Lemon juice on your face will not make you invisible to the bank security camera.
Bank robbery suspect McArthur Wheeler was easily recognized by informants, who tipped detectives to his whereabouts after his picture was telecast during the Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers Inc. segment of the 11 o’clock news.
When arrested, Wheeler was completely disbelieving. “But I wore the juice,” he said. Apparently, he was under the deeply misguided impression that rubbing one’s face with lemon juice rendered it invisible to video cameras.
Wheeler had tested the theory. He had snapped a Polaroid picture of himself and he wasn’t anywhere to be found in the image.
Apparently he had not aimed the camera at his face, when he took the picture.
David Dunning, a Cornell professor of social psychology, concluded that Wheeler was too stupid to be a bank robber. Not only that, he was too stupid to be able to recognize that he was too stupid.
The phenomenon became known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect — our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence.