Blonde's Eye View: The shock of the Tube

By Rob Virtue on July 16, 2014 9:46 AM |



by Angela Clarke

Research published in the journal Science claims people hate being alone with their thoughts so much, they prefer to be in pain. Participants found it so difficult to think for 15 minutes they opted to shock themselves with a 9-volt charge for distraction.

The psychology professor who led the study wasted his time investigating this in a lab. A Tube journey would have led him to the same conclusion.

Why else would Londoners suffer broiling Tube carriages without declaring mutiny? It's obvious when you think about it.

Commuters can last journeys of six, 15, or even more minutes in silence, with our own thoughts, because riding a hot overcrowded Tube train is the equivalent of the electric shock.

Our sweaty sample even allows for those in the original group who cheated. How? They reached for phones or books to distract them. I rest my case. Observing a Tube carriage could have saved the professor the bother of rounding up volunteers. Dude, you should've just taken the Circle line.

What about anomalies? The average participant of the study shocked themselves roughly seven times, rather than thinking about whether M&S Rocky Road Mini Bites count as dinner, or what Ryan Gosling would look like in nothing but an Oyster card.

But one bloke was so frightened by what was going on in his head he shocked himself 190 times during one 15 minute stint. How does that tie in with our Tube travelling lab rats?

Simple. You just need to look for the most masochistic commuter you can possibly think of. The one that actively pursues pain. That, my scientific friends, is the cyclist.

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