Thursday, July 30
Sharks Playing Ball
A team of scientists attempted to measure the pain of rejection. It has been a long held belief that such pain is unquantifiable--or perhaps something that targets emotion, ego--but this time, the scientists rigged a system that included small electronic doodads and a group of people playing ball. The ones who were "outed" from the game eventually felt "rejected" and there was a corresponding hit on the gadgets attached to them.
So now there's proof that the pain of rejection is undeniably also physical--gut being wrenched out inch by inch, the bread knife stabbed into one's back and pierced the heart and turned approximately eighteen degrees to the left.
Bonnie Kozek even has an interesting aside to the scientists' findings: "'Why' does rejection hurt? Their concluding theory is that 'rejection' affects the brain because it is deeply-rooted in our DNA. Long ago, mammals relied on social bonds to survive. Broken social bonds put survival in peril. Mammals therefore feared any diminishing of these bonds. And this congenital fear is so entrenched that today’s mammals still see any form of exclusion from social connection as a direct physical threat."
It's not just a physical manifestation of pain then. Even more scary for the mammals of today is the pain of not being part of the game being played out there to celebratory shouts in the field.