Candid Camera as Psychology Experiment

A British psychology professor is working with European and American foundations to inspire young people toward a career, and lifestyle, in the physical and human sciences. 

What's the Latest Development?

British psychology professor Tom Stafford recently took to the streets of Berlin to make some important points about how the mind works and that science, in general, is a very human activity. One experiment Stafford performed is an old "Candid Camera" gag in which a man asks a passerby for directions and when two men carrying a door pass between them, the man asking for directions is switched out for another man with substantially different physical characteristic. About half the time, the person giving directions fails to notice they are now talking to a completely different person.  

What's the Big Idea?

Professor Stafford is on a mission to make science more accessible to the man on the street, and perhaps more importantly, the child on the street. Aware that Europe and America have produced fewer science graduates than Asia in recent decades, Stafford wants to make science fun and applicable to daily life. The event in Berlin, in which Stafford participated, was sponsored by BMW and the Guggenheim Foundation. It is just one example of an increasing number of "mobile labs" and "experiential science" meant to spur young people's interest in science as a discipline and way of life. 

Photo credit:

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 reasons to be optimistic in 2019

Rwanda is pioneering the regulation and use of drones - such as delivering blood

Politics & Current Affairs

Even the optimists among us would have to admit 2018 was a challenging year. The fractured world that became the focus of our 2018 Annual Meeting a year ago came under further pressure from populist rhetoric and rising nationalist agendas. At the same time, the urgent need for coordinated global action in areas such as climate change, inequality and the impact of automation on jobs became more intense.

Keep reading Show less

Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

Keep reading Show less

15 surprising life lessons from a highly successful 80-year-old

You can use these to get ahead, no matter your age.

Personal Growth

Blackstone's Byron Wien, Vice Chairman of Private Wealth Solutions Group, gave a speech laying out the wisdom he learned during his 80 years. Here are 15 of Wien's best life lessons, which teach us about improving our productivity, sleep, burnout avoidance, and everything in between.

Keep reading Show less