Scientist builds remote-controlled collapsing chair to study fear in people


Originally published at:



The title alone had me grinning from ear to ear.
I am not a good person.


You try that kind of shit with me, I’ll show you the true meaning of fear and terror.


Just like a recliner except someone else gets to decide. Might be fun for the person at the switch.


You want to talk chair fear? This is chair fear:


There’s always been a very fine line between legitimate psychological research devices and novelty gags.


I’d think both could exist in the same space… and that’s when it’s sweet!


David St. Hubbins: It’s such a fine line between stupid, and uh…

Nigel Tufnel: Clever.

David St. Hubbins: Yeah, and clever.


An earlier prototype.


This reminds me of a study I was doing in this old house I was renting out as a airbnb, when the chair collapsed a hole would open up in the floor showing a bunch of rusty spikes with corpses decaying on them and I would run into the room through a secret door, screaming and waving a machete while wearing a mask made out of their best friend’s face!
The gains that were made for science on each test were amazing.


My Google-fu is failing me…

But I recall a study from some years ago, a legit medical study with the results captured on video.

The subjects were put in a safety harness so they wouldn’t actually fall.

They were then invited to walk toward a clearly visible stumbling block and asked to trip over it.

That’s where the tricky part came in.

The researchers wanted actual stumbles, not deliberate near-falls, so they had a remotely controlled block that popped up, well in front of, the decoy stumbling block.

It worked quite well, as memory of watching the video serves.

I just wish I could find it to link here.


does not really beat the bucket pitched on an open door but that requires the licence to wet/moisten/dampen somebody


works even better when you use pig blood

Oh, wait…

:fire: :fire: :fire:

credit to @rasmussen_bryan for the horror angle.


Puritans. REAL men! All hands-on. No candy-ass remote-control for them. Nope.


…that’s a bit over the top :slight_smile:


I’m pretty sure that’s the Puritan version of a remote control, the head Puritan stands there with a Puritan woman he is putting the moves on while ordering his servant to do the dunking.


C’mon! Stupid-hatted, buckle-shoed, misogynistic Puritans have always been righteously dumped on… but don’t take this away from them!


Some people only got startled, they should use this instead.


In most cases the subjects cried out, and some called the experimenter by name.

As a scientist, I aspire to this level of deviousness.