Have you ever noticed how much more difficult it can be to negotiate a broken escalator than a moving one? I know I do — suddenly putting one foot in front of the other is no longer natural and something you have to really concentrate on, and it seems the more you concentrate, the harder it becomes.
A bunch of neuroscientists think they know why. It’s called ‘disassociation between knowledge and action.’ We’re so conditioned to walking that bit faster as we approach an escalator that we throw ourselves into a stumble, and we can’t quite shake off the suspicion that the thing is going to start moving, hence our nervous hesitation.
Nice to know there is brainy science behind making a prat of yourself.