Oct 14, 2021 • 43M

16 - Erin Westgate: Why People Would Rather Shock Themselves Than Sit Alone with Their Thoughts

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Stanford Psychology Podcast
Episode details

Eric chats with Erin Westgate, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Florida. The work from Erin’s lab has focused on topics such as thinking for pleasure and boredom and has been featured in outlets such as the New York Times, CNN, and the BBC. Erin has famously found that people would rather shock themselves than sit alone with their thoughts for a few minutes!

In this episode, Erin discusses the question we all have in mind when we hear about this finding: Why? More precisely, what makes thinking often so unpleasant? And how can we make it more pleasurable? How can we avoid boredom? And should we avoid it in the first place?

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