Collision Course

It has long interested me (yes, I really am this sad) that some people seem to instinctively know which way to move when you cross their path, whereas others appear to have no radar whatsoever to avoid bumping into other people. I’m intrigued to know whether those who correctly guess which way another person is going to move, thus moving in the opposite way to avoid a collision, are more intuitive individuals. Perhaps they are even more intelligent than those who repeatedly fail to judge others’ trajectories correctly. Or perhaps there is no rhyme nor reason whatsoever for this strange phenomenon and I should get a life.

Now you’ve read the necessary contextual preamble I’ll move onto the main point of this post. In order to ease the insufferable pain that is walking through the crowded streets of London Bridge after work I have today devised a game. Borne out of my interest in the behaviour of people whilst walking along a busy road, it’s a version of ‘Chicken’ whereby I walk straight at people and guess if they’ll get out of my way or not. The results of my first attempt are quite surprising. People who look like perfectly reasonable individuals are often woefully lacking in collision radars, whereas those at the scattier-looking end of the spectrum tend to be excellent crowd-dodgers. As social experiments go, this may not make it into a psychology journal, but it’s sure as hell going to improve my daily commute.

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