Pain vs Boredom Experiment

Pain vs Boredom Experiment

What is it?

Pain vs Boredom is an experiment that shows that people are more likely to choose a small amount of pain when they don't have anything else to do.

The Pain vs Boredom experiment refers to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia and Harvard University to understand the extent to which people would go to avoid being alone with their thoughts. The experiment demonstrates people's preference for engaging in an unpleasant activity (such as self-administering an electric shock) over doing nothing or experiencing boredom.

Here's a simple explanation of the experiment:

In the study, participants were placed in a room with no distractions, like smartphones, books, or any form of entertainment, for a period of 6 to 15 minutes. Their task was to be alone with their thoughts and not engage in any other activity. The only exception was a button that they could press, which would deliver a mild electric shock.

Before the experiment, participants were given a sample of the shock, and most reported that they would pay to avoid being shocked again. However, when left alone with their thoughts, a significant number of participants chose to press the button and experience the electric shock, rather than just sitting and doing nothing.

For example, a participant might be sitting in the room, feeling bored and restless ...