago

    What if you're unique?

  • Gameplay and Talk
    Gameplay and Talk 9 months ago +2

    Based on the recommendations I see on places like Amazon, I'm guessing there aren't enough people out there like me. I'll take that as a good thing, I guess.

  • kisstantari
    kisstantari 9 months ago

    I have a hard time listening to someone who is sneering at me......

  • David Wright
    David Wright 9 months ago +2

    In other words, you're not special people. Helped you not waste your time.

  • Trisha Weilert
    Trisha Weilert 9 months ago +3

    Oh I thought this was going to be way cooler than it is 😯

  • Tajinder Rikhi
    Tajinder Rikhi 9 months ago

    Homeopathic treatment works same way...very effective but takes long time

  • Aru Serios
    Aru Serios 9 months ago +13

    I think your doppelganger is that person at every party who rattles on and on and never makes a point.

  • Vinny Holiday
    Vinny Holiday 9 months ago +1

    Wheres the part that says if you kill your doppelganger you absorb their powers

  • jouneymanwizard
    jouneymanwizard 9 months ago +15

    This sounds like the beginning of a strange, frightening, and fascinating involuntary social media platform.
    "Where you meet you!"

    • Vanessa Mendoza
      Vanessa Mendoza 9 months ago +1

      This sounds like an episode of Black Mirror, actually. Lol. Kinda scary.

    • Taryn Morvillo
      Taryn Morvillo 9 months ago +2

      WHOA. I'm totally creeped out but super fascinated with this. If you're thinking of starting this business.... count me in. I'd wanna be on the inside of this from the beginning.... great comment. Possibly great startup idea.

  • Andoc
    Andoc 9 months ago +1

    It would be interesting to meet your porn watching habits doppelganger.

    • Taryn Morvillo
      Taryn Morvillo 9 months ago

      If NETFLIX has ID'd your movie watching doppelganger - and, uh, it has - consider the fact that the porn industry generates more than 10X as much new market material for distribution than all the movie studios large small Indie whatever put together.
      Also, the adult entertainment industry is nearly always the earliest adopter of new technologies. Because they need them to stay relevant and because pornography relies solely on technology for almost every aspect of the process, production, marketing, distribution, purchase, payments, talent sourcing, whatever. I doubt there's any part of the business not dependant upon it.
      So what I'm saying is
      Oh yeah. They've got your porn doppelganger. Whether you're a vanilla porn guy or one of those people who like to watch women crushing crustaceans with their feet (is that the crushing fetish I can't remember but it's totally a Thing, hand to God by word of pimp (👉🏼🤛🏾 ))
      Unless you're going FULL ANALOG with your porn, and I mean not just buying porn off grid, but it's made by, starring, and distributed only off grid using ....FILM... like VHS porn, in which case I'm kinda freaked out right now... why did I start thinking about that and how creepish it is? Damnit!

  • Qqq Myes
    Qqq Myes 9 months ago +1

    Isn’t his point about doctors flawed, because it’s not like doctors start off as doctors blindly.. their education is itself inductive reasoning of “you have these symptoms” which matches up with ___ disorder/disease. And this education used a bunch of people/studies before. Idk just saying

  • Edgar Mendoza
    Edgar Mendoza 9 months ago


  • Anni Psy
    Anni Psy 9 months ago

    im sorry for whoever looks like me

  • Phixiate
    Phixiate 9 months ago +10

    I dont think this is what a doppelganger is.

    • Phixiate
      Phixiate 9 months ago

      @tyr628 😂 perfect

    • tyr628
      tyr628 9 months ago +1

      It's a doppeldataganger.

    • Phixiate
      Phixiate 9 months ago

      Not even close to it. I can agree with that.

    • dinoatlas
      dinoatlas 9 months ago +1

      It is, just not in the way you normally think about it.

  • KootFloris
    KootFloris 9 months ago +5

    Yes, let's help the NSA collect even more data already, let's help the corporate data miners get access easier. What is this talk?? Corporate propaganda?

  • Gothead420
    Gothead420 9 months ago

    I seriously heard about my Doppelgänger in my home town.
    People mistook me for him, crazy...^^

  • Dewsta26
    Dewsta26 9 months ago

    But where can we personally search for doppelgangers?

    • Dewsta26
      Dewsta26 9 months ago

      @newgamingspies thanks I'll have a look :)

    • newgamingspies
      newgamingspies 9 months ago +1

      There's an app for it. Just Google "app for finding doppelganger".
      I think it's for web only.

  • justsomeguy
    justsomeguy 9 months ago +11

    Ivanka looks just like Trump's girlfriend.