People Choose Electric Shocks Over Sitting Quietly for 15 Minutes

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39221

    People Choose Electric Shocks Over Sitting Quietly for 15 Minutes

    Oh, how the little self resists being robbed of distractions ... If folks feel this way about being alone with their thoughts for a few minutes, how about staring at a wall?

    A scientific study I heard about ...



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

    People, and especially men, hate being alone with their thoughts so much that they'd rather be in pain. In a study published in Science Thursday on the ability of people to let their minds “wander” — that is, for them to sit and do nothing but think — researchers found that about a quarter of women and two-thirds of men chose electric shocks over their own company.

    “We went into this thinking that mind wandering wouldn’t be that hard,” said Timothy Wilson, University of Virginia professor of psychology and lead author of the study. “People usually think of mind wandering as being a bad thing, because it interrupts when you’re trying to pay attention. But we wanted to see what happens when mind wandering is the goal.”

    Wilson didn’t think his subjects would struggle with the task. “We have this big brain full of pleasant memories, and we’re able to tell ourselves stories and make up fantasies. But despite that, we kept finding that people didn’t like it much and found it hard.”

    The researchers tried everything they could think of to make the task of being task-less easier. “We tried to give them time to prepare,” he said, “so they could think about what they were going to spend their time thinking about.”

    But even going into the exercise with a plan — an upcoming vacation to plot, for example, or a particularly dreamy celebrity to daydream about — didn’t seem to help participants enjoy their time alone. Those who completed the study at home often admitted to cheating by picking up their phones or a book, and many reported that the six to 15 minutes spent thinking had been unpleasant.

    When it became clear that people were desperate for distractions, the researchers decided to give them one. “It dawned on us: If people find this so difficult,” Wilson said, “would they prefer negative stimulations to boredom?” He gave them access to a device that would provide a small electrical shock by pressing a button. It wasn't a very strong shock, as the device was built around a 9 volt battery. “But we weren’t even sure it was worth doing,” he said. “I mean, no one was going to shock themselves by choice.”

    But they did.

    More here ...

    Last edited by Jundo; 04-28-2015, 04:37 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Kyonin
    Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
    • Oct 2010
    • 6739

    #2
    Hi Jundo,

    This actually is pretty helpful because I can understand a lot of things now. I used to think Mexican males refused to meditate... but it might be a male thing.

    No wonder why I only have ladies in my local sitting group.

    I'll keep reading. Thanks, Jundo!

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

    Comment

    • Byokan
      Treeleaf Unsui
      • Apr 2014
      • 4279

      #3
      Originally posted by Kyonin
      ...This actually is pretty helpful because I can understand a lot of things now. I used to think Mexican males refused to meditate... but it might be a male thing.

      No wonder why I only have ladies in my local sitting group.
      Hi Kyonin,

      maybe you could get a 9-volt battery and offer electric shocks to attract more men to the group.

      Gassho
      Lisa
      sat today
      展道 渺寛 Tendō Byōkan
      Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

      Comment

      • Mp

        #4
        Wow ... very interesting, thank you Jundo.

        Gassho
        Shingen

        #sattoday #without battery shocking technic

        Comment

        • Troy
          Member
          • Sep 2013
          • 1318

          #5
          It is kind of funny picturing them shocking themselves, lol!


          ..sat2day•

          Comment

          • Kotei
            Treeleaf Unsui
            • Mar 2015
            • 3928

            #6
            Would love to see this study on a larger group of people and read more about the setting.

            I am not free of, what the people in this study experienced.
            I have the same tendency in profane life.
            Coming home, willing to relax from the turbulences of the day, doing what at first?
            Turning on the TV or some music to shoo away the silence and with this my own thoughts.

            So, after the initial laugh on them, I've had a big one about myself.

            Personally, I see the interpretation of the found behaviors in more, different ways, but I know less facts, than the scientists.

            People got introduced to the shocking device, having to take one shock, as it was said to "remove the curiosity factor".
            They learned, that there is no big pain issue.
            This might attract the attention to the shocking device, inducing the thought, that this session has to do with this device and doing it "right" might have to do something with the device.
            Maybe they just wanted to learn, if it does anything to their thinking? (curiosity?)
            Maybe people just want to be useful, or just want to "do it right". (anticipatory obedience? Something like an indirect Milgram experiment?)
            Maybe they just want to be like all the others in the herd and think that has to do with that device (herd instinct?).
            Maybe the males are not less willing to "loose control", but culturally more willing to accept a piece of tech as help?

            And I really would like to talk to the guy, shocking himself not around 7 times like most others, but 190 times in that few minutes.

            Gassho,
            Ralf sattoday.
            Last edited by Kotei; 04-29-2015, 08:49 AM.

            義道 冴庭 / Gidō Kotei.
            Being a novice priest doesn't mean my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

            Comment

            • Kyonin
              Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
              • Oct 2010
              • 6739

              #7
              Originally posted by raindrop
              Hi Kyonin,

              maybe you could get a 9-volt battery and offer electric shocks to attract more men to the group.

              Gassho
              Lisa
              sat today
              HAHAHAH And maybe some nachos

              Gassho,

              Kyonin
              #SatToday
              Hondō Kyōnin
              奔道 協忍

              Comment

              • Troy
                Member
                • Sep 2013
                • 1318

                #8
                Originally posted by Kyonin
                HAHAHAH And maybe some nachos

                Gassho,

                Kyonin
                #SatToday
                What? Nachos? I am in! I do not require electric shock though, lol


                ..sat2day•

                Comment

                • Myosha
                  Member
                  • Mar 2013
                  • 2974

                  #9
                  Hello,

                  Constant stimulation may be a condition of addiction.

                  Metta to all.


                  Gassho
                  Myosha sat today
                  "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

                  Comment

                  • Meishin
                    Member
                    • May 2014
                    • 805

                    #10
                    I see people every day who have trouble being alone. Some turn on the TV just for company. Some pick at their skin or chew their nails. Being alone with their thoughts is not pleasant. It's not funny.

                    Gassho
                    Meishin
                    Sat today

                    Comment

                    • Troy
                      Member
                      • Sep 2013
                      • 1318

                      #11
                      I hope I did not come off as being callous in any way. That was not my intention.


                      ..sat2day•

                      Comment

                      • Meredith
                        Member
                        • Nov 2014
                        • 86

                        #12
                        Very interesting--thanks Jundo.

                        Gassho,
                        Meredith

                        SatToday (no shock necessary)

                        Comment

                        • Hotetsu
                          Member
                          • Jun 2014
                          • 230

                          #13
                          My wife would fit into that category of those who would rather shock themselves.

                          Gassho,
                          Hotetsu

                          #SatToday
                          Forever is so very temporary...

                          Comment

                          • Troy
                            Member
                            • Sep 2013
                            • 1318

                            #14
                            Neither can my wife. She has tried to meditate a couple times. I think she sees the value in it because of what it has done for me. She can only last a couple minutes. But, I remember what a miracle it was the first time I lasted that long. I love this quote by Saadi:

                            "Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy."





                            ..sat2day•

                            Comment

                            • Joyo

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Troy
                              I love this quote by Saadi:

                              "Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy."





                              ..sat2day•




                              Gassho,
                              Joyo
                              sat today

                              Comment

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