Social Experiment - Twitch Plays Pokemon

psychpost | 2/18/2014 05:00:00 PM | 0 Comments
Watch live video from TwitchPlaysPokemon on
What happens when you get several thousand of players all trying to control one game of Pokemon? You end up with a constant struggle between players who are aiming to progress in the game and players who are trying to halt progress. This struggle represents itself by creating very unorganized movements, leaving the playable character often stuck in one location, and poor choices while in battle. Several hours of progress can be lost due to the resulting randomness of choices.

The overall feelings of helplessness, frustration, grief, and occasional happiness are not without consequences. These emotions have given rise to a whole new pantheon of gods and religions.A system of good and evil has been created, each with their own martyrs, prophets, saviors, gods, and myths.

There have been questions whether a system of anarchy or democracy is best for choosing inputs. One thing is clear; when frustration rises, the want for organized democratic input rises as well. As I am writing this (6d 0h 23m) the stream has recently lost to a boss and it seems democracy will begin again.

So far this has been a very insightful view in human interactions and will probably produce more interesting results in the upcoming days.

A Strong Sense of Control Prolongs Life

psychpost | 2/10/2014 06:00:00 PM | 0 Comments
Higher sense of control can increases chances of survival. [photo source]
I recently read an interesting study that found a link between the level of control in one's own life and longevity. The study found that participants who have a higher sense of control in their lives have a decreased mortality risk of 13%.

To measure their sense of control, participants were asked to report how much they agree with statements like "What happens in my life is beyond my control" and “I can do just about anything I really set my mind to." This data was collected from a national survey in the United States from 1995-1996 and later compared to the National Death Index.

One possible explanation for this effect is that feeling in control can act as a resilience factor, changing the way an individual perceives obstacles. A person who feels more in control of their life may act more proactively when faced with problems, helping them make better life and health choices.