People Prefer Electric Shocks to Being Alone With Their Thoughts

Dr. Peter Venkman reporting:

Subjects were wired up and given the chance to shock themselves during the thinking period if they desired. They'd all had a chance to try out the device to see how painful it was. And yet, even among those who said they would pay money not to feel the shock again, a quarter of the women and two thirds of the men gave themselves a zap when left with their own thoughts. (One outlier pressed the button 190 times in the 15 minutes.) Commenting on the sudden appeal of electricity coursing through one's body, Wilson said, "I'm still just puzzled by that."

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5 Responses:

  1. Jim says:

    This reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut Jr's short story Harrison Bergeron.

  2. gryazi says:

    TL;DR because the free source linked is all video: Did they get data on 'wait here I'll be right back' vs. 'sit here and be alone with your thoughts'? The phrase seems like it'd have a priming effect (makes me think of the negative aspects of introspection, isn't the phrase almost always used that way?) so naturally the author of the article is utterly vague there.

    ("In most, they asked participants to put away any distractions and entertain themselves with their own thoughts ...")

    • Not Frank says:

      From this summary it sounds like it was only 'sit here and be alone' -- it does include a link to the relevant journal article, though.

  3. So the next generation of phones will have electric shock capability?

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