You know what we haven’t done in a while? Science time. I bet Andreas is totally sad about that. I mean, listen. I have this amazing Science Fellow, and I’m totally underutilizing him. This is a bad use of the world’s best Science Fellow.
If I want to keep my Science Fellow, I need to do some science around here once and a while.
Today, LET’S TALK SCIENCE.
So today, I found a whole new science site. It is called Science Daily. Science DAILY! Who doesn’t like a little science daily? Not me. Not this lady. No sirree. I like there to be science daily.
And Science Daily seems to actually be a real thing and not embarrassing! Well, that’s fun. I like real sciencey things. So I found three exciting articles for you. Let’s discuss them! Probably Andreas will want to talk to us about them, too. I would like that. THEN I have a FINAL article that’s not from Science Daily but needs to be addressed because I found it kind of fascinating.
So, I let Dumbcat pick, and Dumbcat says that we have to talk about dopamine first. I asked him if that’s because he’s a dope and then he sneezed. That’s a yes in Dumbcat-ese, I think.
So, according to this article, low dopamine makes you have rage-face.
WAIT AMY! You are saying. What is dopamine?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. In simple terms, it sends signals in your brain between nerve cells. When you get a reward of any kind (food, sex, drugs, praise) your dopamine levels increase. Dopamine makes you feel gooooood. Which is why people get addicted to things. Also, extroverts are proven to have more dopamine. What about people that are bipolar in their extroversion like me? I guess I only have too much dopamine on alternate Tuesdays after Labor Day. Here’s more on dopamine, if you’re so inclined.
Dopamine is also one of the chemicals responsible for all those squishy-squishy feelings when you fall in love. So, there you go, then.
Anyway, so some scientists types were doing some dopamine experiments. Their assumption was that low levels of dopamine would lead to low aggression, while high levels would lead to high aggression. HOWEVER, as sometimes happens in science (as in life) you know what they say about assumptions. HELPER MULE OUT OF YOU AND ME. And scientists.
So the scientist types put the test subjects in a room and told them to play a video game where they would do tasks to receive “money.” They were also told that in the other room was another competitor, who could cheat and STEAL their money. The test subjects could do one of three things to combat the cheater-cheater-never-beaters: they could just keep playing and earning money to offset the losses; they could “defend” against the cheaters but, in doing so, sacrifice some of their winnings, or they could “punish” the cheater. The article doesn’t say how they could punish the cheater. I want to think with waterboarding. That seems likely.
Want to hear the secret of this test? There was no cheater. The cheater was imaginary. It was the computer program taking their money away, in order to get them upset so their dopamine levels could be tested. NEFARIOUS!
The scientists THOUGHT that people who defended or punished (was it paddling? Like with one of those paddles in a frat house? YOU CAN TELL ME, SCIENTISTS!) would have more dopamine and the ones who kept their heads down and just kept playing would have less. Nope. Other way around. The people who kept playing had more. Huh. Scientists were AMAZED! I like to think of scientists being amazed and scratching their little scientist-heads.
This article doesn’t really come up with any conclusions other than “more testing needs to be done, yo.” Huh. I think we might need more information. Perhaps on the punishments used. Was it temple torture? When I was little, my dad used to do that to me. It consisted of him standing over me and flicking my temples with his thumb and forefinger. When I asked him to stop, he’d say, “What? It’s just temple torture. YOU LOVE IT.” He still thinks that’s funny. And I’m old now.
NEXT! Dumbcat says let’s talk about the aliens in Pennsylvania because he’s worried about Jim.
This article says space rocks were found in Pennsylvania which you know means aliens are there because how else would space rocks get to Pennsylvania if not from aliens? So I’m pretty sure even though Jim’s been concentrating his energy on the zombie apocalypse, instead he should concentrate on aliens. OH SHIT. I just realized that Signs was set in Pennsylvania. JIM! THERE ARE ALL THE ALIENS IN YOUR STATE, YO!
Oh, wait, I actually read the article instead of skimming and there weren’t any alien rocks at all. Just REGULAR rocks. That showed proof that a meteorite or a comet or something touched down almost 13,000 years ago. Well, THAT’S disappointing. I was hoping for aliens. I know YOU were all hoping for aliens. That movie Signs PROMISED THERE WOULD BE ALIENS. What is going ON. People don’t follow through on their promises, it’s totally disheartening.
Well, Jim, I guess you can go back to planning for the zombies now. That must be a load off. You had a whole plan and everything. I don’t know how good you’d be at changing plans mid-stream, like a little lost salmon.
Now let’s talk about a study that LIES. Dumbcat hates lies, especially about cat treats. He needs them at 8pm every night or HE IS SO SAD.
This study is full of lies, because it says that if you’re neurotic (I am, duh), getting more money would not make you happier.
LIES LIES LIES.
It says that neurotics view pay raises as a failure because they think that any pay raise is not as much as they deserve.
Well, listen. I’ve worked at my current job for 6 and a half years. My average annual pay raise has been from 5 to 10 cents an hour a year. FIVE to TEN CENTS. Think about that. Five to ten cents an hour. For a year of successful work. Would that make YOU neurotic? Yep. If you had half a brain in your head, it would.
Alternately: my part-time job, where I work once a week for eight hours, gives me, on average, 25 to 50 cents in raises a year. And has for the past 7 years I’ve worked there.
If it makes me NEUROTIC because I think I deserve more than a NICKEL or a DIME then, yes, sure. But mostly, do you know what a regular pay raise would make me feel?
Grateful. Because then I could quit my part-time job; I wouldn’t have to watch my money as closely; I could maybe buy things I need and not put that off week after week after week.
Not neurotic, SCIENTISTS. Grateful. Not neurotic. If you’re getting a teeny pay raise, then OBVIOUSLY it’s not what you deserve. No one deserves a nickel. NO ONE.
I’m a neurotic and I don’t approve of this message.
Now, the article I read the other day that I thought was super-interesting. Dumbcat says we might as well talk about this now since it’s all that’s left. I was writing something, and researching the way the heart works, and the way the brain works, and how the brain processes emotions related to falling in love with someone. (Not something for here, something else. Something non-bloggy.) I came across this in my research.
Apparently, this scientist in New York did a study about what makes people fall in love. Check this out:
New York psychologist, Professor Arthur Arun, has been studying the dynamics of what happens when people fall in love. He has shown that the simple act of staring into each other’s eyes has a powerful impact.
He asked two complete strangers to reveal to each other intimate details about their lives. This carried on for an hour and a half. The two strangers were then made to stare into each others eyes without talking for four minutes. Afterwards many of his couples confessed to feeling deeply attracted to their opposite number and two of his subjects even married afterwards.
OK. Two complete strangers were forced to SIT CLOSE TOGETHER and TELL EACH OTHER SECRETS and then HAVE A STARING CONTEST FOR FOUR MINUTES. And instead of running from the room screaming, they fell in love?
(I’d like the statistic of how many of them were psycho-murdered by the other person, because they told them TOO MUCH PERSONAL INFORMATION. Dad’ll tell you. You DO NOT tell STRANGERS your PERSONAL INFORMATION. Even if a scientist tells you that’s the experiment. Dad wouldn’t trust the scientists, by the way. He’d say they were working for the government. He already thinks Andreas is a spy, I mean, come on.)
No, in all seriousness, this is interesting, right? Two of his people got MARRIED. Because of SCIENCE. I want to marry someone because of science.
OK, Andreas! Here you go! All the science for you! Aliens, dopamine, sexy staring contests and lying scientists. EXCITING! All for YOU, Andreas! Please stay my science fellow forever!
Happy Wednesday! If anyone tells me it’s Hump Day today I’m going to hump them right in the face with a box of copier paper.