Podcast Episode #205: “Color Preferences in the Insane”

Color Preference in the Insane, Can Consumers Recognize the Taste of their Favorite Beer?, Effect of Audience Boredom on the Power Hungry, You Never Sleep Alone, Improbable Medical Review, Extracting the Wrong Tooth, and Telephones for Animals. In episode #206, Marc Abrahams shows some unfamiliar research studies to Jean Berko Gleason, Chris Cotsapas, Maggie Lettvin, […]

The attempt to automatically recognize boredom [podcast 67]

Can a machine reliably recognize when a human is bored? That is the central question in this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams  — with dramatic readings by Nicole Sharp — tells about: How to automatically recognize boredom — “A Preliminary System for Recognizing Boredom,” Allison M. Jacobs, Benjamin Fransen, J. Malcolm McCurry, Frederick W.P. Heckel, […]

Philosophy? Tedious?

In his Presidential Address at the 53nd [sic] Annual Meeting of the Florida Philosophical Association, professor David McNaughton, of Florida State University, US, revealed that he had been inspired by a 2007 Guardian article  by Jonathan Wolff (head of philosophy at University College London) which began: “Why is academic writing so boring?” Professor McNaughton refined […]

Breakthroughs in boredom

People who design apps — or, for that matter, design startup companies — want their creations to elicit excitement. They (usually) design to avoid creating boredom. A fairly recent Canadian study offers exciting insights into the nature of boredom. Designers take heed! The study is “The Unengaged Mind: Defining Boredom in Terms of Attention,” John D. Eastwood, Alexandra Frischen, Mark J. Fenske and Daniel […]

A possibly fascinating study of four possible causes of boredom propensity

Some academic studies are best appreciated by reading them aloud, in a stately voice, in a coffee shop. Perhaps this is one of those studies: “I can’t get no satisfaction: Potential causes of boredom,” Cory J. Gerritsen, Maggie E. Toplak [pictured here], Jessica Sciaraffa, John Eastwood, Consciousness and Cognition, vol. 27, July 2014, pp. 27–41. […]

Boos Act as Booze on the Power-Hungry

An experiment measured what happened when power-driven people gave speeches to an audience that responded with blatant, deliberate acts of boredom. The researchers, Eugene Fodor and David Wick of Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, wrote up the details in a blandly titled monograph, Need for Power and Affective Response to Negative Audience Reaction to […]