People chose to shock themselves rather than be alone with their own thoughts


Sal
+2
#1
I think this indicates something is seriously wrong with these individuals...they say no fun, I think messed up...



Ditch the phone and just sit alone with your thoughts? Many find that no fun, US study says



NEW YORK, N.Y. - Wouldn't you love to escape this busy world and just spend some time alone with your thoughts? Maybe not, says a study of volunteers who actually tried it.


Some even started giving themselves electric shocks as the minutes ticked by.


"I think many of them were trying to shock themselves out of boredom," said psychologist Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia. "It's just a sign of how difficult (being alone with one's thoughts) can be for people.... This isn't something that most people find really enjoyable."


At least, that's the case for people not trained in techniques like meditation, Wilson and co-authors say in a paper released Thursday by the journal Science.


In a series of experiments, college students left their cellphones and other distractions behind and spent six to 15 minutes alone in a sparsely furnished room on campus. They were told to entertain themselves just with their thoughts, or imagine doing one of three pleasant activities like hiking.


The experience was not exactly heaven. On a 9-point scale of enjoyment, their average rating was about in the middle. And about half the participants gave it a rating at the half-way mark or below.


In nonscientific terms, the overall verdict was: Eh.


Doing it at home proved no more enjoyable. When the researchers had 61 people from the community try it at home, about half admitted to cheating by doing things like checking their cellphones, writing or doodling. Their overall results were about the same as with the students.


The most startling experiment involved the electric shock. Students first shocked themselves in the ankle and rated how unpleasant that was. They were asked to imagine being given $5 and to specify how much they would pay to avoid another shock, or to receive one. Then they were told that if they wanted to, they could shock themselves again during their time alone, which ran 15 minutes.

Of the 55 participants, 42 said they would pay to avoid feeling the shock again. But once they were left alone, even some of these volunteers chose to shock themselves anyway; 12 of 18 men and six of 24 women.


Wilson was surprised by the overall results. When the experimenters began the study, "it seemed that it shouldn't be that hard for people to use (their brains) to entertain themselves," he said. "All of us have pleasant memories we can call upon, we can construct stories and fantasies."


Maybe the problem is that while pleasant thoughts pop up naturally while we're doing something like driving or exercising, it's hard to activate them on demand, he said.


"I think it's an issue of mental control. The mind is built to engage in the world and when you give it nothing to engage it, it's hard to keep one train of thought going for very long."


In any case, the result is probably not a consequence of modern-day life, Wilson said, because even in medieval and ancient Roman times, there were complaints that people don't take enough time to contemplate.


Jonathan Schooler, a psychologist at of the University of California, Santa Barbara, who didn't participate in the work, said he found the results "surprising and in some ways a disappointing statement about human nature."


Most people have interesting things to think about "so I don't understand why they find themselves such bad company," Schooler said.


"This is innovative new research, which means it's the beginning of our understanding of this phenomenon, and not the end," Schooler said.
 
Twila
+1
#2
I think it is the difference between introverts and extroverts and the varying shades of each.
 
Sal
+1
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by TwilaView Post

I think it is the difference between introverts and extroverts and the varying shades of each.

could be....I don't know because I am technically an extravert but my particular personality type (Myers-Briggs) needs a lot of space so I love solitary time

that was the hardest part for me about giving up smoking... I loved to light up and just stare out the window... or sit and watch the clouds with my cigarette...it was guaranteed down time.
 
Spade
+1
#4
Some find thinking too painful. Soma is the answer.
 
SLM
#5
Sounds like a pretty effed up experiment to me. One that might have gotten some individuals participating in a strange behaviour they might otherwise not have even thought to try.
 
Sal
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Sounds like a pretty effed up experiment to me. One that might have gotten some individuals participating in a strange behaviour they might otherwise not have even thought to try.

it WAS weird wasn't it...
 
SLM
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

it WAS weird wasn't it...

Psychologically speaking, I can kind of see the pain/pleasure threshold being exploited by people who are bored, even subconsciously. Think about snapping a rubber band on your wrist or tapping a pen on your chin or something like that, kind of snaps you out of the reverie that boredom can bring on. Wakes you up, you know. So I can see people absentmindedly doing something like that if they were really, really bored.

But I think giving yourself an electric shock takes more deliberate thought and planning, and I don't see it as something someone would do just randomly to stave off boredom. It has to be introduced to them, so I don't know how much it says about the lengths people will go when they're bored. I think it might suggest a few things about how freaky some people can get about pain, but not about how people deal with boredom.
 
Sal
+2
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Psychologically speaking, I can kind of see the pain/pleasure threshold being exploited by people who are bored, even subconsciously. Think about snapping a rubber band on your wrist or tapping a pen on your chin or something like that, kind of snaps you out of the reverie that boredom can bring on. Wakes you up, you know. So I can see people absentmindedly doing something like that if they were really, really bored.

But I think giving yourself an electric shock takes more deliberate thought and planning, and I don't see it as something someone would do just randomly to stave off boredom. It has to be introduced to them, so I don't know how much it says about the lengths people will go when they're bored. I think it might suggest a few things about how freaky some people can get about pain, but not about how people deal with boredom.

I would be interested in their age...my generation were not amped up and plugged in all of the time...we got bored and would do things like sit under a tree sharing fresh cherries and just talk... we did a lot of chatting. Studies are showing that children's brains actually need boredom and there are advantages:

Quote:

Unstructured time also challenges children to explore their own passions. If we keep them busy with lessons and structured activity, or they "fill" their time with screen entertainment, they never learn to respond to the stirrings of their own hearts, which might lead them to study the bugs on the sidewalk (as Einstein did for hours), build a fort in the back yard, make a monster from clay, write a short story or song, or organize the neighborhood kids into making a movie. These calls from our heart are what lead us to those passions that make life meaningful, and they are available to us even beginning in childhood, when we are given free rein to explore and pursue where our interests lead us.

Dr. Laura Markham > Why Boredom is Good for Your Child
 
DurkaDurka
#9
My smartphone keeps me sane during my commute every day, I like the escapism prior to a work day.

It's funny how things change though, prior to the world being available in your hand, I would buy newspapers for the trip.
 
SLM
+3
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

My smartphone keeps me sane during my commute every day, I like the escapism prior to a work day.

It's funny how things change though, prior to the world being available in your hand, I would buy newspapers for the trip.

I think print is all but dead, at least for newspapers and magazines.

Books I still prefer over e-Readers though.
 
DurkaDurka
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

I think print is all but dead, at least for newspapers and magazines.

Books I still prefer over e-Readers though.

I agree, the content is still there, it's just distrusted differently.

I like an actual book in my hand as well. I find I can't concentrate on the material if I have a gadget in hand- too many distractions.
 
petros
+1
#12
My thoughts are shocking. Why waste energy?
 
DurkaDurka
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

My thoughts are shocking. Why waste energy?

Publish them in hand written form, preferably with stick man illustrations.
 
SLM
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

I agree, the content is still there, it's just distrusted differently.

I like an actual book in my hand as well. I find I can't concentrate on the material if I have a gadget in hand- too many distractions.

I've always preferred soft cover to hard cover books. Probably because I've never been a 'sit up straight and read' type, more of a 'curl up in the corner of the sofa and read' type. To me an E-Reader is too much like a hard cover book. Maybe I could get used to it though, who knows.
 
petros
+3
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

Publish them in hand written form, preferably with stick man illustrations.

OK

 
DurkaDurka
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

I've always preferred soft cover to hard cover books. Probably because I've never been a 'sit up straight and read' type, more of a 'curl up in the corner of the sofa and read' type. To me an E-Reader is too much like a hard cover book. Maybe I could get used to it though, who knows.

I prefer soft covers as well, convenience factor mostly when I commute.

E-Readers have their place but unless you are a voracious reader it's hard to justify the investment.
 
SLM
+1
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

OK

You know, I was going to request that the stick man wear pants. Almost posted it too. Then I thought "Nawwww, don't need to do that!"

LOL
 
DurkaDurka
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

OK

LMAO!!! That's an impressive dong, excellent cock to body size ratio.
 
Sal
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

I've always preferred soft cover to hard cover books. Probably because I've never been a 'sit up straight and read' type, more of a 'curl up in the corner of the sofa and read' type. To me an E-Reader is too much like a hard cover book. Maybe I could get used to it though, who knows.

I've been considering it too for this summer. So easy to just download a library book rather than head on down there. Plus I wouldn't need reading glasses.
 
gerryh
#20
Quote:

Ditch the phone and just sit alone with your thoughts? Many find that no fun, US study says


This would be the equivalent of telling someone 30 years ago to ditch the book/newspaper and just sit alone with your thoughts.
 
petros
+2
#21
That was Zen, this is Tao.
 
Nuggler
+2
#22
They need to pee on an electric fence.

Quote: Originally Posted by TwilaView Post

I think it is the difference between introverts and extroverts and the varying shades of each.

So - like - people. In general

----------------------

""This is innovative new research, which means it's the beginning of our understanding of this phenomenon, and not the end," Schooler said."

If he keeps scraping all those molehills together, he may, at some time, have a tiny mountain.....or at least a gentle incline..

Quote: Originally Posted by SpadeView Post

Some find thinking too painful. Soma is the answer.

Did you misspell coma ?
 
Sal
+1
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

Did you misspell coma ?

maybe Soma leads to coma
 
Nuggler
+1
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

maybe Soma leads to coma

Soma came running


that's it for me in this thread. I know when to leave. sometimes
 
eh1eh
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

LMAO!!! That's an impressive dong, excellent cock to body size ratio.

Nah. He's on his knees.



Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

That was Zen, this is Tao.

I see what you did there. Nice one.
 
Twila
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post




So - like - people. In general



yeah, pretty much. Seems we need a study every so often to confirm.
 
tay
+1
#27
 
gopher
+4
#28  Top Rated Post
interesting study

But to me there's nothing more relaxing than taking a pleasant walk in the park amidst the trees, chirping birds, and fresh air. These are treasures that Nature gives for free. Nobody needs (or should need) the distractions of phones, traffic noises, or anything else that you have in a big city. As for the use of shock, well, I don't quite understand how anyone finds that thrilling in any way. Some yoga exercises do just fine for me.
 
tay
#29

wwwyoutubecomwatchvJd4cASkBAp0ampfeatureplayerdetailpage

 
Blackleaf
#30
There is another thing most people would prefer to do to themselves when alone rather than give themselves electric shocks.

And we all know what THAT is don't we, eh?

And that is when you put your palm face down on a flat surface with your fingers spread as wide apart as possible and you jab the point of a mathematical compass, or even a knife, in the gaps between each of fingers in turn as fast as possible without you jabbing a finger or even slicing one off.
 

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