Monday, August 13, 2007

A layman’s guide to lift psychology and psychoanalysis

I have researched the subject of what people do in the lift (elevators). After careful study of human behaviors and lift psychology, I am now ready to publish my findings. Without boring you with cumbersome numbers (this might be because I don’t have any) I’m going to give you a… let us call it: “A layman’s guide to lift psychology and psychoanalysis”.

Firstly, let us observe the runner/ sprinter. This is the person, who observes from far away that the lift doors are about to close and will make a wild dash towards the doors, at the same time gesturing wildly for some angelic soul to press the button to hold the doors open. Normally, somebody will do this and the runner/ sprinter will make it in. What is funny at this point, is that this person will now start pressing the “Close doors immediately button” with a vengeance, thus negating any chance the other runners (or we could call them sprinters too, if you like) had of entering the lift. It’s amazing how their thoughts change the moment they are on the inside.

But of course, what is more interesting is the behavior of the people in the lift as soon as the doors are closed. After much deliberation, we have classified these people based on their behavioral patterns. Let me put this to you simply without using too much psycho-babble or jargon.

Now, firstly we have the lift carriers. These are the people which actually make the lift work. They are the ones who will diligently and with a one minded focus stare at the ceiling when the lift is going up and at the floor when it’s going down. They are mind-freaks, who with the power of their minds transport the heavy metal box upwards and downwards. Oh, how we are grateful. Without them, we would just be a bunch of people standing in a metal box to pass the time.

The 2nd category of people is the foot-fetish group. These are the people who will spend the entire time analyzing and collecting data on the feet and shoes of the people in the lift. There will endeavor to be impartial. They will give adequate time and attention to each pair of shoes. They will even do quick comparisons to their own shoes.
Now bear in mind, this group must not be confused with the mind freaks who are staring at the floor to get the lift to descend. Though these 2 groups might exhibit similar characteristics, one can tell them apart after extensive study.

The 3rd category is the zombies. This group stares straight ahead at the lift doors. They wait with an impassive calm for their floor to arrive. They will not move when other floors arrive, but instead continue to stare ahead in a zombie like manner. As their floor arrives, they will awaken from their stupor and lurch forward in to the “outside”. This group is still under study, and we are trying to find conclusive evidence as to their thought patterns.

The above 3 groups are found universally and abundantly. However, recently a 4th group has emerged. This is a more specialist group found in institutions and organization which have name tags.

For the understanding of those not grounded in the subject of lift psychology, let us call them name tag inspectors. The members of this group will undertake an investigation of name tags in the lift. First they will stare at other lift members name tags. In case they cannot make out the letters, they will crane their necks and narrow their eyes and peer till they make out the name. Now most name tags are situated on the thorax region of the body or when hung, on the belly-ous region or most disturbingly in the case of many men on their belts in the front. Hence the incessant peering at the name tag can sometimes cause quite a bit of suspicion. However the inspector is not dissuaded by such minor concerns. If there a photo as well, the inspector will then stare at the photo and then at the actual person’s face, in order to compare the two, to check for signs of ageing or weight gain, etc. We are eagerly awaiting their findings.

In conclusion, this study opens up a plethora of advertising space opportunities. Lift ceilings, floors, doors, name tags, people’s shoes, stomachs and crotches.

To order the full report mail me at


Aushin said...

A sea change from the previous genre of writing but immensely enjoyable all the same. Its a very hilarious research please have more of them.

GT said...

Ahem... Let me be honest... I'm jealous that this post is on your blog instead of mine! Grrrrr

tejal said...

hilarious! especially group 1 - the lift carriers :)

Nandita Mundle said...

@ Aush, Tejal: Thanks so much.
@ GT: Its inspired by your post on lifts where people press the buttons harder to make it move faster :-D loving the jealousy.