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Monkeys do it, too! - Mo's Journal
November 7th, 2007
02:30 pm

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Monkeys do it, too!
Interesting Article in yesterday's Times on rationalization in capuchin monkeys. Apparently we're not the only primates who feel the need to convince ourselves we've made the right decision by rationalizing post facto.

It brings to mind this classic bit of dialogue from The Big Chill, between Michael (Jeff Goldblum) and Sam (Tom Berenger):

Michael: I don't know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They're more important than sex.

Sam: Ah, come on. Nothing's more important than sex.

Michael: Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?

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From:barenakedrachel
Date:November 7th, 2007 08:28 pm (UTC)
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So then my beloved CSI borrowed that line from The Big Chill! I've never seen that... likely a testament to my age...

As soon as I started reading your post, before you quoted the line from the movie, I immediately recalled a favorite CSI episode of mine where Grissom said something like "Man can go without sex indefinitely, without food for three weeks, without water for three days, but he can't go an hour without a rationalization"

And that was very, very loosely quoted :-)

Thanks for sharing the article, very interesting!
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From:mofic
Date:November 7th, 2007 08:52 pm (UTC)
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Man can go without sex indefinitely, without food for three weeks, without water for three days, but he can't go an hour without a rationalization"

I've heard that as an inspirational saying, only ending with "can't go an hour without hope." LOL!

I've never seen CSI, or most TV since around 1990.
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From:barenakedrachel
Date:November 7th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
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Ah, so the phrase gets around, then! :-)

I've been addicted to CSI and to the fanfic world of CSI for... counting... this is the 7th years. Sometimes I think the characters are so real that they actually exist.

Mmmm.... I wonder how long I could go without TV...
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From:mofic
Date:November 7th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
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I don't actually go without tv. I have a TV - and digital cable, even. I go many weeks where I don't turn it on at all, and it's been years since there's a week when I've watched more than 2 hours of TV programs plus a movie (and weeks with that much watching are few and far between), but I don't eschew it totally. Still, I don't watch any dramas or sit coms because I don't know the characters or the situations - they don't seem like things to just drop in on. And I've never seen a reality show at all.

I do watch news sometimes (particularly Jim Lehrer) and often watch Stephen Colbert once or twice a week (I think he's wonderful!) and occasionally Jon Stewart. And I'll turn on the History Channel every once in a while or the kids and I will have a "movie night" and find something to watch (we saw Zodiac a couple of weeks ago and then were too scared to go to sleep!).

I actually really like TV and kind of miss having shows I watch regularly. But the problem is that I don't have time for that. If I watched TV I'd have to give up something else - fanfic or lj or reading or something...
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From:barenakedrachel
Date:November 7th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, time is an issue when it comes to TV. I *rationalize* (or perhaps it's true) that by the time I have free time to do ANYTHING, I'm too tired to read, write, or do much of anything else other than sit in front of a TV show. I consider my TV shows to be stories or plays read/acted out for me "live" and I try to keep them limited because I get really sucked in.

I love Stephen Colbert! I usually catch him on YouTube clips, though, since I forget to watch or DVR his stuff.

I don't like dropping in on shows that have already started, either. I got into House, M.D. because of the fanfiction. Some of the authors I read regularly for CSI started to write House fics, so I started to read those and thought I'd like the show. I *love* it.

So I have my few favorite shows, and then I expanded this year because some previews looked good... I'm always "behind", but that's more than fine with me :-) I get one movie at a time from Blockbuster Online, which I enjoy. I just watched Blood Diamond which I didn't think would be up my alley, but I enjoyed it!

This weekend we have that Chuck and Larry movie. I'm hoping it's fun :-)

I've never seen a reality show, either (really don't like them), and I'm not into sit coms (not enough captivating content for me, I suppose). No soaps, either. I love drama, but only GOOD drama :-) My host-mother in Finland watched an American soap opera and even there I couldn't stand it!
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From:barenakedrachel
Date:November 7th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
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Me again. Just wanted to add that even as I was commenting previously, I was rationalizing... that I could have three mini Snickers because that would equal the size of the standard bar...
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From:mofic
Date:November 7th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
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Well, is it a rationalization? I guess it would depend on whether:

- you'd already decided to have a Snickers
- three minis really are equal to one regular.

I didn't even know there was such thing as a mini-Snickers. Between that and TV I feel so out of it!
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From:barenakedrachel
Date:November 7th, 2007 10:28 pm (UTC)
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No? They're common (around here anyway) during Halloween. You can buy big bags of them to pass out. There are mini versions of every candy bar out there, I think!

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From:mofic
Date:November 8th, 2007 11:30 am (UTC)
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Oh! Yes, I suppose so. I guess I don't pay enough attention to Halloween candy :-).
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From:hitchhiker
Date:November 8th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
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there was another very interesting experiment, the results of which i think should have factored into the analysis of this one, in which a group of people were randomly given things of roughly equal value, and then asked whether they'd exchange their object with someone else's. there was a strong tendency to overvalue something because it was "yours", even though the objects were openly and randomly allotted at the start of the experiment.
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From:mofic
Date:November 8th, 2007 11:29 am (UTC)
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That's interesting. It's also a way of resolving cognitive dissonance, but not dependent on a choice the individual made.
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