Two simple experiments with physical interaction vs human psychology. The urge to explore the unknown, within limits of safety, and the need and use of having habits, even at the smallest level.
Just as in Family Guy, the assumption was made that if a person is presented with a button he or she is more than likely to press it. Sheer curiosity will take the upper hand unless the button looks overtly menacing. From this premise a simple device was created, an old breath mint container fitted with a vibrator from a cellphone which activated when the (purely coincidentally placed) button was pushed.
Upon giving this to countless users the vast amount of them pushed the button within the span of ten seconds, often after debating with themselves whether to push it or not, having some trepidation over its purpose. Yet the following vibration still came as a surprise, the tactical feedback not being expected. Elation followed in the seconds thereafter, much in part with the realization that the device was safe and that their action did not cause any damage, only surprise.
Another small device was created shortly thereafter, one even more analogue. The idea born from sitting in a meeting where more than one person incessantly were clicking their pens, even after politely being asked not to. Just as in the previous example, clicking the button becomes too tempting, and if there is no actual reward aside from a regularly returning click sound that click becomes easily habituable, even subconsciously.
The clicker itself is just a simple toggle switch perched at the top of a hollow aluminium tube. The clicker had to be removed, sometimes forcibly, from test subjects who would not let it go. The sensation of clicking became too addictive, one test subject liking it to a child’s “security blanket” in how it made it easier for him to focus and listen when his hands were occupied elsewhere.