Posted by & filed under Altruism Prosocial Behaviour, Industrial Organizational Psychlology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Interpersonal Attraction Close Relationships, Motivation-Emotion, Personality, Social Psychology, Social Psychology, Student Success.

Description: Ok imagine you are trying to get to know someone – someone with whom you might form a long term intimate relationship. Forget running your own version of a reality TV show (The Bachelor or the Bachelorette) but what sort of data would you want to gather as you contemplate moving forward with the relationship? How would you go about getting the data? Well you can certainly make use of your Emotional Intelligence skills and, by observing how the other person behaves in day-to-to situations you can get a sense of their personality profile, their character, and many other things. But what about seeing how they behave under pressure and stress? You may not have an opportunity to observe them in such situations and it is perhaps a bit too manipulative (and could make you look a bit calculating) to engineer stressful situations just to see how the other person might respond. Ah, but what about an escape room? Haven’t heard of an escape room? Well imagine that a small group of friends or perhaps just a couple book time in a room where they will, under time pressure, have to solve puzzles, riddles and sort out some sort of mystery all in a diminishing time frame. What sort of data would THAT provide, and would it be useful? After you have pondered those two questions read the article linked below to see how this worked for a few couples.

Source: What escape rooms can teach you about relationships, Alexandra E. Petri, The Washington Post.

Date: March 2, 2018

Photo Credit: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

Links:  Article Link –

So, what do you think? Would an escape room experience provide you with valuable data early in a potential ling term relationship or perhaps it would just be fun or not. As far as I have seen escape rooms are not really being marketed this way but, who knows maybe that will be part of their ongoing market expansion. At the very least it potentially gets us thinking about the data that we routinely track as we get to now people and how that data informs us about their personality, their EQ, their character, and their strengths and their weaknesses. No wonder escape room ARE being marketed as organizational team building opportunities!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What do day-to-day social situations and interactions tell you about people you are getting to know?
  2. Have you ever consciously taken note of how a new friend behaves in particular social situations (especially when their behaviour seems to tell you something about them you did not know before?
  3. Might there be a sort of “ethics” we should consider before we put our new friends to certain “tests”?

References (Read Further):

Shakeri, H., Singhal, S., Pan, R., Neustaedter, C., & Tang, A. (2017, October). Escaping Together: The Design and Evaluation of a Distributed Real-Life Escape Room. In Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (pp. 115-128). ACM.

Coffman-Wolph, S., Gray, K. M., & Pool, M. A. (2017). Design of a Virtual Escape Room for K-12 Supplemental Coursework and Problem Solving Skill Development.

Detwiler, S., Jacobson, T., & O’Brien, K. (2018). BreakoutEDU: Helping students break out of their comfort zones. College & Research Libraries News, 79(2), 62.