Evidence-based design

Evidence-based design
Feelings of anxiety often lead to anxious thoughts – which, in turn, will trigger more feelings of anxiety. A negative spiral, which, as research has shown, can be stopped by “occupying the working memory”, or in plain words, by thinking of something else, something interesting. In this way distraction can help you to experience situations as less frightening, or no longer frightening at all. Laboratory research carried out at the University of Leiden (Dr. Lotte van Dillen) showed this mechanism at work when participants who had cycled through a bicycle underpass which is normally experienced as unsafe, experienced cycling through this underpass while being occupied with solving the “15 x 16 = ?” as less threatening. Watch the video clip below that the participants in this condition were shown, with the assignment ‘to imagine themselves in the position of the main character’.

Of course, in a real (bicycle) underpass people will soon lose interest in doing sums. That is why more interesting questions need to be devised and displayed alternately, such as in the animation below. But the principle remains the same: Positive distraction reduces stress and feelings of unsafety in a (bicycle) underpass. This forms the scientific basis of PleasantPass. And this evidence-based design is our unique selling point.