A new study suggests that people prefer southern travel routes to northern routes. Why? Apparently, we associate north with "up" and things that are "up" are harder to get to, elevated, more difficult to attain, or physically more demanding. According to Tufts University psychologist Tad Brunyé, also of the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command, volunteers in the study estimated that it would take much longer to drive between locations when traveling south to north instead of the opposite way. From Science News:
Real-world experiences underlie avoidance of northern routes, Brunyé proposes. Young children learn that as objects and locations get higher, they become harder to attain. Examples include reaching for a toy on the counter, climbing the stairs and jumping.Travelers have southern bias
An ingrained notion that “up is difficult” then gets applied to other situations. When someone imagines traversing a northern and a southern path, the northern way feels higher and more physically demanding, Brunyé suggests.
Another phenomenon might account for the new findings, remarks psychologist Stella Lourenco of Emory University in Atlanta, who was not involved in the study. From infancy on, people categorize different quantities – say, the numbers 2 and 4 or a big and a small object – as instances of “less than” and “more than.” Also, adults tend to associate larger numbers with “up” and smaller numbers with “down.”
If volunteers equated a northern route’s greater height on a computer screen with “more than” and a southern route’s lower position as “less than,” that could explain a southern bias, Lourenco says.
Tiny micromotors about the width of a human hair traveled through a mouse’s stomach delivering antibiotics to treat a stomach ulcer. The motors are powered by bubbles. According to the researchers from the University of California San Diego, the microrobot-based treatment proved more effective than regular doses of the medicine. From New Scientist: The tiny […]
In 1971, astronomer Frank Drake, the father of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, drew a map pinpointing Earth in our galaxy. That diagram, a “pulsar map,” was etched on a plaque designed by Frank and Carl Sagan and first carried into space in 1972 by the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft. In 1977, the pulsar […]
Last night, NBC Nightly News aired the wonderful video below about the Voyager Golden Record vinyl box set I produced with my friends Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad! Forty years ago this month, NASA launched two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, on a grand tour of the solar system and beyond, into the mysteries of […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional […]