If You Love Being Alone, There’s Nothing Wrong with You

About half of adults would prefer electric shocks over spending fifteen minutes alone with their thoughts. That’s what a team of psychologists at the University of Virginia found out ten years ago. They’re the ones who want to hang out with you during a plague.

They didn’t just consent to electric shocks. They did it to themselves. They were given a little button to push.

They pushed it.

They did it even after telling the researchers they’d pay someone to avoid electric shocks. That tune changed pretty fast.

According to the study, there’s a wide gender gap here. Nearly 70 percent of the men preferred the shocks, compared to 25 percent of the women. As the authors conclude, “Most people seem to prefer to be doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative.”

Since those people make up a majority, they get to make the rules. They pass the laws. They decide the social conventions. They determine what’s normal. They define the personality disorders. Yes, that’s right. It’s the people who prefer to shock themselves rather than spend 15 minutes inside their own heads. They run things. There’s no personality disorder to describe their behavior, because there’s so many of them.

Now life makes sense.