Eliza the Psychologist

Last week's question: Why do children like playing on swings and slides?

You know, even after spending some time looking on Google, I couldn't find a satisfactory answer to this question. If I may, however, I would like to propose the following partial solutions:
  • Swings and slides both offer the kid motion, and it's faster motion than they at that age can acheive themselves. So it offers a novel sensation for the children.
  • Along similar veins, at least the slide offers a new tactile experience as well. I can't think of that much else where you can feel solid material sliding underneath your fingers.
  • Slides and swings are usually located in playgrounds, where lots of children gather. The opportunity to play with other children form the last part of the appeal.
Some adults (like me!) still go and play on slides and swings, and personally I think it's for much the same reason. Of course, as herion_e pointed out, there's also the nostalgia for us, too.

Building on the last point above, this week's question is: why do humans have social needs?


  1. "Why do humans have social needs?"

    Do you really think you can google search an answer to that one? Isn't that, like, an entire college department?

    And on an unrelated note, while i'm commenting here, I should tell you that I found a really elegant riddle that I am itching to share:

    Person A wants to mail something to person B, but in their country, anything mailed will be stolen unless it is contained in a box that is padlocked. Both A and B have padlocks, but neither of them have keys to the other's locks. How does A get the parcel safely to person B?

    By the way, the solution is simple (which is what makes this riddle awesome), but back in the day it was a breakthrough in cryptography.

  2. I know this one. A sends thing to B in padlocked box. B sends it back, adding his own padlock. A then removes his, and sends it again, leaving B with a box with the item, locked with his own padlock. I believe the digital version is called public key cryptography. I can see your math class is getting interesting.

    These questions were never meant to have simple Google solutions, by the way. They're just things I'm curious about - if I can use Google or Wikipedia to find the answer, great. If not, I'll just give it some thought, and post what I think the answer is. Of course, if you think otherwise, you're free to write a comment and provide your own view.