Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another Funny Study

I have no idea why I keep coming across these hilarious scientific studies today, but here you go.

A group of researchers just proved that thinking about money makes most people unhappy and less able to enjoy life:
Psychologist Jordi Quoidbach of the University of Liège in Belgium and his colleagues divided 374 adults, ranging from custodians to senior administrators, into two randomly assigned groups. The first group was shown a picture of a stack of money; the control group was shown the same picture blurred beyond recognition. Then the participants were given psychological tests to measure their ability to savor pleasant experiences. The results showed that people who had been shown the money scored significantly lower. A second test showed even more dramatically how the thought of cash spoils savoring. Participants were given a piece of chocolate after being shown a picture of money or a blurred photograph. Then an observer timed how long the person savored the morsel of chocolate. Women savored the chocolate longer than men, but regardless of gender, individuals shown the picture of money beforehand spent significantly less time savoring the chocolate—on average, 32 seconds versus 45 seconds.
I have an explanation for this phenomenon as well. When people see a picture of money, they often theink not about money per se, but about their own lack thereof. Show me a picture of a wad of bills, and I immediately remember that I forgot to pay the electricity bill and the cell phone bill will be due in a week. Is it any wonder that this kind of thoughts makes one less interested in any savoring chocolate or anything else?

Some scientists spend tons of money and resources on proving things that are truly self-evident.


Steve Hayes said...

I like to use widgets like MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog, so that I can visit the blogs of people who visit my blog. But when I see keywords like "making money" or "marketing" or "SEO" or "entrepreneurship" I backpedal quickly and don't even look at their blogs, because I find such topics boring. I didn't realise that they make one miserable as well.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of scientific studies are obvious, but often many "obvious" things turn out not to be correct.

It was "obvious" to the ancients that the circle was the perfect shape and that the planets should obviously follow this shape in their orbits....

But it is funny to read studies that spend a lot of time, money and convoluted academic-ese to state things like, "Puppies are cute."