Category: Psychology

Life & Philosophy Psychology Travel

How Japan uses blue LED light panels on station platforms to prevent suicides

Tokyo runs 13 billion passenger trips each year, making its train stations some of the busiest in the world.

Using sound design and various other psychological nudges, rail stations are able to bring some order to the chaos. One of the most effective tactics has been its use of blue LED mood lighting to prevent suicide attempts.

Photo by Allan Richarz/City Lab

Writes Tokyo resident Allan Richarz for Citylab:

According to a study by researchers at the University of Tokyo published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2013, data analyzed over a 10-year period shows an 84 percent decline in the number of suicide attempts at stations where blue lights are installed.

Operating on the theory that exposure to blue light has a calming effect on one’s mood, rail stations in Japan began installing these LED panels as a suicide-prevention measure in 2009. They are strategically located at the ends of each platform—typically the most-isolated and least-trafficked area, and accordingly, the point from which most platform jumps occur. Some stations, such as Shin-Koiwa Station in Tokyo, bolster their LED regime with colored roof panels, allowing blue-tinted sunlight to filter down on to platforms.

Whether it comes to the iPhone or infrastructure, Richarz's piece is yet another reminder of how everyday design can impact our lives.

Life & Philosophy Poetry Productivity & Work Psychology

A coherent me

When we are stuck and predictable, we stop beating the heart to our own drum.

Instead of chasing our dreams, we ride on the coattails of others. We become a cog that seeks to please rather than to push.

How we align our attention — to mimetic desire or to the clusters of individual freedom — is what determines self-worth.

The story we tell ourselves helps to combat the harsh reality of Monday morning meetings.

We buck the reassurance of controlled variables in pursuit of a cloudy destiny. 

We read life to read ourselves. The copy is the original.

Life & Philosophy Psychology

Airing out the ego

gif by John Corsi

Never at rest in yesterday’s form. We are always chasing something unique, railing against the establishment.

Chances are we’ve already forgotten the information we learned yesterday.

With half-closed eyes, we bustle through through life forging connections between experiences.

But then one day, it all slows down. It’s not about us anymore but other people: our kids, partners, and close friends.

The ego must be aired out.

Insecurity and security, certainty and uncertainty — it all flows from subjectivity into a way of life that helps other people too see themselves.

Life & Philosophy Psychology

De-essentalizing the response

We’re never safe from the torch of fear and anxiety.

The only thing we can control is our reaction to the current circumstances.

Wrote the poet John Milton in the seventeenth century: “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

When we reach the end of our life, our experience will be an accumulation of responses.

What we process and pay attention to is what we become. Distractions are a fungus.

Inculcating calmness helps preempt the of dizziness each stimulus.

Unless we develop the steadiness of thoughts, the world will always find a way to intrude on our ideals.

Best moving on then unpinned from the forced manipulation of other people’s identities.

Psychology Social Media Tech

Tech this out

Technology controls us. The companies that make the hardware and software hijack our attention and turn us into distraction-seeking mice. None of this is good for our cognition.

Reward and pleasure are addicting, so much so we get anxious when the pellets stop showing up. That's when we reach into our pockets and pull out the slot machine disguised as a smartphone for another hit of dopamine.

That Instagram heart, the Twitter retweet, the Facebook like–they are all designed to steal our conscious attention. They say sitting is the new smoking; how about pecking at our smartphones? Walk down a busy street; both walkers and drivers are looking down. Self-driving cars can't come soon enough!

This continuous partial attention is not only causing cognitive load, but it's also putting our lives at risk. We've become transfixed on creating and consuming bite-sized rewards.

Learn to focus. Learn to be bored. Learn to daydream.

Psychology Tech

The link between boredom and creativity

The link between boredom and creativity #gif #creativity #daydreaming
via giphy

Boredom drives creativity for no other reason than that your mind needs something to latch onto in idle times.

When you’re bored, anything goes. Ambiguity and hyperbole are the names of the game. Your mind loves stretching the imagination and embracing irreality.

Daydreaming is a thinking activity too

Sometimes people are too corrupted by everydayness. To perceive something that doesn’t even exist is a bicep curl for the innovative brain.

So try this: take a seat, put the phone down, and do nothing. You’ll have no choice but to think outlandish thoughts to keep yourself entertained.

Do nothing for as long as possible. From Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies #books #creativity #writingprompts
Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies