Game of Distraction

They say a watched pot never boils. So here’s a game where you try to make a pot boil by looking somewhere else. More distraction leads to more points.

 

This is a toy, but as you might expect, there’s plenty of research that suggests we perceive time to move slower when we stare at that metaphorical pot.

Going the other direction, and maybe more important for these current days, time seems to move faster when we’re occupied by a goal. Philip Gable and Bryan Poole published research in 2012 about how time flies when you’re having approach-motivated fun. They showed hungry psychology students a series of pictures, and the subjects appeared to perceive time to move faster when they saw pictures of food versus neutral pictures like geometric shapes.

On top of that, in 1997, Angrilli, et al. studied how emotion plays a role in time perception. Subjects appeared to estimate time moving slower when shown pictures of anger or scowling than when shown happy pictures.

So, I think I’m going to read less news, which tends to be a not so happy place. I’ll just keep on cooking quarantine recipes and maybe learn to make better games.


Become a member. Support an independent site. Make great charts.

Join Now

Favorites

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

Seeing How Much We Ate Over the Years

How long will chicken reign supreme? Who wins between lemon and lime? Is nonfat ice cream really ice cream? Does grapefruit ever make a comeback? Find out in these charts.

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.