Engineers are far less emotional than rats: Study

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VANCOUVER, BC – The International Association of Multipolar Narcissistic & Undogmatical Testing Standards released a report this morning concluding that 89.56% of engineers world-wide have far fewer emotions than the average lab rat.

The study, which was conducted on a statistically significant sample set of engineers from all disciplines, ethnic backgrounds, working throughout the world in various industries, found that the vast majority of engineers struggle to understand emotions, let alone recognize them and express them.

Dr. Harry Knutz, the director of IAMNUTS and the study’s lead author and experiment architect, commented on the research.

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Dr. Knutz, IAMNUTS

“The results of this 10-year study should surprise nobody, and I mean not one person. Anywhere. Ever. Period. Many of the human participants in the study could not even recognize the 2 most fundamental emotions of love and fear, let alone the myriads of secondary emotions that are derived from them. We designed and conducted a number of thought and physical experiments which put our human subjects and clinical lab rats through a series of tests while connected to probes that measured brainwave activity, heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and sweat. The results were simply remarkable and I point you to the 420-page study for details. – Dr. Harry Kntuz, IAMNUTS director

According to the study,  published in the Journal of Recognitive Pathognomology, the genesis for the research was to better understand and scientifically answer the age old questions Why are engineers so analytical, objective, self-absorbed, arrogant, and smug? And can they be rehabilitated?

The study focused on a number of experiments, a few of which have been summarized below by 2P News medical correspondent Bim Fong:

Experiment #EF43-4x: A lab rat and an engineer were both put in a maze commensurate to their size. One of two termination points in the maze held a fellow rat/human who was injured and in serious need of help; the other termination point contained an abacus and building blocks. The amount of time spent at each termination point was recorded for each subject and analyzed, with the process repeated 10,000 times with different subjects. The rat spent an average of 91% of their time helping the injured rat, while the engineer subjects spent only 7% (both figures to within one-half of one standard deviation). In 2 of the 10,000 cases, the human subjects would wander aimlessly throughout the maze without noticing anything. It was later learned that these 2 subjects also held undergraduate degrees in geology.

Experiment #OL94-1Y: The engineers were subjected to a real-world test involving placement of various data and computing equipment on a sidewalk close to their home.  When the equipment was spotted, the observational team recorded how the engineer reacted.  The study concluded that 97% of engineers tested pulled over, ran over, dropped his or her bicycle, or pulled the emergency stop on the bus to go and see what was going on with all of the equipment left roadside.  Of that 97%, 78%(+/- 6.34%) remained with the equipment for several hours trying to set it up and get it running, just to see if it would hint at why it was left there.  Many of their families were interviewed post experiment and found to be either angry or simply disappointed with their ability to prioritize.

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Two Farquantum Monkeys used in the study.

Experiment #IO99-9P: This experiment was designed to reach into the inner psychomanfribular postus frontal behavioural traits exhibited by both engineers and Farquantum Monkeys, a rare species found only in Mathmaticstan.  These Farquantum Monkeys have a keen ability to process numeric physical data in their environment, such as counting figs, or dividing plum flower leaves equally among the group.  When engineers were subjected to random spot tests such as surprise coffee deliveries, spontaneous Subway sandwich platter deliveries, or free beer samples, they failed miserably at being able to process the data in a way beneficial to their peers around them.  67% of the subjects could not rationalise the value added result for the donor and consequently shut down emotionally and cried, while the remaining 33% got deeply entrenched in calculating the net present value of the free coffee or sandwich or beer.  So deeply in fact, they became intertwined in the possibility that it wasn’t free, and that eventually someone would come to consume it, and what possible value it had to them at that time versus the engineering staff consuming when it arrived.

Opponents to the study refute its claims and many say that they know engineers who are as emotionally connected as a human can be. While Dr. Knutz does not completely agree with these challenges to his research, he did note that the human subjects who did exhibit normal emotions and feelings had studied geological engineering, which technically isn’t really engineering anyhow.

The research group plans to conduct further testing that will pit engineers against androids and robots to see how they compare from an emotional point of view. Based on the scientific evidence to date, including the results of this study, and urban legend, it is very likely that the androids and robots will prevail

When asked about the likelyhood that a typical engineer change his or her ways and gainfully contribute to the emotional well-being of society as a whole, Dr. Knutz simple replied, “That likelihood is extremely remote. The province of Alberta will see an NDP majority government before engineers improve their emotional intelligence in any appreciable way.”

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