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  • What makes something cool?

  • Like a vintage car, or a classic product,

  • or an iconic design?

  • You might say, who knows.

  • There’s just something to them.

  • This thing is totally subjective.

  • But all of those designs you just saw

  • were actually from the same guy -- Raymond Loewy.

  • And once you understand his theory of

  • what makes things cool, youll see it everywhere.

  • Raymond Loewy was an industrial engineer

  • who did more than maybe any other person to shape

  • the look of America in the 20th century.

  • His designs are everywhere:

  • logos, trains, buses, kitchens,

  • even outer space.

  • Loewy had a universal theory of cool:

  • Most Advanced Yet Acceptable”— or MAYA.

  • People want to be trendy, but they don’t

  • want to be weird.

  • Loewy’s trick was this:

  • to sell something surprising, make it familiar.

  • To sell something familiar, make it surprising.

  • How does this work in practice?

  • In 1932, Raymond Loewy presented a train design

  • to Pennsylvania Railroad.

  • His big idea was a single, sleek shell for the train

  • the shape of a long bullet.

  • But his initial design was met with great skepticism,

  • so he decided to introduce the idea in stages.

  • His came back with a version that was

  • only slightly more advanced than

  • Thomas the Tank Engine.

  • But his next design was more advanced,

  • and then more advanced...

  • until he finally persuaded the train executives

  • that his original, advanced version was acceptable.

  • This is the MAYA method.

  • He made the surprising feel familiar.

  • There’s scientific evidence to back up these claims.

  • One of the sturdiest findings in psychological history

  • is known as themere-exposureeffect.

  • In the 1960s, the psychologist Robert Zajonc

  • conducted an experiment where he

  • showed subjects nonsense words,

  • random shapes, and Chinese characters,

  • and asked participants to pick their favorites.

  • The subjects consistently chose the shapes and words

  • that they'd seen the most.

  • Exposure leads to familiarity

  • and familiarity leads to subconscious preference.

  • There’s even an explanation from

  • evolutionary psychology:

  • If you're a hunter/gatherer trawling a Savannah of Africa

  • and you see a plant or an animal that you recognize,

  • that's a good sign that it hasn't killed you

  • at least not yet.

  • So we have theacceptablepart of

  • Raymond Loewy’s theory -- that people naturally

  • gravitate towards familiarity.

  • But what about theadvancedaspect?

  • There is another powerful idea in psychology

  • called habituation.

  • That means, people get tired of

  • having to see the same thing over and over again,

  • like a vampire movie.

  • The power of familiarity fails

  • when people feel like they are being

  • forced to confront it.

  • Like having to hear that Ed Sheeran song

  • for the one-thousandth time.

  • No!

  • And for that reason, the power of familiarity

  • seems to be strongest when a person

  • is least expecting it.

  • A case study is Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature.

  • Spotify delivers a personalized playlist

  • of 30 new songs every Monday to its users.

  • Initially, the feature was supposed to include

  • entirely new music by new artists.

  • A bug in the algorithm accidentally let through

  • songs that users had already heard before.

  • So, engineers fixed the bug.

  • And to their astonishment, engagement with the feature collapsed.

  • They realized that people trusted new songs

  • when they recognized old ones.

  • To enjoy the surprising music,

  • they needed a dash of the familiar.

  • Raymond Loewy understood combining

  • the new and the old intuitively.

  • One of his last assignments was to help NASA design

  • the interior of one of it's first space stations:

  • Sky Lab.

  • He added creature comforts, like a shower

  • and a dining room table.

  • But his most ingenious idea was to

  • add a small window.

  • A viewing portal of planet Earth.

  • You have surely seen this viewing portal --

  • it’s in almost every movie about astronauts and

  • space.

  • It’s the perfect manifestation of MAYA:

  • a window to a new world can also show you home.

  • This is "You Are Here", a new video series about

  • the science of everyday life.

  • Tell us what you think in the comments.

  • I'm Derek Thompson, thank you for watching.

What makes something cool?

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B1 中級 美國腔

是什麼讓事情變得很酷? (What Makes Things Cool?)

  • 65 5
    小黄猫 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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