Danny Taylor is a genius. He is going to teach an entire generation of children to turn the lights off when they leave the room, and he’s going to do it in a time-honored way: by traumatizing them.
Taylor has designed this dimmer switch which smiles when the lights are off and frowns when they’re on:
Lights on = bad. Lights off = good. Simple. Kids with this in their bedroom are going to be followed for the rest of their life with a vague sense of unease if they leave the room and the lights are still on. Turn them off, and — aaah, that feels better right? Now the light switch loves you, because now you deserve it.
As Gizmodo asks, “Is it the best way to get the message across to kids? Maybe not. Most childhood psychologists aren’t exactly keen on the whole negative reinforcement approach.” You could think of it as positive reinforcement for turning the lights off, but, still it could be a little bit disturbing for a kid who’s afraid of the dark to know that he’s making the dimmer switch cry.
This Emotional Dimmer Switch Guilts You Into Living in the Dark, Gizmodo.
Get Grist in your inbox