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Men Would Rather Give Themselves Electric Shocks Than Sit Alone With Their Thoughts
New York Magazine ^ | 7/3/2014 | Jesse Singal

Posted on 07/03/2014 3:25:18 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Most people don’t think it’s fun to sit alone with nothing to do but think — it’s part of the reason for obsessive phone-checking during idle moments. A new study in Science highlights just how unenjoyable this experience is: in short, very. To the point that some people will choose to shock themselves rather than sit alone with nothing to do for a little while.

The researchers conducted 11 experiments in a variety of settings and among a variety of age groups. In most of them, subjects were asked to simply chill out and think for 6 to 15 minutes — no phone, no book, no nothing — and then rate the experience. The participants found it very hard to do so, with rather high percentages saying it was unenjoyable and that they found their minds wandering in a distracting way. And when one group in one experiment was offered entertainment like listening to music or surfing the web, they reported that that was much more enjoyable than being alone with their thoughts.

Maybe not too, too surprising. But one of the experiments really upped the ante in a — sorry — shocking way.

In that one, participants were asked to rate the pleasantness or unpleasantness of a number of stimuli, including an electric shock, and then asked how much of $5 they’d pay to experience or not experience each of them again. Then, they were asked to sit alone with their thoughts, but told that if they wanted to, they could shock themselves by pressing a button (because why not?).

Among the participants who said they’d pay to avoid being shocked again (meaning those who found it particularly unpleasant), 67 percent of men and 25 percent of women nonetheless shocked themselves rather than face, without distraction, what is apparently a terrifying hellscape inside their heads. The researchers suggest the gender difference could come down to men having greater sensation-seeking tendencies than women — that is, they get bored more easily.

These studies, the researchers write, can help explain why some people seek out mindfulness training — simply to make idle moments, which are inevitable, less difficult, and less likely to lead to unpleasant ruminating or self-criticism.

“Without such training,” they write, “people prefer doing to thinking, even if what they are doing is so unpleasant that they would normally pay to avoid it. The untutored mind does not like to be alone with itself.” Amen.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Hobbies; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: males; psychology
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1 posted on 07/03/2014 3:25:18 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

That’s weird. I like to be alone with my thoughts. In fact tomorrow, I’m spending the entire morning at the beach - by myself.


2 posted on 07/03/2014 3:27:01 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: SamAdams76

Same here, thinking time is good time.


3 posted on 07/03/2014 3:29:53 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: SamAdams76
The participants found it very hard to do so, with rather high percentages saying it was unenjoyable and that they found their minds wandering in a distracting way.

Which probably is much why so many people are screwed up.

Personally, I put a high value to my alone time and thinking.

4 posted on 07/03/2014 3:34:22 PM PDT by A message
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To: nickcarraway

I always try to find quiet times to sit and think. It’s easy to observe that people hate to think. Just look at them.


5 posted on 07/03/2014 3:34:23 PM PDT by loungitude (The truth hurts.)
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To: nickcarraway

I would love to be alone with no talking or other distractions. When I’m alone now them other voices are real distracting.


6 posted on 07/03/2014 3:35:23 PM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin
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To: SamAdams76
I also like to be alone with myself and my thoughts.

Have always enjoyed dinner out by myself.

That said, I have never tried this electric shock. Might be more fun than I realized.

7 posted on 07/03/2014 3:36:37 PM PDT by RoosterRedux (Obama: Race is his cover...jihad is his game.)
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To: nickcarraway

Pansies read New York Magazine


8 posted on 07/03/2014 3:37:51 PM PDT by Ray76 (True change requires true change - A Second Party ...or else it's more of the same...)
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To: nickcarraway
Most people don’t think it’s fun to sit alone with nothing to do but think — it’s part of the reason for obsessive phone-checking during idle moments.

He has this backwards. The obsessive phone-checking has conditioned people to be stimulated at all times. The anxiety they feel while alone is a result of the brain looking for the next "hit".

9 posted on 07/03/2014 3:39:27 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: nickcarraway

The conscience will get you every time unless you’re mentally ill. Knowing Christ is the antidote to anxiety when alone. In fact, you’ll seek out quiet and isolation just to be with God and your thoughts.

It’s a pity that man, created by God, knows neither himself or his Maker.


10 posted on 07/03/2014 3:40:02 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth
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To: nickcarraway
“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” ― Blaise Pascal, Pensées
11 posted on 07/03/2014 3:43:09 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: nickcarraway

I would rather give myself an electric shock than read New York Magazine.


12 posted on 07/03/2014 3:43:45 PM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: nickcarraway

I was forced to have a lot of alone time My younger daughter died in 2004 and 2 years later my husband died. I really learned who were my friends and who were not. Frankly, I had rather be alone than be with fakes. I am doing fine with God’s help.


13 posted on 07/03/2014 3:44:59 PM PDT by MamaB
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To: nickcarraway

not me. don’t know where they dug up these “guys”.


14 posted on 07/03/2014 3:45:13 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: nickcarraway

it’s just so funny that so many people can’t be by themselves. i have always been introverted and individualistic. i prefer it. i like being around people but on my terms. otherwise i’m not.


15 posted on 07/03/2014 3:46:47 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: nickcarraway

Bizarre. Some time alone with your own thoughts in this increasingly intrusive world is a luxury.


16 posted on 07/03/2014 3:47:49 PM PDT by cdcdawg
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To: nickcarraway
Men Would Rather Give Themselves Electric Shocks Than Sit Alone With Their Thoughts

I like to do both.

17 posted on 07/03/2014 3:48:28 PM PDT by GreenHornet
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To: nickcarraway

Memories of the times you had
That’s the way you see yourself
You fight for your rights
You fight to survive

You come into this world
With nothing except yourself
You, you leave this world
With nothing except yourself

Do what you want
And how you want it
Feel it’s right, go out and do it
Think for yourself
And think for the best
Or you’ll go down just like the rest

You come into this world
With nothing except yourself
You, you leave this world
With nothing except yourself


18 posted on 07/03/2014 3:48:38 PM PDT by Rome2000
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To: nickcarraway

http://www.johnspeedie.com/healy/okay.wav


19 posted on 07/03/2014 3:51:26 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: nickcarraway

“Some” people.

As for myself I literally hate the idea of not having some time every day to be alone with my thoughts. These other people probably have bad consciences or under-developed brains and imaginations. Thinking is fun.


20 posted on 07/03/2014 3:53:55 PM PDT by cookcounty (IRS = Internal Revenge Service.)
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To: nickcarraway

Well, liberal men, certainly. In fact the electric shocks might be more productive.


21 posted on 07/03/2014 3:54:38 PM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: nickcarraway

Many Americans are so addicted to external stimulation that they can’t be alone with themselves for five minutes. This is not a new problem - it worsened with the advent of television then the Internet led to a real explosion.


22 posted on 07/03/2014 3:57:06 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ([CTRL-GALT-DELETE])
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To: nickcarraway

Sounds like Myers-Briggs INTJs were WAY underrepresented...


23 posted on 07/03/2014 3:58:08 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Mr. Jeeves

I love being alone with my thoughts. Other people are just annoying.

I’ve always been an introverted loner.


24 posted on 07/03/2014 3:58:20 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: nickcarraway

25 posted on 07/03/2014 4:00:57 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: nickcarraway

I feel free when I’m alone.


26 posted on 07/03/2014 4:04:42 PM PDT by jonathonandjennifer
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To: jonathonandjennifer

Same here.


27 posted on 07/03/2014 4:07:06 PM PDT by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: A message

I put a very high price on peace, quiet, and some solitude.


28 posted on 07/03/2014 4:08:24 PM PDT by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: nickcarraway

Wrong choice offered. This is better: Be alone with your thoughts, or watch Moochelle “Let’s Move” videos. Hell of a lot of men would be alone with their thoughts.


29 posted on 07/03/2014 4:11:06 PM PDT by twister881
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To: nickcarraway

...and I prefer bamboo shoots to the New Yorker Magazine...


30 posted on 07/03/2014 4:11:17 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools)
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To: nickcarraway

On what planet is this???


31 posted on 07/03/2014 4:12:02 PM PDT by RIghtwardHo
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To: MamaB

May God bless you and grant you peace.


32 posted on 07/03/2014 4:13:56 PM PDT by twister881
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To: SamAdams76

Personally I like sitting and thinking. What I hate is when the Little Crazy Woman asks me what I’m thinking about.

Maybe they’re speaking of Libtard men. There’s not much in the way of grey matter to hold much, and what it does hold is usually pretty sick.

Electric shock treatment is exactly what they need.


33 posted on 07/03/2014 4:16:03 PM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: nickcarraway

Yup. First thing, I looked for the word “study”. That told me that this is nothing but bullfeathers.


34 posted on 07/03/2014 4:17:24 PM PDT by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible. Complicit in the destruction of this country.)
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To: nickcarraway

Be alone with your thoughts...or listen to Hillary’s cackle on an endless loop.


35 posted on 07/03/2014 4:17:31 PM PDT by twister881
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To: nickcarraway

“Boots, boots, movin’ up an’ down again...”


36 posted on 07/03/2014 4:21:17 PM PDT by twister881
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To: SamAdams76

exactly. I do as well and even though I am an extrovert and enjoy people and love being in action, I really enjoy just being and also just thinking. An activity that would certainly serve many people especially in this day and age. Sadly people are like cattle.


37 posted on 07/03/2014 5:01:42 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: SamAdams76

“That’s weird. I like to be alone with my thoughts. In fact tomorrow, I’m spending the entire morning at the beach - by myself.”

Sounds wonderful. After years of practice I’m not bad socially, but it takes energy from me to be ‘on’ in that context. On the other hand, having time to think and reflect, and to be private, recharges me.

I hope you have nice whether at the beach.


38 posted on 07/03/2014 5:05:11 PM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: nickcarraway

That’s the difference between sheeple with the herding instinct, and intelligent, independent thinkers.


39 posted on 07/03/2014 5:06:12 PM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: nickcarraway

Heh! Not this guy!
My thoughts have been filled with all sorts of fun and interesting things like.....

What foregrip should I put on my AR-15?
Should I go 18 or 20 inches on the barrel length?
Should I use a basic bolt or the new Relia-Bolt?
Will a good MagPul stock be worth it?
Which armorer’s wrench should I get?

Etc....


40 posted on 07/03/2014 5:07:34 PM PDT by RandallFlagg (Uninstall Fascist Firefox. Get Pale Moon.)
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To: SamAdams76

My favorite time of day is when the sun has just gone down but still enough light in the sky to see the trees and fields.
I truly enjoy being able to just sit, think and watch eternity go by.
One of my best memories is about a evening a few years ago. I was working in the barn when it started to get well on into twilight, it had been snowing all day and I decide it was time for a break before going into the house to start supper.
I was sitting on a stump just outside the barn and it was so quiet you could actually hear the snow coming down through the trees. Shush, Shush; it was like listening to the angels breath.
I really feel compassion for any body who can’t sit quiet with just their thoughts.


41 posted on 07/03/2014 5:09:28 PM PDT by 5th MEB (Progressives in the open; --- FIRE FOR EFFECT!!)
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To: twister881

Thanks. I am doing great. My daughter died in 2004, then in May, 2006, my older brother was found dead by his tractor, then my husband died in July, 2006 and in January, 2007, my mom died. I am at peace about all of them. My daughter’s death was the very, very worst. I do not what people think about dreams, visions, etc but after Janice died I had many dreams about her. In all of them, she was happy, smiling and with a group of children. When we went to visit my mom and others for the first time, I was talking to her. She started asking me questions about her funeral and asked if she was at the funeral. I told her no but she started telling me all about it. She told where my husband, daughter and her kids sat, etc. My family are use to her knowing things. Oh, she also told what songs were sung. She was 102 then. When my brother died, my brother and my niece went to tell her but she already knew. She had already asked someone why he and some other people were crying. Then, when they walked in the door, she said, “Big Buddy is gone, isn’t he?”. We all called him that since he was 13 when I was born and my other brother was 9 so he was Little Buddy. All of us kids knew better than to misbehave because she would know it. Then after my husband died, I misplaced my keys and months earlier I had misplaced my glasses. I had turned the house upside down trying to find them. Then, one day I walked in the den and in the middle of the floor were my keys. I gave up looking for my glasses but one day, I walked in front of the stove and there they were on the floor where I had been walking for days. My daughter said he was telling me to wear them o I could see! My daughter and the employees have had unusual experiences with him at the company. They did not believe her when she had told them about stuff but after they had unusual experiences, they became believers. Now, I wonder if he was telling me to watch my vision because I am going to have to have eye muscle surgery. We have had a very interesting life. God still reigns!


42 posted on 07/03/2014 5:20:00 PM PDT by MamaB
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To: nickcarraway

Okay, this is a silly conclusion. More likely is that this was the only time folks could experiment with this shock-equipment and were basically experimenting on themselves. You can sit and think any time, but how often do you get the chance to play with stuff like this and test your own endurance? People like to play with stuff. Especially guys.


43 posted on 07/03/2014 5:24:17 PM PDT by A_perfect_lady
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To: SamAdams76

I’m spending the entire morning at the beach - by myself.”

My daughter made what is called a “sit upon” over 45 years ago when she was in Camp Fire Girls. Just a square of oilcloth folded over with the edges bound together by fringe. Every now and then I take it and drive down to Galveston in the wee hours of the morning, sit on it in the sand and watch the sun come up. My grandson fondly calls it “Grams navel contemplation time”. Restores my sanity.


44 posted on 07/03/2014 5:31:27 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: nickcarraway
Too many people don't like to think because they have never been taught how or even know what to think about.

You would be hard pressed to get your feet wet in the deep pool of most people's thoughts. Witness what passes for pop culture.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

45 posted on 07/03/2014 5:37:07 PM PDT by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: nickcarraway

New York Magazine should like hire someone to like edit Jesse Singal’s “prose.”


46 posted on 07/03/2014 5:52:21 PM PDT by jonatron (This is the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave.)
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To: SamAdams76

Same here - I live in my head. That article must be about liberals- my experience is that they don’t think past their noses.


47 posted on 07/03/2014 6:09:08 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: nickcarraway
What a crock of shiite. Must be a study of east coast city dwellers.

I love and crave quiet time. Thinking through some hobby issue or just zoning out.

I hate yammering just for the sake of noise, thought the wife seems to love it. Causes friction at times when I want silence and have nothing to say.

48 posted on 07/03/2014 6:10:07 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: nickcarraway
Ah yes, "New York" magazine.

That certainly explains such a stupid article.

NYC is indeed a foreign country.

49 posted on 07/03/2014 6:12:01 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: SamAdams76

That’s weird. I like to be alone with my thoughts.


Is there anything more annoying than being around someone who has to fill every second with empty chatter?


50 posted on 07/03/2014 6:16:20 PM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse (Why do you need a fire extinguisher when you can call the fire department?)
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