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"Technology-related anger" is increasing, at least according to a Master's thesis by German sociologist Dr. Marleen Brinks at the Fernuniversität Hagen. People yell at scanner cash registers or vent their frustration at their PCs.

Brink sent 340 questionnaires to people who spend at least 30 hours a week on computers, Heise Online, the German news site, reports. Of those surveyed, 62 per cent indicated to have sworn or yelled at their PCs; 31 per cent have hit the mouse on the table or thrown with it. About 1.5 per cent even admitted having pushed the monitor off their desk or dropped their PCs intentionally. Things get really sticky when an important deadline is near.

Brinks, who worked in at IT department herself and noticed the peculiar relationship humans have with their computers, is planning a dissertation in which she will deal with the issue in greater depth. She isn't the first one, of course. Even Microsoft commissioned some research from psychologists into technology-related anxiety. So far, it hasn't helped users calm down when the cursor freezes mid-screen while they are typing. ®

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