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Power Balance Essay Assignment

Write a complete essay that uses critical thinking and science-based skepticism to analyze and explain the pseudoscientific claims of the Power Balance hologram wristband. Your essay must explain how the Power Balance hologram wristband does not and cannot improve your balance, your strength and your flexibility.

Here are the main claims made by the spokesman for the Power Balance hologram bracelet quoted from the YouTube video we watched in class:

What I have to demonstrate for you today is a revolutionary new product. What we’ve been able to do is harness naturally occurring frequencies and program them into a mylar hologram to help improve your balance, your strength and your flexibility.

In the video, the spokesman had his partner perform three tests meant to demonstrate the bracelets effectiveness in improving balance, strength and flexibility. As I demonstrated in class, these tests are bogus.

Your essay MUST do the following:

  1. Explain the simple tricks behind the three tests. Explain each test individually.
  2. Quote from the above passage and explain how the pseudoscientific jargon is meaningless, yet contributes to the perceived effectiveness of the product.
  3. Explain how belief in the pseudoscientific claims made by Power Balance can be harmful. Explain why is it important for a person to develop solid critical thinking skills and employ skepticism when evaluating claims made by “performance enhancement” products and “alternative medicine” practices, such as cupping. For examples, go to the website What’s the Harm?


  1. Your essay must be complete and include an introduction, thesis statement, body, and conclusion. Underline your thesis statement.
  2. Your essay must quote only from the above passage; otherwise, use your own words to present the scientific explanation for why the Power Balance wristband could not possible work as advertised.
  3. Your essay must include a works cited page that cites the Power Balance Test Video.
  4. Your essay must be 3-5 pages (750-1250 words) in length and conform to MLA format.

For a full explanation of the pseudoscience behind the hologram wristband see the pamphlet Power Balance: Sports Enhancement or Placebo? by The James Randi Foundation.

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