In the 1940s, the world witnessed what may well be the most boring experiment a subject has ever participated in. In this elaborate study, subjects performed a variety of mental tests before and after multiplying 4-digit numbers in their heads for 12 hours straight. As if this wasn’t bad enough, they were then expected to come back for the next three days to do exactly the same thing. In this article, Calvin Isch explores the implications of boring the subjects in an experiment, as well as provides tips for avoiding this.
Reason and logic were celebrated as the ultimate ideals of Victorian era science. A perfect understanding of reality was a tangible and achievable goal. So, what problems do scientists face in pursuing it?
Hidden away in the depths of Franklin Hall’s basement is the Institute for Communication Research (ICR). If you venture down there, you will likely find Sharon Mayell, assistant director and research associate with the ICR, ready and willing to give you a tour of the facility, but it is helpful to make an appointment first.