Would you choose pain over boredom? When is the last time you were alone with your thoughts and totally at peace with it?
Well, it is official: most men would rather shock themselves than be alone with their thoughts. A new report from psychologists at Harvard University found that when men and women were left to sit by themselves for 15 minutes with no distractions apart from a machine to deliver light electric shocks, a massive two-thirds of the men and a quarter of the women chose the electricity over sheer solitude. Seriously.
For me, the thought of being locked in a room by myself for 15 minutes sounds awesome. Even in the toilet, my kids hunt me down. The house is always a surround-sound stereo of screaming, crying, fighting, needy (and gorgeous) little voices.
I am a daydreamer, so I could hang out with myself. I think. I am that person who likes going to the movies by herself. Upgrade me to Gold Class and life is great. Throw in nachos and those recliner seats and it is one of the greatest days of my life.
Anyway, back to this study. Individuals were placed in sparsely furnished rooms and asked to put away their belongings, such as mobiles and pens. They were then asked to sit between six and 15 minutes in the room by themselves.
They could push a button if they wished, and that would give them a slight electric shock. A total of 67 per cent of men and 25 per cent of women chose to inflict the pain upon themselves rather than sit alone.
We really are goldfish with the shortest of attention spans. Many of us find it almost impossible to focus for more than a very short time. One unusually bored man pressed the button to give himself a shock 190 times. Sounds crazy. I probably dated him back in the day.
And what would I be daydreaming about in solitary confinement? Yes. Nachos and reclining chairs at the movies.