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Are We Naturally Lazy?

A team of researchers claims to have uncovered an interesting paradox: humans are happier when they’re busy, but we’re inclined towards idleness (“an evolutionary vestige that ensures we conserve energy.”) Christopher K. Hsee, Adelle X. Yang, and Liangyan Wang ran a series of experiments with college students and found that students were inclined towards idleness, but would seize even superficial opportunities to be busy. Furthermore, students who took the opportunity to do something with their downtime reported feeling happier after the experiment. In keeping with the times, the authors see an opportunity for government intervention: “Governments may increase the happiness of idle citizens by having them build bridges that are actually useless.” [%comments]