Trinkaus -- An Informal Look (Overview and Index)

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Trinkaus -- An Informal Look (Overview and Index)

A glance at the colorful research of an under-publicized scientist

by Alice Shirrell Kaswell, with research assistance from Rachael Moeller Gorman


This page is an overview (with an index) of the 10-part series. Click on the following links to see the body of the article:

Part 1 -- The Early Years
Part 2 -- An Approach to Stop Lights
Part 3 -- Matters of the Mall
Part 4 -- Time Hangs Heavy?
Part 5 -- Motorists’ Use of Sirens
Part 6 -- Out Which Way
Part 7 -- The Celebrated Brussels Sprouts
Part 8 -- Caps, Chapel Attendance, and Perceptions of Ground Beef
Part 9 -- Heavy Going, With Integrity and Gloves
Part 10 -- Women in Vans ...and... Into the Future

John W. Trinkaus is the rare researcher whose interests and activities suggest the famous passage in Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Walrus and The Carpenter”:

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing-wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings."

For Trinkaus, of the Zicklin School of Business, Bernard M. Baruch College, City University of New York, such a diversity of topics is the norm. During the past 25 years he has conducted research on shoes -- and trains -- and bakery wrapping-tissues -- on Brussels sprouts -- and business students -- and why commuters carry attaché cases -- and whether most people wear baseball-type caps with the bill facing backwards. These are just a few of his interests.

John Trinkaus has published a modest corpus of reports, of which the 86 papers described below are a healthy sampling. On many topics, Trinkaus returned over and again, both to replicate his findings and to delve deeper.

For a full appreciation of John Trinkaus’s body of work, one must go to the library and read the original reports in their full detail. For those who have yet to enjoy that experience, this article is a quick, and rather haphazard, sampling of what to expect.


INDEX: An Informal Guide To Selected Trinkaus Research Topics

(The index below is a roadmap, of sorts, to the articles cited in the ten-part body of this article. Each number here corresponds to one of the citations presented in the body.)

Baseball-type caps, manner of wearing -- 62, 69
Bicyclists, 22, 28
Biorhythms -- 7
Brussels sprouts, taste preference for -- 54
Business students’ feelings about the academy and themselves -- 49
Buzzwords in political commercials -- 80
Cases, attaché, opening -- 36
Cases, attaché, locks -- 48
Cases, document -- 8, 36, 48
Cell phones, drivers’ use of -- 46
Chapel attendance (drop-in) -- 66
Class session cancellations, students’ erroneous reporting of -- 86
Cookies said to be baked by AIDS patients, misgivings about eating -- 40
Course grades, assessing probability of attaining specific -- 27

Diagnostic medical procedures, estimating costs of -- 35
Doors, open versus closed, behavior of people regarding -- 44, 45
Elevators, communications in -- 12
Empty beverage containers, returning -- 14, 18
Expensive versus inexpensive cars, behavior of owners of -- 2
Fads of yesteryear -- 16
Flea market -- 3
Fruits and vegetables, business students’ consumption of -- 53, 54
Games, arcade -- 9
Games, video -- 9
Gloves, lost -- 78
Health care, constitutionality of -- 56
Husbands with working wives -- 25
Integrity, the word -- 73
Jurors, potential, distinction between willing and unwilling -- 1
Laps, swimming -- 61
Littering -- 18
Lodging discount coupons -- 47
Looks, another -- 7, 11, 19, 28, 29, 32, 38, 45, 69, 74, 81, 84
Look, final -- 72
Look, follow-up -- 58
Look, further -- 31
Look, an informal -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 33, 34, 35, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 67, 68, 70, 73, 75, 76, 77, 79, 80, 82, 83, 85, 86
Manners, business -- 33
Medications prescribed by physicians, college students’ knowledge of and/or desire to know more -- 50
Mentalists, preconditioning of an audience by -- 4
Motor vehicle license -- 5
Multiple choice test questions, opinions about whether to change answers of -- 52
Name recognition -- 30, 38
Numbers, thinking with -- 4, 41
Opinions, contemporary -- 26, 37, 39
Parking areas, crowds in -- 60
Parking areas, cutting through -- 65
Parking areas, for handicapped -- 13, 15
Parking violations -- 13, 15
Physical disabilities, disclosure of -- 24
Physicians’ offices, waiting time in -- 20
Probability, verbal characterization of -- 27, 32
Queasiness -- 42
Railroad departure service, varying quality of -- 55
Railway terminals -- 9, 45, 51, 55
Sirens, use of -- 34
Sport shoes, color preference for -- 51
“Stuff,” personal -- 78
Supermarket checkout, counting of items at -- 43, 59, 84
Supermarket checkout, delays at -- 70

Tongs and tissues, bakery -- 76
Traffic, intersections, blocking -- 82
Traffic, left-turning -- 75, 81
Traffic, shopping center parking violations -- 85
Traffic, school zone speed limit compliance -- 68, 74, 77
Traffic stop lights -- 10, 19, 22, 28
Traffic stop signs -- 6, 11, 31, 58, 72, 79
Traffic, yielding to -- 21, 29
TV game show contestants, handicapped -- 17, 83
TV game show contestants, married -- 25
TV, advertising of products and the handicapped -- 64
Uncooked ground beef, shoppers’ perceptions about -- 67
Video display terminals, perceptions of -- 23
Vision tests for driver licensing, honesty of people taking -- 5
Winter storms, weather persons’ predictions of -- 63
Work arrival time -- 2
Work departure time -- 2
Women driving vans -- 79, 81, 82, 85
Yes, the word -- 71


This page is an overview (with an index) of the 10-part series. Click the links at the top of the page to see the body of the article.


© Copyright 2003 Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

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