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Shock the Monkey - And Like It!

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Shock the Monkey - And Like It!

Postby knapplc » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:17 pm

Men Enjoy Seeing Bad People Suffer

A new brain-scanning study suggests that when guys see a cheater get a mild electric shock, they don't feel his pain much at all. In fact, they rather enjoy it.

In contrast, women's brains showed they do empathize with the cheater's pain and don't get a kick out it.

It's not clear whether this difference in schadenfreude — enjoyment of another's misfortune — results from basic biology or sex roles learned during life, researchers say. But it could help explain why men have historically taken charge of punishing criminals and others who violate societal rules, said researcher Dr. Klaas Stephan.

Stephan, a senior research fellow at the University College London, is co-author of a study led by Tania Singer at the college and published online Wednesday by the journal Nature.

Singer, in an e-mail message, said the sex difference in results was a surprise and must be confirmed by larger studies. The researchers said women might have reacted like men if the cheater suffered psychological or financial pain instead.

The scientists scanned the brains of 16 men and 16 women after the volunteers played a game with what they thought were other volunteers, but who in fact were actors. The actors either played the game fairly or obviously cheated.

During the brain scans, each volunteer watched as the hands of a "fair" player and a cheater received a mild electrical shock. When it came to the fair-player, both men's and women's brains showed activation in pain-related areas, indicating that they empathized with that player's pain.

But for the cheater, while the women's brains still showed a response, men's brains showed virtually no specific reaction. Also, in another brain area associated with feelings of reward, men's brains showed a greater average response to the cheater's shock than to the fair player's shock, while women's brains did not.

A questionnaire revealed that the men expressed a stronger desire than women did for revenge against the cheater. The more a man said he wanted revenge, the higher his jump in the brain's reward area when the cheater got a shock. No such correlation showed up in women.

Philip Jackson, who studies brain systems responsible for empathy at the University of Laval in Quebec City in Canada, said he found the sex differences intriguing and worth following up on.

The overall results elegantly tie together "a lot of things we either knew or suspected strongly" about how social interaction can affect the brain's activity, he said.

Very interesting. I totally dig psychology. We're such complicated creatures, aren't we?
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Postby Redskins Win » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:47 pm

I was really hoping this would be a peter gabriel thread.

I'm not surprised by the results who doesn't like watching highlights of players getting JACKED UP!
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Postby knapplc » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:56 pm

Redskins Win wrote:I was really hoping this would be a peter gabriel thread.
I'm not surprised by the results who doesn't like watching highlights of players getting JACKED UP!


Sorry.

I can't believe nobody else finds this interesting.

I'm fascinated by stuff like this.
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Postby MadScott » Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:03 pm

I'ma man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn.--Ron Burgundy
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I like simple pleasures, like butter in my ass, lollipops in my mouth. That's just me.
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Postby jayday » Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:27 pm

We learned about a similar study in Psych 105 last quarter...can't remember the name of it....the Milgram Studies maybe? pretty interesting....
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Postby knapplc » Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:35 pm

jayday wrote:We learned about a similar study in Psych 105 last quarter...can't remember the name of it....the Milgram Studies maybe? pretty interesting....

Milgram's most famous study also involved shock treatments, but it wasn't similar to this.

Stanley Milgram's Obedience to Authority Study involved participants who, in a controlled environment, knowingly inflicted pain (sometimes MAJOR pain) on other participants simply because they were urged to do so.

37 out of 40 participants administered severe shocks to a counterpart because they were told to.

I sort of drew the title for this thread out of that experiment, and a song by Peter Gabriel who referenced it not once but twice on his So album.

It's a GREAT experiment.

You can read up on it here.

Of course, nobody was really hurt during the experiment, but that's hardly the point.
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Postby HskrPwr13 » Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:50 pm

I dont think people are uninterested in this stuff, I think that a lot of this is common sense once you become an adult. The findings of the orignal study you posted doesnt surprise me at all. And the fact that people can be urged to do something to somebody shouldnt be a surprise considering the amount of advertisement we get in are lives. The human brain is pretty weak to suggestion. I cant stand crowd/mob/click mentality. I'm surprised that some people never seem to grow out of living their lives based on outside influences. Be your own man, dammit! And listen to what I say!
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Postby The_Dude » Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:18 pm

HskrPwr13 wrote:I dont think people are uninterested in this stuff, I think that a lot of this is common sense once you become an adult. The findings of the orignal study you posted doesnt surprise me at all. And the fact that people can be urged to do something to somebody shouldnt be a surprise considering the amount of advertisement we get in are lives. The human brain is pretty weak to suggestion. I cant stand crowd/mob/click mentality. I'm surprised that some people never seem to grow out of living their lives based on outside influences. Be your own man, dammit! And listen to what I say!


Yeah, I agree completely. ;-7


Ok, back on topic... I saw this article earlier today and did find it interesting. Maybe its time we elect a woman President, eh?
Last edited by The_Dude on Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby HskrPwr13 » Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:21 pm

The_Dude wrote:
HskrPwr13 wrote:I dont think people are uninterested in this stuff, I think that a lot of this is common sense once you become an adult. The findings of the orignal study you posted doesnt surprise me at all. And the fact that people can be urged to do something to somebody shouldnt be a surprise considering the amount of advertisement we get in are lives. The human brain is pretty weak to suggestion. I cant stand crowd/mob/click mentality. I'm surprised that some people never seem to grow out of living their lives based on outside influences. Be your own man, dammit! And listen to what I say!


Yeah, I agree completely. ;-7


Thats cool if you disagree, but give me some ammo to respond with. B-)
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Postby The_Dude » Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:26 pm

HskrPwr13 wrote:
The_Dude wrote:
HskrPwr13 wrote:I dont think people are uninterested in this stuff, I think that a lot of this is common sense once you become an adult. The findings of the orignal study you posted doesnt surprise me at all. And the fact that people can be urged to do something to somebody shouldnt be a surprise considering the amount of advertisement we get in are lives. The human brain is pretty weak to suggestion. I cant stand crowd/mob/click mentality. I'm surprised that some people never seem to grow out of living their lives based on outside influences. Be your own man, dammit! And listen to what I say!


Yeah, I agree completely. ;-7


Thats cool if you disagree, but give me some ammo to respond with. B-)


Actually, I was just trying to be ironic. Agreeing with you, but thus invalidating the point that I should think for myself. Sorry, it was funny to me...
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