For Humans it’s Hard to sit silently doing nothing : Study

What do you do when you have nothing else to do? Talk to someone or Speak to Self; and keep fiddling with something. And the inability to sit silently doing nothing is so strong that humans can go to any lengths to be able to do that.

A new study by Researchers at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville found that many people would rather subject themselves to an unpleasant electrical shock than sit silently doing nothing.

The study, published in the journal Science, in a way tells that humans just can’t sit idle. If not absorbed in some physical or mental act, humans will speak to others or self.

How The Study is conducted :

Participants were told to entertain themselves only with their own thoughts for 15 minutes. During that time, they were allowed to either sit doing nothing, or they could sit for the same length of time and give themselves a shock.

What made the study interesting was that each participant was given the electric shock before the study, so that they can know the severity or the unpleasantness of the shock. The electric shock was so unpleasant that most of the participants said that they would pay money to avoid feeling it again.

Still, when forced to either sit alone with their thoughts or experience the shock to take their minds off of it, 25 percent of women and 67 percent of men opted for the shock. About half of the participants said later that they did not enjoy the experience and 90 percent said they couldn’t keep their mind from wandering.

Researchers see this as the necessity of our minds to have constant stimulation. This explains as to why meditation or the act of quit of introspection is so difficult for most humans. The researchers blame our culture for this inability. Does this mean we need some training in order to do quiet introspection? It seems so.