“Yeah,” I hear myself silently whispering to the other person waiting nearby, “I saw that you just pressed it, but listen, this elevator is very temperamental; it responds better when I call for it. Trust me, I know. Now, let me hit this just one more time, for good measure.”
Does that scene sound familiar? Especially when we are in a hurry? And that damn lift seems to be stuck forever on the seventh floor? “What the hell is going on there?” our mind screams in despair, “in that space, invisible to us, just several floors above. What is holding things up?”
Doing something useless such as repeatedly pressing the button while waiting, is, no doubt, a silly human trait. We realize it yet do it all the same. I believe that is because it is a way for us to gain a sense of control over the situation. We feel helpless watching that panel of floor numbers above the elevator door, with the unmovable light. “Let me do something about it;” I would tell myself, “Aah! I know, I will press that button one more time. After all, that button is more than just two wires coming together; it is sensitive to my touch, it can sense my distress.”
Funny thing though is that when we do it, it is okay and normal, but when we see others do it, they are just plain morons. Can’t they see the light is on already?
Learned from: behavior observation.