Scientists have learned how to turn lazy monkeys into hardworkers?could they someday do the same to us? It’s notlikely to happen in the U.K., because they have Prozac inthe drinking water.
Employees in the U.S. already work harder and longer hoursthan workers in any other first world country. But in casethat’s not enough for employers, Richard Black writes inbbcnews.com that researchers have now learned how tomanipulate monkeys into working almost nonstop.
Usually monkeys work hard only when they know a reward iscoming. In the laboratory, they learn to press levers forrewards of food and water, but they only concentrate on thejob when they know they?re about to get their reward.Scientists wanted to know how to get them to work theirhardest all the time.
Researcher Barry Richmond discovered that blocking the brainchemical dopamine changed their work ethic. He says, “Normalmonkeys and people procrastinate?tend not to work very wellwhen they have a lot of time to get the job done, and workbetter when the reward is nearer in time. The monkeys underthe influence of the treatment don’t procrastinate.”
Bosses in Britain may wish they could use this discoveryright now, since it’s been discovered that there are tracesof the antidepressant Prozac in the nation’s drinking water.So many people are taking the drug that it’s turning up inrivers and groundwater. Eventually the average worker in theU.K. may become a slacker.
Environmentalist Norman Baker says it’s “a case of hiddenmass medication upon the unsuspecting public.” But the realconspiracy would be if chemicals that block dopamine werereleased into the water, turning us all into workaholics. Isthat day coming soon?
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