The Loh Down On Science

This is either the best or worst gift ever!

Can a watch that approximates your time of death be a good thing?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

What do you buy the man or woman who has everything?  How about a trinket that reminds them of their mortality?  Introducing the Tikker, a watch that counts down the time until you die.  Fun!

The death date isn’t exact, just an approximation based on age and lifestyle.  And while it may seem macabre, the watchmakers believe it will motivate you to maximize life.  As in:  Get off the couch, time’s running out!

Does a constant reminder seconds are ticking down make life more meaningful?  It could go either way.  Research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that people who see the world in structured, unambiguous ways can derive meaning from mortality.  A death watch might encourage them to seize the day.  But those who see the world in shades of gray are more likely to be discouraged.

So if you're someone with a firm, unblurred grasp of reality:  Have we got a watch for you!  With a lifetime guarantee!

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


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