So being stared at sends us loopy does it? Robert Ellsworth, a well known (?) psychologist did some work in 1975 that…..hang on 1975? Wasn’t that a bad year? The year Maggie got elected, the year Dutch Elm disease wiped out 3 million Elm trees in the UK and of course the year The Goodies were doing The Funky Gibbon all over the place? No, it wasn’t a bad year, it was a very bad year for most things so why should research be any better?
Bessie Mate Bob did some experiments about staring. He pioneered research into the effect that staring has on people. If you can avoid getting your face smashed in by some oik with an attitude try this out….
How to Get Help Carrying Your Shopping
Look at a bunch of pedestrians about to cross the road (oh and you’ll need a bag of shopping for this one). While they’re waiting for the green man glance at some of them and stare at others, then watch how quickly those you stared at scurry across the road like frightened rabbits, no surprises really but here comes the interesting bit. Try it again and this time when they’re half way across, drop your shopping (if you look like one of those Russian little old ladies on Eurovision it’s even more effective) and you should find your more likely to get help from the ones you stared at than from the other unhelpful souls. Cool eh!
Just Blame the Camera
If you managed the experiment let me know how it went but don’t bother suing if you got into a ruck, I did warn you. So, do we like being stared at or do we hate it? It really is a case of stop staring at me versus does bum look big in this. We seem to live in a world today we are all inviting attention, that famous 15 minutes of fame. I blame the digital camera. Think about it – when real cameras needed expensive film you didn’t waste it on group shots of your mates all clamouring for attention after seven pints of snakebite (and that’s just the girls). A photograph cost money and became a work of art. On the other hand we live in a world full of strangers and humans were never intended to live in communities of strangers. Getting wound up by some charmer giving you the once, twice thrice over seems to be quite understandable (can you sense a psychology degree in the offing?).
It takes another eminent psychologist, Daniel Goleman to work out how to stop yourself from staring. Apparently you have to add up the digits of your phone number to break out of that transfixed stare. I’m sure all sorts of groups of people would agree with me that it’s really more simple than that. Learn some manners! That’ll stop you staring in the first place.
For a completely different take on staring, check out lovely starlet (or should that be starelett) Jessica Alba. Now, tell me there’s not something spooky about this staring thing:
Oh and by the way, about my bum…..