Psychologists Share The Most Important Studies That Almost Nobody Knows About[rebelmouse-image 18359107 is_animated_gif=
Have you ever wondered what some of the craziest, most groundbreaking psychological studies were? You're not alone. Here are some true mind-benders---and they may challenge what you think you know.
This is just creepy, and is a stark reminder of how psychological illness was assessed only decades ago.[rebelmouse-image 18359108 is_animated_gif=
The Rosenhan study was performed in the 1970s but is still relevant today.
The researchers feigned hallucinations to enter psychiatric hospitals. Afterward, they behaved as they normally would. They told the staff they felt fine and no longer experienced hallucinations. In the hospital, they were diagnosed with mental disorders (mainly schizophrenia), forced to stay for a prolonged period (average of 19 days), forced to admit to having those illnesses, and had to agree to take antipsychotics as a condition of their release.
The accidental second part of the study occurred when offended clinicians requested Rosenhan send actors to their psychiatric hospital. They felt they'd be able to distinguish who were the real patients and who were the fake ones. Out of 193 patients over 3 months, the staff rated 41 as imposters, and 42 as suspected imposters. Rosenhan had sent no one.
Nature versus nurture? Or unintentional bias?[rebelmouse-image 18359109 is_animated_gif=
The Pygmalion effect comes to mind.
In one study, the researchers told the teachers they were testing to see which students were gifted. Instead, they selected a few students at random, then told the teachers that they were the gifted ones.
When the researchers returned later, the students they had selected were, in fact, performing better than the other ones, even though they weren't gifted.
Tl;dr higher expectations of people lead to increased performance.
Memory is malleable. This has enormous implications regarding the reliability of eyewitness testimony.[rebelmouse-image 18359110 is_animated_gif=
A lot of Beth Loftus' work on memory is super important and worth knowing. In short, they show that memory is fallible and can be tricked--you can make a person remember an event that never happened pretty easily. Her research is one of the big reasons why eye-witness testimony should be often taken with a grain of salt--someone who's "absolutely sure" they remember seeing the defendent...might have just seen some other person and may not be remembering as clearly as they think.
Increased expectations correlated with unreliable outcomes are exactly what casinos depend upon.[rebelmouse-image 18359111 is_animated_gif=
B.F. Skinner's "Skinner Box" experiments, which accidentally laid the groundwork for everything from slot machines to Loot Boxes in modern video games.
He built a box, with a lever inside that would deposit some food into the box. He introduced a pigeon, and the pigeon figured out fairly quickly that the lever gives it food, and so pulls the lever whenever it's hungry.
However, when Skinner modified the box so that the lever would not give food every time, but on a pseudo-random schedule, requiring the bird to pull the lever multiple times to receive the food, the bird would no longer pull the lever only when it was hungry, but would compulsively pull the lever constantly.
Replace bird with Grandma, food lever with a slot machine, and Skinner with Casino, and you've got yourself a recipe to exploit the sh_t out of some desperate and bored people.
Herd mentality in action.[rebelmouse-image 18359112 is_animated_gif=
A group is shown a symbol, such as the number 0. Each person is asked to say what they see. Every member of the group except 1 is part of the experiment. All of them give the same wrong answer, saying it is a 2, not a zero. The last person will often fold and also say 2 despite their eyes saying it is a 0. While some did say 0, all subjects took longer and felt a strong desire to keep the group consensus.
Also great party trick.
Edit: Shout out to u/ialen2 below for the links to the Asch experiments, they posted it minutes after me but it got buried.
These experiments show that addiction could have environmental as well as psychological triggers. Fascinating.[rebelmouse-image 18357825 is_animated_gif=
Bruce Alexander's Rat Park experiments - showing that given normal living conditions and normal social bonds, rats will not become addicted to drugs even if those drugs are freely available.
Playing Mozart for your baby probably doesn't make it smarter. Can't hurt, though.[rebelmouse-image 18359113 is_animated_gif=
The actual study regarding the effects on the brain after listening to Mozart. So many people believe "playing Mozart for your baby will make them smarter."
- The study was conducted on college students, not infants.
- Listening to Mozart only improved one aspect of cognition, which was spatial reasoning (the ability to figure out how objects can fit or be oriented).
- The effect was temporary, wearing off after less than an hour.
The reason that this study should be more well known is to understand the breakdown between what a study finds and how the message is misinterpreted by the time it disseminates to the general public.
I'm guilty of this, but being conscious of it can make a huge difference.[rebelmouse-image 18359114 is_animated_gif=
Martin Seligman's book, Learned Optimism, made me much more mindful about something called "explanatory styles." People tend to trend towards optimistic or pessimistic explanatory styles to describe events (good or bad) that happen to them.
Pessimists tend to explain bad things as:
- personal ("This is all my fault"),
- permanent ("This will last forever"), and
- pervasive ("This will undermine everything else I do").
Pessimists will also tend to explain good things as the opposite:
- non-personal ("This only happened because of the rest of my team"),
- non-permanent ("This won't last"), and
- non-pervasive ("This was a one-time fluke in this one project").
Optimists will do the opposite. They explain good events as personal, permanent, and pervasive while providing explanations to bad things that treat them as temporary setbacks.
As a natural cynic and pessimist, I'm doing my best to catch myself when I fall into a cycle of pessimism, and trying to find evidence to suggest that bad things aren't as bad as I'm making them. It's really hard, but I think I'm slowly working towards a healthier balance.
This is nothing short of psychological torture, but speaks volumes on the power of suggestion.[rebelmouse-image 18359115 is_animated_gif=
The Monster Study. In speech therapy, kids were given either only positive or only negative feedback and then their progress was charted. To explain this a little further, the kids in the negative feedback group were told that they had a severe speech impediment whether they actually stuttered or not. Kids who didn't even have a stutter developed severe stutters as a result of the researchers constantly telling them that there was a problem with their speech. After hearing it over and over again, they finally started to believe it. Such a messed up study.
Edit: Here's a quote :
To the non-stuttering youngsters ... who were to be branded stutterers, [the graduate student conducting the study] said: "The staff has come to the conclusion that you have a great deal of trouble with your speech... You have many of the symptoms of a child who is beginning to stutter. You must try to stop yourself immediately. Use your will power... Do anything to keep from stuttering... Don't ever speak unless you can do it right. You see how [the name of a child in the institution who stuttered severely] stutters, don't you? Well, he undoubtedly started this very same way."
The children ... responded immediately. After her second session with 5-year-old Norma Jean Pugh, Tudor wrote, "It was very difficult to get her to speak, although she spoke very freely the month before." Another in the group, 9-year-old Betty Romp, "practically refuses to talk," a researcher wrote in his final evaluation. "Held hand or arm over eyes most of the time." Hazel Potter, 15, the oldest in her group, became "much more conscious of herself, and she talked less," Tudor noted. Potter also began to interject and to snap her fingers in frustration. She was asked why she said 'a' so much. "Because I'm afraid I can't say the next word." "Why did you snap your fingers?" "Because I was afraid I was going to say 'a.'"
All the children's schoolwork fell off. One of the boys began refusing to recite in class. The other, eleven-year-old Clarence Fifer, started anxiously correcting himself. "He stopped and told me he was going to have trouble on words before he said them," Tudor reported. She asked him how he knew. He said that the sound "wouldn't come out. Feels like it's stuck in there."
The sixth orphan, Mary Korlaske, a 12-year-old, grew withdrawn and fractious. During their sessions, Tudor asked whether her best friend knew about her 'stuttering,' Korlaske muttered, "No." "Why not?" Korlaske shuffled her feet. "I hardly ever talk to her." Two years later, she ran away from the orphanage and eventually ended up at the rougher Industrial School for Girls --- simultaneously escaping her human experimentation.
Could this be a hint as to why some people stay in abusive relationships?[rebelmouse-image 18359116 is_animated_gif=
A.E., Fisher, conducted an experiment with puppies.
With three test groups, puppies in the first group were treated kindly every time they approached a researcher. Puppies in the second group were punished for approaching the researchers. And puppies in the third group were randomly treated kindly or punished.
The study found that the third group of puppies wound up being the most attached to the researchers.
This doesn't bode well for global human overpopulation.[rebelmouse-image 18359117 is_animated_gif=
Universe 25 by Calhoun.
Basically a study of overpopulation. The population of 8 mice in a 9 square feet pen initially doubled every 55 days before growth dropped dramatically after almost a year. Between this point and the final 600th day, the population saw utter breakdown. Aggressive females expelled their young, and the males split into two categories. One was very aggressive violent males who would attack each other, and the other was the 'beautiful ones' - they completely withdrew from mating and all sexual behavior and spent every waking moment grooming. Breeding eventually totally stopped and the behaviors of the mice remained the same until death.
Calhoun has suggested this social breakdown might be the fate of humans.
A stunning insight into the biological need to feel loved.[rebelmouse-image 18359118 is_animated_gif=
Harry Harlow's experiments on attachment helped establish the modern paradigm for attachment theory (Mary Ainsworth's "strange situation" experiment was also integral to attachment theory, Harlow's study came first).
Basically (this is a very general summary), Harlow and his assistants cared for the physical needs of these baby rhesus monkeys. Some of the monkeys were given a "mom" that they could nurse from but was not comforting/soft. Other monkeys had a "mom" that they couldn't nurse from but were covered with soft cloth. Both groups of monkeys would be scared by a loud toy.
The principals of strict behaviorism (which was thriving at this time in the history of psychology) would lead you to think that the monkeys who had the mother who could nurse them would find comfort in her while scared, and that the monkeys with the soft "mom" who couldn't nurse would not turn to their moms for comfort.
The opposite happened. The monkeys with the soft moms clung to them for comfort after being scared. The monkeys with the nursing moms did not run to them for comfort.
This was groundbreaking because it threw a curveball at behaviorism and set the course for more research into child development and attachment. Choosing the soft mom and rejecting the nursing mom demonstrated that it's not enough just to have your physical needs met (i.e. food), we also need comfort and reassurance to form attachments to caregivers.
Sounds like how a certain "News" network operates...[rebelmouse-image 18359119 is_animated_gif=
One that hasn't been mentioned yet: the selective attention experiment: tell people to pay really close attention to one thing and they're likely to miss even the most obvious other things that are happening. If this reminds you at all of the echo chambers in certain 'news' organizations these days, you just may have spotted the gorilla...
Compelling evidence that racism is learned, rather than inherent.[rebelmouse-image 18359120 is_animated_gif=
In the late 1960s, a schoolteacher named Jane Elliot wanted to teach her Iowa 2nd grade students about racism in a way that would really hit home, but how? None of them had seen a black person except on television.
She realized her class was evenly divided between brown eyed and blue eyed pupils (Elliot, herself, had green eyes) and an idea came to her.
One day she walked into class with a Webster's Dictionary that she had covered with brown paper. She announced to her class that this book contained breakthrough science that proved brown-eyed people were inferior to blue-eyed people, and that class would be "adjusted" accordingly.
She segregated her students by eye color for the day.
During the day's lesson, whenever blue-eyed ('superior') students made mistakes, she encouraged them to keep trying. When brown eyed ('inferior') students made mistakes, she said "See? This is because you're inferior."
When brown-eyed students did well, she didn't acknowledge it. When blue-eyed students did well, she lavished praise upon them and lauded their 'superiority'.
As the day wore on, brown-eyed students who had previously been good students began to become disruptive, visibly dejected and expressed a lack of interest in school. Blue-eyed students--even those who had previously been 'bad' students--saw a tremendous improvement in their performance, demeanor, and behavior.
The next day, Elliot announced to the class that she had made a mistake in her reading. Actually, it was the brown-eyed students were superior and the blue-eyed students were inferior.
The class was again segregated, and praise or criticism was leveled to each student accordingly as it had been the day before. Blue-eyed students began acting out and talking about quitting school, while brown-eyed students began to score high marks, learn quicker, and behaved better.
On the third day, she announced to the class that the book was just a dictionary--there was no study, and that she wanted to teach them how judging people based on the color of their skin felt by choosing to treat them differently based on the color of their eyes.
Although the experiment sounds cruel, most of her students interviewed decades later expressed positive opinions about it.
This is due to the autokinetic effect—tiny movements in the eye, in dark environments, can create the illusion of movement.[rebelmouse-image 18359121 is_animated_gif=
Asch's and Sherif's studies on conformity.
Asch's was a participant was given a line, then a set of three lines of varying lengths, and they had to match the length to the standalone line. Even when they were very obviously completely different lines, a confederate would answer B (if the correct answer was C) and the participant would often go along with that.
Sherif's study was similar. The experimenter would shine a laser pointer (or something) on a blank wall. They would then ask the participants how far it moved (even though it didn't). The first participant was a confederate and would say something like "oh about 4 inches" and then the next person, the participant would ballpark it from that, "like 6 inches" even though they clearly saw it didn't move.
Did you know that David Letterman owned a marshmallow factory? And that marshmallows are 95 percent air? You're welcome.[rebelmouse-image 18359122 is_animated_gif=
The Stanford marshmallow experiment. They took kids and offered them one marshmallow now or two marshmallows fifteen minutes later. As kids got older they overwhelmingly chose the two over the one. The results show one of the major aspects of maturity: the ability to delay gratification and conceptualize future rewards. This is what makes (most of us) more sophisticated than kids.
Fear of loss, rather than the prospect of gain, may explain why people make strange financial decisions.[rebelmouse-image 18345097 is_animated_gif=
Kahneman and Tversky's prospect theory, and loss aversion in particular.
If you win 10 dollars, you're only slightly happy, but you would be disproportionately sadder if you lost 10 dollars, even though the amount of money is the same. People are more impacted by loss than gain, and this explains many of the weird illogical money decisions people make.
Why buy bonds/GIC's when stocks historically make more money? These psychologists won the Nobel prize for their work.
A valuable clue about how humans learn about actions and consequences. Like Jane Elliot's experiment, it hints that racism is a learned habit.[rebelmouse-image 18359123 is_animated_gif=
Basically, the researcher, Bandura, had kids in the experimental group watch an adult hit, kick, and otherwise abuse a Bobo doll. Then, when the kids were released to play with it on their own, those who saw adults abuse the doll also used it in that way, hitting and kicking and yelling at it. This has lots of implications about how we acquire behavior but the one that is most important to me is about parenting. A parent who yells at or goes so far as to even hit their kid is essentially doing the same thing as in this experiment; they're setting an example for the child's behavior. And as we see with Bobo dolls, the child will learn.
But yeah, this experiment essentially proved the concept of modeling, which brought new elements into how psychologists saw learning.
Edit: oh yeah and there were also observed effects when the adults were rewarded or punished for beating up the Bobo doll. It showed that people learn about consequences from watching others.
The Spacing Effect suggests that repetition learning is most effective for long-term retention of information.[rebelmouse-image 18352108 is_animated_gif=
For the sake of remembering all these psychological experiments, Ebbinghaus's memory experiments are quite relevant to know about.
His experiments showed that people forget around 50% of what they have learned after about a day (and 75% after 2 days, and so on) unless they try - and succeed - at recalling it. Then you forget more slowly the next time. If you space your recall tests right before you would naturally forget then this is the most efficient way to remember something in the long run (called the Spacing Effect). There is software that can automate this for you in the event you ever need to memorize something (which almost everyone does at least occasionally, and students do constantly).
Another finding related to his work in memory is that if you have a test in a few days cramming is better for remembering, but only in the extremely short run: you'll forget it all after about a week. So if you need to pass a test tomorrow: cram. If you need to pass a test in 6 weeks, 6 months, or 6 years: spaced repetition.
The Backfire Effect may explain why some people cling to false beliefs despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.[rebelmouse-image 18359124 is_animated_gif=
The Backfire Effect was discovered in the 1950s when a researcher infiltrated a UFO cult that predicted the end of the world, and their group's rescue in the nick of time by a group of benevolent aliens who represented the astral incarnation of Jesus Christ.
When the world didn't end on the predicted date, the researcher was watching specifically to see how they would respond to their worldview being so dramatically disproven. Instead of admitting they were wrong, they doubled down and invented reasons why they'd been right all along.
On further study, the backfire effect seems to affect primarily people with conservative worldviews -- people who believe false conservative ideas are more likely to hang on to those false ideas even after presented with debunking evidence. (Liberals are also motivated to resist evidence that debunks false liberal ideas, but are less likely to invent false justifications for their resistance.)
Here's a great article that describes it.
Similar to the Backfire Effect, which also demonstrated certain people's propensity to cling to easily disprovable beliefs.[rebelmouse-image 18349113 is_animated_gif=
The Illusion of Truth experiments are extremely relevant in today's society, particularly on Reddit.
There are a few basic tenets.
- People are more likely to believe something if they hear it multiple times, even if they know it's a lie.
- If people hear information and then find out later that it was a lie the original information they heard is sticky and they will be more likely to remember it is true. This can occur even if the lie were discovered very quickly.
Kahneman's study showed that the way two questions are phrased effects how people will answer—even if the questions are essentially identical.[rebelmouse-image 18356705 is_animated_gif=
Kahneman and Tversky's Prospect Theory. Kahneman recently won the Nobel for this and other work. It shows that people are really bad at understanding probabilities and are very influenced by how the message is framed, and whether it is framed as a gain or loss. For a simple example, asking "This surgery has an 80% chance of failure. Do you still want to have it?" Vs. "This surgery has a 20% success rate, do you want to have it?" Gets different answers even though the question is the same. The actual scenarios they used in the original experiments are fascinating and available online- look it up! It definitely changed how I interpret probabilistic decisions.
The bonds we form as infants may predict the nature of our future relationships. Once again, the battle of nature versus nurture.[rebelmouse-image 18359125 is_animated_gif=
Not a psychologist, but a psychology major. To add on to the many studies already mentioned, I think Mary Ainsworth's Strange situation is pretty important. She came up with the attachment theory. Basically saying how you form relationships as an infant predicts how you form relationships as an adult.
Logical, critical thinking is improved in the context of societal rules, rather than contextual objectivity.[rebelmouse-image 18359126 is_animated_gif=
The Wason selection task. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wason_selection_task#Use_of_logic
Basically "Are people able to understand if/then statements?" as a larger indicator to ask if people are critical thinkers.
Less than 10% of people got the right answer in more than one study, but if you put it into a context of societal rules, there is a pronounced improvement of how many people get the right answer.
And finally, a study that explains SO MUCH about life in the age of social media.[rebelmouse-image 18359127 is_animated_gif=
The cognitive dissonance experiment (Festinger) with the result that is the opposite of what you might expect: people following someone's orders were more likely to later decide they agreed with those orders when they were paid LESS to do so. The dissonance: our brains can't handle the conflict between our actions and our thoughts, so it adjusts our beliefs to fit our actions. "If I did that (especially without getting paid much), I must have believed in it." In a replication experiment: If you read scripts to raise funds for a randomly selected organization, you will believe more in that organization (unless you were paid a lot to read the words).
Implication: Signing loyalty oaths actually makes you more loyal (unless you were forced to, and keep that in mind). Also: Sharing statements on social media doesn't just reflect beliefs, it deepens them.
Thanks to Reddit user Berkamin posing the following question: "Psychologists of Reddit: besides Pavlov's classically conditioned dogs, the Stanford prison experiment, and the childhood delayed gratification experiment, what other paradigm-establishing psychological experiments should everyone know about?"
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
And there are just as many grievances for which we are not at all sorry.
Curious to hear about people's track record of their questionable behavior, Redditor NanoPKx asked:
"What is something bad you have done with no regrets?"
Is it petty theft or flat out stealing? You decide.
The Parting Gift
"'Forgetting' to bring back a company ipad after they forgot about me having it. Actually they never asked for it back so I still have it and use it."
"I stole a barn kitten while delivering packages for FedEx. He kept climbing my legs and getting into the van, sitting under the wheel when I tried to back out (it was a steep driveway, no way to swing the van around). I called the number on the package, looked the name up on facebook, called the local non-emergency to get contact info, all failed."
"So I took him. Now, if you're not from a rural environment, you might not understand that barn cats like that are 'no-man's-cats.' For all the owners know, he got sick or got got by a coyote. And he would have died, because when we got him to the vet he had a nasty upper resp infection and some other nasties."
"Now, one deformed nasal passage and the cutest snore later, we have a bonkers little orange cat with the heaviest penchant for snuggling I've ever seen (his name is Monty btw)."
"Edit: I forgot to pay my Cat Tax: https://imgur.com/a/HIXS4us"
"Edit Part 2: Monty loves the attention. Thank you for loving him as much as we do :3"
"MmmmMMMMRrrrrrrrrrrAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW" -Montgomerey Valentine, 2022
The Dirty Treat
"A housemate of mine kept eating mine and my girlfriends food and even though I asked him to stop the only thing he would ever say is 'I thought it was mine' then keep eating it."
"Well I bought my girlfriend some ice cream she really enjoys and she put the half she didn’t finish back in the freezer. Well when she want to get the rest it was gone and it made me madder than I think it probably should have."
"The very next time I saw him and somehow keeping a straight apologetic face I told him how he accidentally ate our sex ice cream and that bits of it had been on our parts etc. I told him I felt guilty not to tell him and that I had to apologise for him to eat such a thing."
"I will never forget the face he made when I told him. A face of pure self disgust and shock to which all he had to say was 'I wish you never told me that' and proceeded to move out around a month later."
"Although he didn’t actually eat sex ice cream, like why the f'k would you put it back after use anyway? Sometimes I wonder if I went to far but in that moment I just did not care at all. He still doesn’t know it isn’t true and I’ll probably never see him again."
"F'k you Vitas buy your own food."
Vengeance is sweet.
"A drunk driver hit my parked car, left a huge dent in the front driver’s side door, and then drove away. I happened to be looking out the window at the time and saw the whole thing, including his plate number. Cops got there not long after and took my statement. After a couple days and a couple phone calls, I found out nothing was going to come of it because he was the son of the sheriff the next county over."
"Fast forward a couple months, I see his car parked behind a local bar within walking distance of my apartment. I got out my hunting knife and sliced all four of his tires, and made a couple trips around it destroying the paint job. Yellow Pontiac Sunfire, and I still remember the goddamn plate number even after almost 20 years."
For The People
"I was a GM for a retailer that was going out of business. During the liquidation I let my employees that worked until the end store product they wanted to buy in a closet I claimed I didn't have a key to. Oh the final days I sold them all the items they requested for 95% off. 70" tvs, ipads, gaming laptops whatever they requested."
"Years ago I worked for a wealthy dude who was married to someone semi-famous. He would waltz in every morning and talk about the fantastic dinner he had the night before, how he hung out with some other famous person or whatever else."
"He paid me peanuts. I had a hard time making ends meet."
"I was the office assistant and IT guy. So it comes time to get a new computer for one of the designers. I spec something out, and show it to him. It was a ripper of a machine for the time (early 2000s). But it wasn’t expensive enough for bossman."
"So I added a really high end graphics card. Boss was happy then. The card added nothing for the designer: they only did illustrator and photoshop."
"So I came in that weekend and swapped the graphics card for my aging one from home."
"No one ever knew. Or cared. And I got a new graphics card."
When times are tough, people had to do what it took to survive.
"In college I was so poor I would steal toilet paper from the supply closet in our major building."
Hungry College Buddy
"I stood watch for a college friend who was going hungry because he’d been disowned and his roommates had made living with him intolerable after he came out."
"I was loosely affiliated with an off campus program with local churches that gave free student dinners on Thursdays. We would go to church to eat, then bring dishes into the kitchen."
"Anyway, he would go in there and steal stuff like peanut butter, literal bread (not an allegory), granola bars etc. while I watched out for the pastor."
"Eventually we both got caught, the pastor for the college students got a bit mad because he was responsible for us while we were there to eat. And I think it was offensive on some level to steal from church. But then he saw what my friend was taking, and asked him if he had enough to eat. My friend shamefacedly said no, not usually."
“'Okay, fine. Put the food back, and come with me.' Took my friend grocery shopping instead, got him connected with the food pantry and community garden at church instead."
Based on these examples, people didn't twice about their actions in the heat of the moment.
Within reason, we all gotta somehow get by.
But do you think their actions deserve punishment?
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When a person sees someone they care about going through a struggle or crisis, their instinct is to uplift them with positive advice.
But sometimes, the wisdom imparted by friends isn't always helpful or relevant to the situation.
Curious to hear from strangers online who could do without specific knowledge, Redditor Saibotnl1 asked:
"What life advice can just f'k off?"
These Redditors have a problem with how certain people have on outlook on life.
Time To Rest
"Sleep when you’re dead."
"Cool, but you’re going to be dead a lot sooner."
"People have it so much worse than you so don’t be sad!"
"To that I like to say, 'people have it so much better than you so don't be happy!'"
Your Life Path
"Almost anything relating to what age you must be in order to buy a house, have children, marry, have a profession, or do anything else. Seriously, everyone's life is different from everyone else's. Make your life the way you want it to be. If you so desire. Up to you."
On The Contrary
“Cheaters never prosper”
"Yes, they f'king do."
People can get out of any situation they find displeasing.
But others feel people should just "stick it out."
"Just ignore bullys or get someone else to handle it for you. I have never seen this work, only makes it worse. The only effective way I've seen to deal with them is by not making yourself an easy target and make them scared to f'k with you again. If going psycho on their a** is the only thing they'll respond to that's their fault. Also want to add in schools they will punish you for self defense but that punishment is only sitting around a few hours in detention or sitting around at home with a suspension. The punishment is temporary boredom, it's absolutely nothing compared to being bullied and when it's over the important message will still stand that you will not tolerate being a victim."
– User Delted
Remain to be Miserable
"Stick it out"
"Whether that's sh**ty jobs, shi**y relationships, shi**y living situations..."
"By all means don't just give up on things when you face challenges, but if something feels wrong or is wrecking your peace then take some control and change it if you can!"
"Easy for you to say," might be an auto-response to these suggestions for many people.
Invitation For Recklesslessness
"Live like everyday was your last"
Yall know what people do when they learn they have a single day left to live?"
A Possible Consequence
"I did that as a teenager and ended up homeless and addicted to heroin. Didn’t pan out for me too well."
"19 years sober though today."
A Practical Approach
"If I knew with certainty that I had one day left, I'd double-check all my financials, my will, and my insurance policies, make sure my wife had all of my passwords and knew where all the money was, spend the rest of the day with her and the kids, then call the medical examiner and ask to lie down on the gurney so that when I die they won't strain their back moving my remains out of my house."
Nose Stuck In A Book
"Work while they sleep. Study while they party"
"That's not a recipe for success, that's a recipe for a lot of white hairs, burnout syndrome and a stroke before your 40s..."
Doesn't Apply To Everyone
"Do what you love and money will follow"
"I love walking my dogs and grilling food for my friends but That sh*t doesn't pay the bills as well as my engineering degree!"
While people's intentions are good, they're better off keeping their two cents in their own pockets.
Not everyone likes to hear platitudes.
Sometimes, people just want to know they're not alone with their problems over listening to unlikely solutions that are nothing more than superficial pick-me-ups.
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Kids start going to school from the age of five, and for the most part, they spend more time at school than at home. Because of that, teachers can become very important figures in the lives of their students.
Some students don't have the best home lives. Some keep it to themselves, but others confide in their teachers.
Curious about various situations, Redditor Delicious_Mastodon83 asked:
"teachers of reddit what is the saddest thing you found out about a student?"
In Need of Parents
"Not a teacher but was a school-based therapist. Had a student (7 -8 y/o) I didn’t know knock on my office door and ask if I’d adopt her and “if you have room, my brother too, but if not, that’s ok, we can be split up. We’re split up now. And I don’t take up space. I just need a sleeping bag”. Broke my heart."
Heartbreaking, But Industrious
"My mom taught at a school in a bad neighborhood in Chicago in the mid 90’s. There was a second grader that would save his milk and ketchup packers from lunch for his mom so she had something to eat when she got home from work."
"Not a teacher but a parent with a 9 year old son. Every day I pack extra in my sons lunch because he tells me he has a friend that never has anything to eat. It's winter and my son came home and told me his friend was turning up with shorts and shirt and holes in his shoes. So I sent in a jumper and long pants for him to wear and some slightly used but good condition shoes. I have been up to the school recently and the teacher pulled me aside and thanked me profusely for helping this child. Apparently teachers are not allowed to aid kids they teach here in Australia and they have already reported the issue 3 times to child welfare without results so I was the only one helping this child. The teacher told me before I started sending in more food and clothes, this child would steal others food from their lunches and look through the bins because he was so hungry. They doubt he gets fed at home. So now I make sure to always send an extra lunch and some school clothes/supplies when I can. I can only hope child welfare eventually does something but it breaks my heart."
Amazing Big Sister
"It was right after winter break and before class started I was just talking with some students and asked if they got anything fun for the holidays. One girl said on no, I don’t ever get presents, my mom is a drug addict. But I went out and got some stuff for my little sister so that she can have a real Christmas."
"She just said it so matter-of-fact. She was so used to being the parent to her little sister that she didn’t even care about her own childhood. It totally broke my heart."
The Importance Of Human Affection
"Second hand story from my mom, elementary teacher for 30ish years. She had a hug or a handshake out the door policy, just some small contact and a proper goodbye, and had this young boy who always picked the hug. She wondered why he always went for it, most kids would go back and forth depending on their mood that day, so she asked him why he was always so excited for the end of day hug? His answer, "It's the only one I ever get.""
Coming Out The Other Side
"Two teenage boys (16/14) with learning disabilities were on my caseload, they never missed school but often ditched class. They were homeless mid-year after they went home from school to find the locks changed, their Mom had abandoned them for a new boyfriend. She didn't leave an address for them to find her."
"*Edit: both eventually dropped out, however a couple of years later the younger brother came back to visit. He and his brother were both working construction, and his brother had gotten married, had a child, and was living with his wife’s family."
"The younger had roommates and was saving for a car. He told me it was a shame I didn’t have kids, because I would make a good Dad."
"People often persevere, even with the odds stacked against them."
"Not me but my daughter is a teacher, she has lots of stories but one that stands out for me is one of her kindergarten kids saying she was tired and her asking why, the little girl explained that she had been up all night with her mums newborn baby. She did this every night, fed her bottles and everything."
Luckily, He Was Resilient
"This year I had a 17 year old kid enroll at my school. He was sitting in my math class and I could tell he was struggling. After class I took some extra time to go over a concept with him. I asked him to read the question to me, and he sat there silently. He then looked at me and said “I’m not going to lie to you, I cannot read. I have no idea how to say these words""
"Turned out at age 17 he was illiterate and had been kept out of school by his very religious, controlling parents. Over the past few months he has worked very hard! Now he can finally read at an 8th grade level and he is STILL improving!!"
– User Deleted
A Heroic Teacher
"I worked in an inner city charter school. One of my students (`M10) had a sib (M8) in a lower grade. The mom was there every day in the beginning of the year encouraging them, helping them and generally being very supportive... until a CPS agent spoke to me asking about her behavior. After CPS left things went downhill. The boys showed up late to class even though they lived a half block away from school. When in school both boys were tired from sleeping in the car while their mom "went fishing". She also had two very young girls which she dragged around making the boys take care of them. One day the boys didn't show up and their teacher walked over to the house to find the mom had loaded up the fridge, paid the rent for the month and abandoned them. The teacher (a candidate for sainthood btw) took them in, adopted them and grew them up to be great men."
This is really heartbreaking stuff! Luckily, teachers aren't just another adult in your life; they can be your saving grace as well.
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TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains sensitive content about depression and mental health.
As the stigma around mental health lessens (however slowly), people are more forthcoming about the problems they are facing. One of the most common mental health issues is depression.
Depression can affect many different types of people. Factors such as gender, race, nationality, and even age have no bearing on whether someone suffers from depression or not.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, "...an estimated 3.8% of the population affected, including 5.0% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years..."
Depression displays in certain patterns, such as mood changes, physical difficulties, and social isolation. However, depression manifests differently in different people and feels different to different people.
Reddit users divulged what depression felt like to them when Redditor iodineseaspray asked:
"What does depression feel like to you?"
Some of this is sure to sound familiar.
The Worst Kind Of Boredom
"Like being more bored than you could imagine but also not wanting to do anything at all, even breathe. So you want to do something, but you can't imagine anything that you would like to do so you're just sort of stuck."
"So you then spend literally hours staring at a blank wall hating yourself, your life, and everything around you. Well, as much hate as you can summon in the absolutely mentally numb state you find yourself sat in day after day."
Lack Of Motivation and Energy
"Complete lack of motivation."
"Ignoring people that I love, and who are trying to help."
"I feel it extra at work. Letting things slide until you either get into trouble or trying last minute to prevent it."
"Funny those times when I'm working to save my butt, the depression goes away and i feel super focused and motivated."
"I try to carry that energy over but no, it's rinse and repeat."
"Insecure about absolutely everything, no hope for the future, dissociation from society and not knowing how to “act” anymore, feeling like I’m not as good at the things I always thought I was good at or that the “talent is wasted on me”, only food cheers me up and sometimes even that doesn’t work"
Loss Of Creativity
"This. It's like some numb fuzziness you feel in your brain. It's the worst thing ever for an artist who just wants to create but your brain comes up dry with a dense fog that wants to just lie down for a few hours"
A Mental Inability To Breathe
"For me, it feels like I’m in a lake with a ball chain tied to my feet, desperately swimming up for air, the only problem is the chain isn’t long enough. I can only get an inch of my head out of the water to breath, and as soon as a high tide comes, the water just floods over me and I feel like I can’t breath again. I live like this, constantly feeling like I’m struggling to breathe, weighed down by my own mind. It’s a struggle and I can’t really describe it in any other way, I’m jealous of people who don’t worry about depression"
"Like suffocating under a heavy cloak"
"Like being crushed. Like if the air was crushing my muscles and bones and I can’t breathe because I’m being crushed…"
"Kinda like that."
"Scrolling thru your steam library. Thinking you want to play something, either not settling on anything or not wanting to put the effort into the game. Going back to the scrolling."
"It feels like you're forced to play a game of Monopoly (represents life) and your just rolling the dice to appease everyone but you genuinely don't care about where you go, where you land, what you pick up, what you pay, what you gain."
"You kind of just watch it happen without interest and while people are cheering or oh no-ing for you, you genuinely don't care. Everyone is a piece on this board that hardly matters and you feel like we're all just running in a circle over and over again and it's boring and disinteresting as hell."
"You lose all curiosity for everything and just let everything happen and pass by you. No motivation, hardly any love, hardly any care. Feels like the world is in black and white and your waiting for the game to end became it's so absolutely boring and disinteresting, but it never does."
"You come to resent the game and eventually hate it because it feels like you're being forced to play it and suffer it's consequences when you never asked to play it in the first place."
"That's what depression felt like for me. Since then I've been medicated and recieved therapy. I'm doing a lot better now and I don't feel this way anymore, thankfully."
A Relation To Fantasy
"You know that scene in the Lord of the Rings where Bilbo is describing to Galndalf what having the Ring all those years felt like? "I feel thin. Like too much jam spread over too much bread." That's honestly the best way I've seen to describe it."
"I always say the closest thing to compare it to is a dementor in harry potter. It sucks every ounce of happiness out of you until there is only darkness left."
"Side note: chocolate always helps"
Fear Of Lack Of Justification
"Like someone close to you died yesterday. Expect no one has, and nothing has happened to justify how you feel."
A Physical Pain
"Physical pain in my heart, will start crying just by attending to the physical sensation in my body."
"I've always described it as having a shadow fixed to your brain which fuels things like indecision and negativity. You can do things to temporarily help but you can't truly shift it. Previous normality is forgotten. But it's amazing how much you can mask it."
"I found I didn't realise how bad I was until I started to get better"
"For anyone suffering with depression. Please, please speak to someone. Best thing I ever did"
Depression isn't something you can just deal with or get over. Learning to cope is not easy. However, as Redditor DavosLostFingers pointed out, talking to someone can literally save your life.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, contact the American Psychological Association by phone at 800.374.2721 or 202.336.5500.
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