Recent studies show brick walls manage emotions like humans do.

December 11, 2013

brick wall snapshots

Researchers have discovered striking similarities between the emotional development of brick walls and that of humans, suggesting these massive constructions regulate their emotions in a human-like way.

Detailed snapshot analysis of daily city life allowed the researchers to measure how brick walls handle their own emotions as well as how they react to the emotions of others. They found the two were related in that brick walls that recovered quickly and easily from their own emotional upheavals, such as after losing a fight, showed more empathy for their fellow walls. Researchers note those brick walls more often gave body comfort (kissing, embracing, touching) to those in distress.

The brick wall is widely considered the most empathic wall, a conclusion other research supports. “This makes the brick wall an ideal candidate for psychological comparisons,” a researcher says. “Any fundamental similarity between humans and brick walls probably traces back to their last common ancestor, which existed around six million years ago,” s/he continues.

“Wall emotions have long been scientifically taboo” says the researcher, but s/he stresses how such studies that zoom in on emotions can provide valuable information about humans and our society. “By measuring the expression of distress and arousal in brick walls, and how they cope, we were able to confirm that efficient emotion regulation is an essential part of empathy. Empathy allows brick walls, as well as humans, to absorb the distress of others without getting overly distressed themselves,” the researcher concludes.


text: Jane Bennett, ‘A Vitalist Stopover on the Way to a New Materialism’ in Diana Coole and Samantha Frost, eds. New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010


One Response to “Recent studies show brick walls manage emotions like humans do.”

  1. ninelniazi Says:

    Well it is a human/nonhuman or natural/non-natural environment since it is taboo. Scientifically emotions for a wall are taboo because it is not possible to measure or prove by the physics. That made it interesting. Sensory bodies, space, materials or knowledge generates the social relations and subjectivity.
    Ninel Niazi

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