Tuesday, July 14, 2009

There's a probably an official psychological term for this

We bought toilet paper for the house a few grocery trips ago. As we were unpacking the groceries, I walked over to the stairs with the package of toilet paper and tossed it up.

About a week later, still sitting at the top of the stairs was this:

If you're wondering what that is, it's an almost empty bag of toilet paper rolls. What that means is that whenever one of us needed to replace the toilet paper, we would just go to the plastic bag at the top of the stairs, take a roll, and walk away. None of us bothered to move the package as we passed it in our everyday routine, probably assuming that someone else would eventually take care of it.

A few grocery trips later, we bought more toilet paper. Again, I threw this to the top of the stairs assuming it would be moved and taken care of by one of us. A few days later I captured this image:

Yes, that's another opened bag of toilet paper rolls, and at least one has already been removed. Once again, none of us bothered to move the bag to the bathroom and put it under the sink, where it belongs. Instead, we just left it there and ignored it until we needed it.

Isn't there some kind of term for assuming everyone else will take care of it? What about selective attention? Maybe I've discovered a new phenomenon?

Toilet paper avoidance syndrome (TPAS)?

1 comment:

  1. I think this falls under the Bystander Effect, when everyone thinks that someone else will do something.