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  1. Michael the Angel
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    Michael the Angel Member

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    Boredom VS Electrocution

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Michael the Angel, Jul 7, 2014.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/05/why-is-thinking-such-a-pain-electric-shocks


    "You might start off thinking about how much you'd like to eat a mint yoghurt and end up picturing a chainsaw slicing through the flesh of your right thigh."

    Yeah, I can't make that up. I read this today and I couldn't help but ask myself what I would do. Please read, and then attempt to tell me why you think people would rather light themselves up like Christmas before engaging in a little deep thought and solitary meditation. I'm at a loss.
     
  2. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I think people are just to used too being busy to just suddenly stop. It is no different from a habit. It take conscious effort to change a habit. When people are simply being tested, they have no motivation for that kind of change, so they easily get distracted.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Most people are idiots. There, mystery solved.

    (OK, I actually have a better, more thought-provoking answer than that, but I'll post it later since I don't have the time right now.)
     
  4. Michael the Angel
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    Michael the Angel Member

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    Yes and no. I don't have the details of the experiment on hand, but what if it was a blind study? I'm going to dig for a little more detail on their collection methods for this data...

    EDIT:

    Here's another article:
    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jul/03/electric-shock-preferable-to-thinking-says-study
    This one makes it out like the subjects knew that they were being monitored, which throws the blind study idea out the window. Would that mean your claim suggests that they would have jolted themselves because they couldn't stand not being busy, simply because they live life at such a hectic pace? I mean, that sounds like a valid answer maybe for the guy who hit himself 190 times in fifteen minutes, but what about the only 25% of women who elected to shock themselves?
     
  5. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    These articles sound very biased. "Hated thinking." Maybe they just hated sitting with nothing intellectual, like a text book, or another person, to engage with?
     
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  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Maybe the people in the experiment shocked themselves out of intellectual curiosity. Hell, I know I would have done it, and I love to think.
     
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  7. Michael the Angel
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    Michael the Angel Member

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    They came from the Guardian, mainstream media for the loss...
    But the study itself is where my focus is. Regardless of the wording, the facts still show that they elected to jolt themselves.

    That notwithstanding, giving them a magazine or a book, or even a video game would have taken the "boredom" part out of boredom vs electricity. The point of not giving them something to do was to see if, instead, they would just choose to inflict pain on themselves.
     
  8. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I can agree with this. Also, I have found that non-lethal electricity can be quite addictive. When I put an electric goat fence around a back yard to keep the large dogs in, we tested it multiple times; it's kind of fun.
     
  9. Michael the Angel
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    Michael the Angel Member

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    So the argument is essentially that one could still remain intellectual, and be working towards satiating intellectual curiosity by electrocuting themselves?
     
  10. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The argument is that this study alone does not sound like it is enough to support such a massive statement as "people hate thinking."
     
  11. Michael the Angel
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    Michael the Angel Member

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    Oh no, not at all. I'm not standing behind that in any way. My argument would be that the study shows people posses an innate curiosity, and, if given the choice between anything curious, even if it is slightly painful, and a lack of physical activity in entirety, people would choose to satisfy that curiosity as best they could.
     
  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    We'd have to see brain scans before, after, and during the shock, and also other observations of their almost state.

    If they were able to show that the brain was confused, then suddenly desperate and distressed, then the person shocked themselves, I might agree.

    But maybe the subjects were just curious. Also, mild pain can be addicting.
     
  13. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah that's fair, but that's not what they said :S
     
  14. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    What I do find is interesting is that 2/3 of men and only 1/4 of women chose the shock.
     
  15. Michael the Angel
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    Michael the Angel Member

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    Agreed; I was showing source on this issue to introduce the concept, not to defend the article itself.
    As far as pain being addicting, I can agree to that as well. As far as I know, there were no scanning techniques used to evaluate blood flow to the brain in any of the subjects, but that study would in fact be quite interesting.
    The difference in the percentage of men and women who shocked themselves is an interesting stat to me as well. Any ideas on a possible explanation?
     
  16. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Well, it's obvious that the true intellectuals in the group chose to shock themselves.*:D


    *kidding**
    **kind of***

    ***no really, I am
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Because it's in the mainstream news this is supposed to ensure the reporting is not biased? That's a stretch.

    Let's look at what the abstract actually says:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6192/75
    To go from "did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves" to, don't like to sit and think is an unsupportable leap.
     
  18. Michael the Angel
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    Michael the Angel Member

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    We know...

    As per the unsupportable leap itself:
    No one is supporting that leap.

    Perhaps people prefer to be active rather than passive because of environmental factors. Perhaps the studies were conducted right before lunchtime and everyone was giddy with excitement? Perhaps it was cold in the observation rooms and the subjects were trying to take their minds off that? It's not a secret that the study wasn't conducted very well,

    But the results were still thought provoking, even if there is next to no measurable data collected about their motives.
     
  19. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    To be unable to sit through such a short period is ridiculous. People are day dreaming during their school/working hours all the time. From the article it sounds like the subjects were strapped down. Being unable to move is very different from just thinking.
     
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