Why our brain craves pattern-seeking rituals like Wordle

Why our brain craves pattern-seeking rituals like Wordle

1/29/2022 9:57:00 AM

Why our brain craves pattern-seeking rituals like Wordle

The brain-teasing puzzle Wordle is the latest form of pandemic-era self-soothing.

has become a kind of ritual for its players, who pilgrimageStory continues below advertisementHumans’ brains are designed for pattern-seeking in order to help us make sense of the world, said Dimitris Xygalatas, an anthropologist and cognitive scientist at the University of Connecticut. When humans aren’t able to find patterns, we can experience stress, he said. Something like doing Wordle daily can give people a sense of regularity and a sense of control.

Story continues below advertisementNebraska-based pastor April Fiet began playing Wordle three weeks ago and was so delighted by it that she crocheted a completed Wordle grid.Story continues below advertisement“I did sourdough starter, I bought chickens,” she said. “I observed the ‘Tiger King’ phenomenon. Our routines have been so disrupted, and it’s helped people think intentionally how to think through their daily life.”

Read more: The Washington Post »

Teen pilot reaches Kenya in round the world quest

A 16-year-old schoolboy who is on a quest to become the youngest person to fly around the world solo, landed his small plane in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, on Wednesday. Read more >>

what the fuck is wordle? By lowering the bar to score a point, such games offer an easy, therapeutic way to improve the player’s self-esteem!

Can Puzzles and Games Like Wordle and Scrabble Keep Your Brain Young?Playing puzzles like Wordle has benefits, but do they go beyond getting better at solving them?

Wordle 223 Answer, Hints and 5 Letter Words to Help You OutToday's Wordle is out, and Newsweek has complied a series of helpful clues, tips, and five-letter words to help you solve today's puzzle.

The Sports World Gets in on ‘Not Wordle’ Trend⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️ ⬛️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬛️ ⬛️⬜️⬛️⬛️⬛️ ⬛️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬛️ ⬛️⬛️⬛️⬜️⬛️ ⬛️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬛️ ⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️ ⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️ ⬛️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬛️ ⬛️⬛️⬜️⬛️⬛️ ⬛️⬛️⬜️⬛️⬛️ ⬛️⬛️⬜️⬛️⬛️ ⬛️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬛️ ⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️ Not Wordle, just an iconic logo Got it in 4 rookies Your tweet was quoted in an article by si

Twitter zaps spoilsport bot that ruined Wordle games | Digital TrendsAn automated Twitter account that posted Wordle spoilers to people who shared their daily results has been kicked off the platform. RT wordle218 Creep tried to ruin wordle222 Wordle216

It’s ‘Not Wordle.’ It’s brand Wordle? Meme has Twitter accounts jumping on game craze.It's definitely not Wordle!

Squirdle is Wordle, but for Pokémon | Digital TrendsA new Wordle clone with a Pokémon theme just released and tasks players with guessing Pokémon names.

And in Brooklyn, a software engineer said: “Let there be Wordle!” And there was Wordle. Big-time. In recent weeks, the online game has become a kind of ritual for its players, who pilgrimage daily to a website to solve a five-letter puzzle. After completing the game, many share their score with their friends, along with the grid of yellow and green squares that show how many tries it took them to solve the puzzle. The game with no ads in late 2021 by Josh Wardle for his partner as a way to kill time during the pandemic. Story continues below advertisement While rituals are often thought of in religious contexts such as prayer, a pilgrimage to Mecca, a Jewish Seder, baptism and communion, several scholars said there is no agreed-upon definition for a ritual. But many say ancient and modern rituals in both religious and secular contexts serve a powerful role in people’s lives, especially during uncertain times. Advertisement Humans’ brains are designed for pattern-seeking in order to help us make sense of the world, said Dimitris Xygalatas, an anthropologist and cognitive scientist at the University of Connecticut. When humans aren’t able to find patterns, we can experience stress, he said. Something like doing Wordle daily can give people a sense of regularity and a sense of control. Xygalatas’s studies have found that people who participate in collective rituals have lower levels of cortisol that correspond with lower stress and are often able to build social-support networks. This is why, he said, communal rituals — such as cheering for health-care workers from apartment balconies — took off in the early months of the pandemic. Story continues below advertisement “Our mind craves regularity,” he said. “It’s one of the main ways we try to fight anxieties.” Advertisement Nebraska-based pastor April Fiet began playing Wordle three weeks ago and was so delighted by it that she crocheted a completed Wordle grid. “Even though it’s not an overtly religious practice, there’s something spiritual about the discipline of doing something every day,” she said. “It’s created a little community and gives us something to center around.” Now every morning, Fiet wakes up and completes a Wordle while her husband makes coffee — her reward when she finishes. Only one Wordle puzzle is released each day, and she likes that it’s “a controlled amount of fun” that she can share with Facebook friends. Story continues below advertisement “The Sacred Pulse: Holy Rhythms for Overwhelmed Souls,” described herself as a “pandemic stereotype.” “I did sourdough starter, I bought chickens,” she said. “I observed the ‘Tiger King’ phenomenon. Our routines have been so disrupted, and it’s helped people think intentionally how to think through their daily life.” Advertisement Rituals also allow people to engage in forms of play, one of the essential activities that affirm our humanity, said Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, who leads Kol Shalom in Rockville, Md. Rituals take us out of the mundane and remind us of something greater than ourselves, he said. Story continues below advertisement “Playing Wordle and things like that are things that can distract us from the anxieties ... and reminds us of play,” Steinlauf said. “What religion does with that is, takes that same gesture and does a deep dive into that. It’s not just distraction but a window into something more.” From spellcasting to podcasting: Inside the life of a teenage witch When he asks people whether they have rituals, he added, they often say their morning coffee is their ritual, “a way of grounding yourself in the day with something warm and nurturing.” In Judaism, the Sabbath is a ritual that allows people to let go of the stress of the week and eat with family and friends. Advertisement “The message that comes from religion is that breaking up the stress is not just a nice thing to do, it’s an essential thing to do,” Steinlauf said. “Our souls need reprieve from the constant barrage of stresses that come in life. In religion, we go into, why do we need that?” Story continues below advertisement With social distancing and houses of worship closing and going virtual, people have found rituals that let them do something simultaneously with friends and family. Some played the game Among Us, joined live yoga workouts or watched the show “Ted Lasso.” Wordle allows people to play individually and share their scores communally, generally with an understanding that they not give away the answer to the puzzle. Humans have long created new rituals when old ones fail to work the way they once did, said Michael Norton, a professor at Harvard Business School who has studied rituals. Advertisement “Wordle is something that people can collectively get on board with, have a shared understanding of and a similar experience with,” Norton said. “One of the reasons we go to sporting events is we have the communal experience. We can scream in ways we normally can’t.” Story continues below advertisement As more business leaders decide that the hybrid system of remote and in-person work is here to stay, several recent start-ups have focused on helping companies create better social connections virtually. Kursat Ozenc, a lecturer at Stanford University on organization and culture, said some people have tried to create rituals in Zoom meetings, including sending people a kit they can make together, such as boba tea. Others will ask team members to answer a check-in question on how they’re feeling using emojis.