The youth of today - always multitasking; sitting in lectures with one eye on their laptops, one thumb on their telephones; reading with both ears plugged into music. Distractions don't bother them, on the contrary they seek them out. Just take a look at our youngest employees, the PhD candidates: each and every one of them wears headphones.
My father used to work in an open office before the term existed. Some sixty years ago he was a young corporal and torpedo maker, active in the submarine service of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
Looking back at 2016, it was hardly a great year. David Bowie: dead. And Prince. And Leonard Cohen. Muhammed Ali, Alan Rickman, Johan Cruijff, and Peter van Straaten. The British who no longer wanted to be part of 'our' Europe. Not to mention the election of a narcissistic horror clown to the White House. Enough reason for the Executive Board to add another bottle of liquor to our Christmas hamper - for which, thank you - but the comfort of that 12 percent evaporates as easily as the alcohol itself.
Last month I visited Japan for the first time. I was expecting to be stuffed into the metro by people wearing white gloves, expected to see robots walking the streets, and cool fashionable youngsters with dyed hair as in computer games. None of that, of course. The greatest differences are far more subtle, though much more drastic as well.
As someone able to speak from experience when it comes to making mistakes - from minor errors to epic blunders - I felt entirely at home last week Friday at the symposium ‘The positive side of making mistakes’. A mistake does, of course, provide an opportunity to learn, the motivation to change, the basis for personal growth. ‘Yeah, right,’ comes the cynical echo. That voice in your own head, the voice of your parents, your teacher, or your boss during the annual Performance & Development interview often suggests that making mistakes is not actually valued. And that is wrong.
Sitting in MetaForum recently, I was between two appointments contemplating the idea of doing a quick spot of marking when a piece of TU/e folklore, about which I was unaware, played out before my very eyes. I was seated at one of the long tables next to the stairs leading from the canteen, and it was 11 a.m. - a point at which time and space intersect.
As always, excesses around hazing like those in Groningen are discussed extensively in the media with great anger. Yet these cases should not surprise us anymore. Two of the most famous experiments conducted in psychology - the Stanford prison experiment of Zimbardo and Milgram’s study of obedience and authority – may serve within this context to draw relevant lessons from.
Psychology is becoming ever more important at TU/e. Technical systems and artifacts, be they games, cars, robots, lighting systems or buildings, are all meant for human end users eventually. It's essential to know how these users perceive, think, feel, and act. The new human-oriented program Psychology & Technology examines every technical design from a psychological perspective.
From now on, on a biweekly basis, Cursor will be taking a closer psychological look at students, teachers, labs, technical artifacts, the workplace, the scientific business, campus, education, and websites.