Inspired by his 12-year-old son’s advice, University of British Columbia psychologist Alan Kingstone used the beloved Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual in an experiment.
According to Discover’s Not Exactly Rocket Science blog, the psychologist was studying why people “automatically look where other people are looking,” trying to figure out if we automatically follow other people’s eyes or if we orient on the middle of people’s faces. The D & D monster manual offered a variety of images to test how we see. Check it out:
He thought it would be easy to discriminate between the two ideas: just use the Monster Manual. This book will be delightfully familiar to a certain brand of geek. It’s the Bible of fictional beasties that accompanied the popular dice-rolling role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Regularly updated, it bursts with great visuals and bizarrely detailed accounts of unnatural history. It has differently coloured dragons, undead, beholders … Levy knew that the Manual contained many nightmarish monsters whose eyes are not on their faces. If people still looked at the eyes of these creatures, it would answer the question.