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Monday, November 5, 2007

There Does Appear to be an Element of Happiness in Death

La Portada, Chile
A new study shows people’s thoughts actually turn to happiness when they are forced to ponder the end-of-life, according to the Association of Psychological Science.

Kind of makes you wonder why that might be? Because the subjects in question are not terminally ill patients who are desiring to die, but rather, young and healthy people. What could cause thoughts of death turn towards happiness?

Here is what happened: Researchers Wall and Baumeister ran three experiments in a laboratory setting, during which they asked volunteers to think about what happens physically when they die and to imagine what it’s like to be dead. Once the volunteers were in this state of mind, they were given a series of word tests designed to tap into unconscious emotions.

For example, volunteers were asked to complete the word stem "jo_" to make a word. They could of made a neutral word like job or jog, or they might have instead opted for the emotional word joy. The idea is that the results represent the unconscious mind at work.

The study, published in the November issue of Psychological Science, found that when volunteers were overcome with thoughts of death, they were not depressed.

In fact, the opposite was true. The death-thinkers were much more likely than control subjects to feel positive emotional associations rather than neutral or negative ones.

Read the whole article

So here we have a type of out-of-the-box-thinking that somehow appears to be wired into our brains. Would this not suggest that on some level we know something that we don't know with our conscious mind, and that is the reason we feel this way)

Just a thought.

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