The Theory Of Thrill

Innovation28 February 2019

AS A THRILL ENGINEER, PROFESSOR BRENDAN WALKER HELPS MAJOR THEME PARKS DESIGN RIDES THAT ARE AS EXCITING AS POSSIBLE.

“Theoretically, there is a maximum amount of thrill that humans can feel, which means designing a thrilling experience can be an exact science,” says Brendan, who formulated the Walker Thrill Factor to prove it.

His formula states that we achieve a high thrill factor when we experience a massive and rapid spike in both pleasure and arousal. As an equation, that can be shown as the rate of change of both pleasure and arousal multiplied by the size of the change in both. Got that?

TF = The Thrill Factor at a specific moment in time

The triangle is a scientific term called ‘delta’ which denotes a change in whatever is written after it

V = Valence (the scientific term for pleasure), ie whether we like something or not. This is closely linked to dopamine

A = Arousal, how much our body is pumped up and ready for action. This is closely linked to adrenaline

|xxxx| = is a scientific term called ‘modulus’, which basically means ‘how big it is’.

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