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Would you rather sit and think or get shocked? You'd be surprised

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posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 01:08 PM
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A U.S. study published on Thursday showed that most volunteers who were asked to spend no more than 15 minutes alone in a room doing nothing but sitting and thinking found the task onerous.

In fact, some of the volunteers, men in particular, in one of the 11 experiments led by University of Virginia researchers preferred to administer mild electrical shocks to themselves rather than sit and do nothing.

"Many people find it difficult to use their own minds to entertain themselves, at least when asked to do it on the spot," said University of Virginia psychology professor Timothy Wilson, who led the study appearing in the journal Science. "In this modern age, with all the gadgets we have, people seem to fill up every moment with some external activity."

Nearly 800 people took part in the study. Some experiments involved only college students. The researchers then broadened the study to include adults who live in the same area.

They went to a church and farmer's market to recruit people from a variety of backgrounds and ages up to 77. And they got the same results: most participants regardless of age or gender did not like to be idle and alone with their thoughts.





The researchers did an experiment to see if the student volunteers would even do an unpleasant task rather than just sit and think. They gave them a mild shock of the intensity of static electricity.

Volunteers were asked whether, if given $5, they would spend some of it to avoid getting shocked again. The ones who said they would be willing to pay to avoid another shock were asked to sit alone and think for 15 minutes but were given the option of giving themselves that same shock by simply pushing a button.

Many did so, especially men: Two-thirds (12 of 18) administered at least one shock. One did it 190 times. A quarter of the women (six of 24) gave themselves at least one shock.

"I think they just wanted to shock themselves out of the boredom," Wilson said. "Sometimes negative stimulation is preferable to no stimulation."
www.reuters.com...

What does this say about society? I have no idea. I just thought this was an interesting study and kinda funny. I used to have one of those push button grill starters that would give you a electric shock and I remember shocking myself a few times with it. I think they should redesign the test with a low power taser to see if they get a different result. I have seen people shock themselves with those as well just for giggles.

So I ask what does this mean? Can people really not sit quietly with their own thoughts for 15 minutes?




posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 01:11 PM
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Huh, I have no problem doing this. It's pretty easy, and it's pretty sad that so many apparently can't do it.



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 01:16 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

Interesting find there Grim. I think this research finding is reasonable. I think that for many people, there is a need to take whatever brain activity and immediately translate it into some form of physical action. Our western society is positive result oriented, while the result of most peoples thinking processes is confusion. So they don't.

Now me, I think all the time about stuff and even with all my thinking, my result is very often, confusion still. I just live with it.




edit on 6-7-2014 by TerryMcGuire because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 01:26 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

The sad part is that people really think this proves anything. If i have a family and a job then yes you can shock me so i can leave. In this particular scenario there is no point to sitting in a room accomplishing nothing. There are situations that require deep thought and preparation but this study doesnt properly create those scenarios. This is called junk science. Courts use it all the time for placing blame on others



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 01:34 PM
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a reply to: TerryMcGuire

I just tried it. I found it a little difficult. Now I could have meditated but that isn't really the same as siting quietly with your thoughts.

When I travel out of the country I often find myself a quite scenic spot and just ponder things for a bit of time. (I never timed myself though) When I am stateside I don't think I ever do that. Maybe I am bored with the environment here or maybe it is something else I couldn't say, but as I just tried I do find it difficult to force.



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 01:36 PM
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What does this say about society? I have no idea.
a reply to: Grimpachi

All it means is that they should have turned up the juice on their participants.

A shock like static electricity is practically nothing but a tickle. The fact that one of them shocked himself 190 times confirms it to me.



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: darkwarrior

I think you misread the article. People didn't just take the shock so they could leave. People stayed and repeatedly shocked themselves one did it 190 times. So it wasn't like they took the shock so they could move on to other things as you seem to be under the impression of.



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 01:41 PM
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a reply to: Cancerwarrior

I did say I think they should try the study with a higher voltage. I would like to see the results.



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 01:52 PM
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originally posted by: Grimpachi


"Many people find it difficult to use their own minds to entertain themselves, at least when asked to do it on the spot," said University of Virginia psychology professor Timothy Wilson, who led the study appearing in the journal Science. "In this modern age, with all the gadgets we have, people seem to fill up every moment with some external activity."



Good Thread Grimpachi, S&F

Obviously these people have never learned to meditate or just relax and breathe. They need to look into yoga!

I have sat in many different waiting rooms and just watched the other people try to entertain themselves, even couples or those sitting with family/friends are constantly using their smartphones, or iPads. They don't even interact with the people they know.

How sad it is to not be able to sit and "appear" to do nothing.

Namaste,
YogaGinns
edit on 6-7-2014 by YogaGinns because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-7-2014 by YogaGinns because: need to proofread better



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

Being an introvert, I get annoyed if I don't get time alone with my thoughts. All the people that shocked themselves were probably the codependant extrovert types.



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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TPTB have won. This is exactly what they want. Not only do the people not think, they are afraid to think. My husband who is a teacher says that kids of this generation just don't know how.



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 02:20 PM
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originally posted by: calstorm
TPTB have won. This is exactly what they want. Not only do the people not think, they are afraid to think. My husband who is a teacher says that kids of this generation just don't know how.


Calstorm, amazing how different each of the generations are. I don't know how I would ever had made it through school without daydreaming most of the day, I'm in my mid-fifties.

Namaste,
YogaGinns
edit on 6-7-2014 by YogaGinns because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 02:40 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

I wonder if they asked their volunteers if they ever read books?



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 02:40 PM
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originally posted by: Grimpachi


"I think they just wanted to shock themselves out of the boredom," Wilson said. "Sometimes negative stimulation is preferable to no stimulation."


I am really hard-pressed to understand people who constantly complain that they're bored. I always figured that they're just boring people. I can't recall ever being bored in my life.

I can always find something to do, or something to think about with 15 minutes of precious downtime. That's a luxury to some people!

This study is a bit discouraging, but not at all surprising


I had a similar discussion with a friend once. He decided that people don't like being left alone with their thoughts because they don't like themselves as a person, and being left alone like that forces them to look inward. Thus the need for constant external stimulation and validation. I wonder if he was on to something?


edit on 6-7-2014 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 03:10 PM
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I love alone. I do. I am home alone most of the time. During holidays when I have less alone time, I find myself getting antsy, and easily peeved. Within 10 minutes of everyone leaving... I feel better again. I do know that there aren't many people like me out there. I know even more that feel they need constant interaction to be happy and I guess I feel about that the same way they feel about me being alone. It's weird to me and them.

The only surprising thing about this study (for me) is that the one person shocked themselves 190 times within 15 minutes. They probably need to have him/her on some kind of watch list lol. That could be the next Ted Bundy...


I would have liked to see a similar study with younger people (probably can't sign up juveniles to be shocked...eek) because even though I think a lot of us have forgotten how to entertain ourselves or that we don't always need entertainment, I think the children who have always had it would fair much worse than we did/do.



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 03:15 PM
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I am constantly thinking. I restructured my foods to be able to do this, learning which foods can cause doping. Three quarters of the prepared foods dope us, same with the foods the health agencies say is good for us. We need a little doping or we cannot handle stress or being alone. But come on.....they are going nuts with doping us. Well at least we aren't overthrowing our government. We won't be rocket scientists this way though, only those with the ability to break down and dispose of this chemistry or avoid it can do well with thinking properly and have creativity.

I purposely doped myself with food so I wouldn't have to think for many years so I could just fit into society here. I like talking on an equal level to the people here who also dope themselves so they can get along. We naturally crave these foods when needed. Some are a lot stronger than alcohol or drugs.....because you can consume lots of these comfort foods to feel good. I wonder if many people even know how it feels to be able to think well in this country or elsewhere.



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 06:04 PM
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This is pretty pathetic, if you don't want to contemplate real life for a quarter-hour, make up a story up or a fantasize something for yourself. It's not difficult to daydream up some self-entertainment. Hell, I've been doing it since I was a teen, daydreaming up little stories and imagining ideal vacations and whatnot.

I think what this study highlights is that creativity in us has flat-lined for the most part. 15 minutes of daydreaming can produce something as simple as a silly fantasy vacation imagining, or formulating a plot for a story to work on later, and yet, here we have a study showing us people have no idea how to do that. They'd rather be shocked than try.



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 06:10 PM
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I love my solitude. I earned it. I have friends, and enjoy socializing, but only in moderation.



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 06:10 PM
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It really does not surprise me at all.

People are so use to having every single minute of the day with something to occupy themselves with to keep them stimulated AND have been conditioned NOT to think for themselves.

We have the learning procedures in schools around so you learn how to "find" the answer to a problem with calculators or the internet instead of thinking and working through the problem.

People don't even know the simple act of counting change back from a transaction because the register just tells you what to give back. Buy something for $7.24 and hand them a $10 bill and after she punches the ten dollars into the register hand them a quarter...You will be there for an hour while they figure out the change and they may call a manager to help.

With smart phones, iPads, tablets, GPS navigation in cars and other items people don't even have to "think" anymore.


Brawndo's got what plants crave.....



posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 06:44 PM
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Wow, sad. Imagination, fantasy, thought...etc, so frowned upon in modern society. Let the TV shows, busy celebrities, and movies entertain for your now. Good luck as your brain vegetates. Wanna answer a question, just Google it! No research required. Outside stimuli from a digital source is becoming the only stimuli the brain is getting. Need to step back; such as go out without your cell phone, go hiking for example.




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