Tuesday, April 21, 2009

the visual perception of slants

Last year, researchers studied 34 students at the University of Virginia, taking them to the base of a steep hill and fitting them with a weighted backpack. They were then asked to estimate the steepness of the hill. Some participants stood next to friends during the exercise, while others were alone.

The students who stood with friends gave lower estimates of the steepness of the hill. And the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.

The New York Times synopsis of the research recounted in Social support and the perception of the geographical slant (PDF) by researchers Schnall, Harber, Stefanucci and Proffit of the University of Virginia.

So if Sisyphus had friends, he wouldn't have been so screwed. (Or at least he wouldn't have thought he was.)


p2wy said...

This brought a smile to my face.

suttonhoo said...

poetic for research, isn't it?

scientific validation that our burdens seem lighter and mountains seem easier to climb when we have a friend at our side.

Lummox said...


bobcat rock said...

heartwarming, thought provoking post.

reminds me of so many classic teambuilding icebreakers from my training days. we are capable of so much more than we realise.

i'll have to blog some now.

Anonymous said...

Amen. But we all kind of knew that already...


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