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Scientists Say That Laziness Is Part Of Our Nature

Yes, we are all naturally lazy and here's why!

Most of us will probably admit that we naturally tend to take the path of least resistance when it comes to most daily tasks in life. Lazy is one unflattering word used to describe this behavior. We probably tend to take the escalator instead of the stairs at the mall. We carry in as many grocery bags as possible from the car so we don't have to make an extra trip. We don't go out of our way to take on harder jobs in our places of employment than we have to.

If you can identify with any of those statements, don't beat yourself up too much. It turns out that, according to science, this tendency to take the easy road is perfectly natural for us as human beings.

A study conducted by a research team from University College London demonstrated this very inclination toward laziness. It turns out our brains may indeed be hardwired to choose tasks which are the least difficult for us. Rather than looking at it as laziness, it could be called a desire for efficiency.

In this fascinating study, the researchers even found that people's perception of reality can be altered based on how costly performing a specific activity proves to be. Read below to find out more details about the unique methods researchers used to draw their conclusions.

During the course of the study, the 52 participants were asked numerous times to decide whether a group of dots displayed on a screen was moving toward the right or the left. The way they were told to indicate their choice was by pushing a lever in the same direction as they thought the dots were moving.

Without telling the participants of the study, the researchers added a slight amount of weight to the lever. The catch was that the lever was only being weighted when participants pushed in one of the two directions. Amazingly, the subjects of the test started to get the answer wrong when they had to push against this slight resistance. They would automatically choose the direction that was the easiest to push toward, regardless of where the dots were really going on the screen!

iStock-638678292 (1)istockphoto.com/Martin Dimitrov

To take it one step further, the inaccurate answers continued even after the pushing and pulling were no longer required. Researchers eventually told the study participants to quit pushing the lever and just tell them which way the dots were going. But the psychological damage had already been done. Just as before, the participants still showed a preference for the direction that had given them the least resistance when they were still pushing the lever!

So what exactly does the study indicate? According to the researchers, it shows that people naturally tend to favor easier tasks and that this favoritism can even unconsciously alter their decision-making process.

This study would cast doubt on the notion that "seeing is believing," or that our senses shape our perception of reality. Instead, our senses are only one part of the package. It turns out that our senses can be influenced by our desire to avoid working too hard. It would be truly intriguing to find out what other psychological factors may alter our perception of the world around us as well!

So next time you feel an urge to take the elevator instead of the stairs or hit the snooze button on your alarm clock, you can feel a bit more justified in your laziness. After all, it's a built-in part of your nature to want to take the easy road. But it probably wouldn't be a good idea to give into this natural tendency too much if you want to stay in shape and keep your job!

What about you? Do you think you would have pushed the lever in the direction the dots were really moving on the screen, or do you think the resistance placed on the lever would have tricked you into making the wrong choice?

Do you accept the study's findings that our brains are naturally conditioned to avoid extra work? How do you see this principle play out in your everyday life? Let us know your thoughts!

If you found this article interesting, pass it along to your friends and family!

Make sure every lazy person you know sees this!