We are approaching our birthday! By way of festively opening our 60-year jubilee we are going to throw a number of management leaders down from our Vertigo building. Fully secured, of course, although this hardly helps to reduce the initial fright - particularly of the people concerned. In order for all of us to enjoy this ‘Dare’ to the max, the brave deans will be wearing a stress meter. This way their anxiety will be visualized in a peaking heart frequency, a gasping breath, and the breaking out in a cold sweat.
Do you know the best predictor of the success of a heard of elephants? The age of the oldest cow. Elegant experimental research conducted by animal psychologist Karen McComb and colleagues in Kenia, shows that older females respond far more adequately to a genuine threat from the environment than their younger antipodes. The older the oldest cow, the better the chance of survival of the herd as a whole.
Ever dream of colored jellybeans you can make disappear by the row, like dominoes? Do you ever see the world scrolling by automatically after playing several hours of Guitar Hero? Or do you sometimes feel, watching the soccer highlights on Sunday, you can help Luuk de Jong play a perfect through ball by moving your right thumb, because you played FIFA all afternoon?
Have you ever found yourself seated in the silent carriage of a Dutch train (‘de stiltecoupé)? Chances are, it wasn’t silent at all, in spite of all the signs and agitated people in the carriage. The Dutch Railways are bothered by this and announced a pilot to remind passengers to keep silent. Soon, middle-aged couples sitting opposite of you can not only cough relentlessly if you dare to make a sound, but also point to a sign printed on the headrest of their seats.
The upcoming carnival season poses a significant threat to all. No, I do not allude to drunk Dutch or sexually repressed men dressed up as clowns, waddling around in an awkward polonaise. Instead, we are at risk of being ‘attacked’ by an ‘earworm’. This phenomenon, also known as involuntary musical imagery, concerns the ongoing repetition of one or more lines of music, stuck in one’s head.
Examination period. A few individuals spend these two weeks in total rest and certainty, while most are grinding away many a tense hour behind their books. Uncertainty or the awareness that it might have been better to start studying the subject matter earlier cause many students to keep studying late, burning the midnight oil. Don’t do it!
We have four children, and each one is growing fast. Pants are too short in no time, and jackets fit too snugly before you know it. It always comes as a surprise, but we can’t but accept: I never try to convince them short is the new black, nor do I urge them to wear their jackets on their left arm and right arm alternately. I just buy them new clothes.
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.