furniture psychology

Emotional Instability Caused by…Wobbly Furniture?!

Ladies and Gentlemen, friends and neighbors, prepare yourselves for a revelation that will completely alter the way you look at the wobbly furniture in your homes forever! A recent study, conducted by Psychologists from the University of Waterloo, Canada., indicates a strong correlation between wobbly furniture and the desire for emotional stability. I kid you not!

The venerated British newspaper, The Economist, published this study back in July, and claims the study is soon to be published in Psychology Science, the highest ranked peer reviewed, empirical journal in psychology today.

The Study I

Now, for the study itself. Conducted by David Kille, Amanda Forest and Joanne Wood of the aforementioned University of Waterloo, Canada., the study consists of close to a hundred volunteers who were asked to rate their preferences for various traits in a potential romantic partner. The choices included some traits which a previous study showed people to associate with a sense of psychological stability (such as being trustworthy or reliable), some that are associated with psychological instability (for example, being spontaneous or adventurous ) and some with no particular relevance to instability or stability. Participants rated the various traits on another one-to-seven scale, with one indicating “not at all desirable” and seven meaning “extremely desirable”.

The Study II

Additionally, the participants were asked to judge the stability of the relationships of four celebrity couples: Barack and Michelle Obama, David and Victoria Beckham, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, and Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. They did this by rating how likely they thought it was, on a scale of one to seven, that a couple would break up in the next five years. A score of one meant the relationship was“extremely unlikely to dissolve”. A score of seven meant they thought the relationship was “extremely likely to dissolve”.

The Results

Half the volunteers (a total of 47 romantically unattached undergraduate students) were asked to sit in a slightly wobbly (or “wonky” as the Economist put it) chair, next to a slightly wobbly table, while they completed the aforementioned exercise. The others were asked to sit in chairs next to tables that looked physically identical, but were not wobbly.

After both groups completed this exercise, the shocking results indicated very strongly to those conducting the study, that tinkering with feelings of physical stability leads to perceptions of social instability. Because, participants who sat in wobbly chairs at wobbly tables gave the celebrity couples an average stability score of 3.2, whereas those whose furniture did not wobble gave them 2.5.

What was particularly intriguing, though, was that those sitting at wonky furniture not only saw instability in the relationships of others but also said that they valued stability in their own relationships more highly. They gave stability-promoting traits in potential romantic partners an average desirability score of 5.0, whereas those whose tables and chairs were stable gave these same traits a score of 4.5. The difference is not huge, but it is statistically significant. Even a small amount of environmental wobbliness seems to promote a desire for an emotional rock to cling to.

Madison Seating Wobble-free Guarantee

Whether or not the “wobbly-ness” of ones table or chair will actually contribute to their emotional health in one way or another, one thing is certain, here at  all our furniture is put through rigorous psychological evaluation testing, and have been certified by a team of independent experts to be completely safe and  “wobble-free”.

Only kidding, but seriously, do you think this may be another classic case of over-dramatized new age psycho-babble,or a legitimate consideration will you suddenly think twice the next time you feel a slight wobble in your favorite chair…

Your thoughts?