James Woodson/Digital Vision/Getty Images
We all, on a cellular level, recognize the awesomeness that is a deep-fried Snickers bar. You cannot dispute it, and you would only make yourself look foolish trying to do so. We know junk food is terrible for us, but we still enjoy it, despite the guilt.
Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
"Oh, yeah. Guilt. Sure."
But According to Science ...
It's not in spite of, but rather because you feel guilty that you're really digging on that Burnut (a hamburger with doughnuts in place of buns). In fact, if you didn't feel guilty about consuming a week's worth of calories in a single sitting, you wouldn't like your Cold Stone CakeShake nearly as much. This phenomenon doesn't just apply to food. It can be virtually anything you know you're not supposed to enjoy, but do anyway.
Andrea Chu/Photodisc/Getty Images
Silly Terrence. He'll regret not folding those pants first thing tomorrow!
In a series of studies, scientists induced feelings of guilt in volunteers, presumably by forcing them to talk to their grandmothers about their career choices for 10 solid minutes. The participants were then given a candy bar that they were told was part of a taste study. Those who were primed with guilt reported that they enjoyed the treat significantly more than those who weren't. A later study identified similar results in women who were given the opportunity to view the online profiles of men they might be interested in dating. Those who were made to feel guilty first ended up getting more enjoyment out of ogling some bros (brogling, if you will).
Scientists suspect that this effect is mostly due to societal conditioning. We're still pretty judgmental of one another, especially when it comes to "moments of weakness." As such, we experience guilt alongside or immediately after pleasure so often that we've gotten the two confused. We got our shame chocolate all mixed up in our orgasm peanut butter.
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Reeses Pieces orgy, anyone?
And now we can't even decide if we're hungry or horny. Thanks a bunch, Science.
#1. When the Bad Guy Wins
If movies have taught us anything, it's that we're all naturally programmed to unquestionably hate on evil. Especially if that evil is packaged in the form of an entitled, pretty-boy jerkbag. You see this nowhere more than sports movies: The undeserving dickhead quarterback is right up there with "guy mysteriously petting a cat" on our list of folks we want to see brought down a peg. And nothing is better than watching people like that get their comeuppance. Crane kick, Daniel-san!
When Mitch Guncar finally dies of syphilis, we feel like justice has been done.
But According to Science ...
Sticking with sports: It doesn't matter how much of a dick the winner is. As long as the show is good, people will still enjoy watching the competition. Even if the winner in question is given the most cartoonishly evil backstory possible -- even if he's a greedy landlord brutally triumphing over a team of haggard hockey-playing orphans -- it doesn't affect our enjoyment of the event.
Jonathan Daniel / Staff / Getty
We don't care that these guys both have rich dads who plan to shut down the youth center.
In one experiment, a group of people were asked to watch some speed skating footage, after which they were given one of two scenarios. The first group was told that the winning athlete was a walking paragon of virtue, while the second was told that the winner had tested positive for illegal drugs and was just generally an unrepentant tool.
Why they couldn't have just used Tour de France footage is beyond us, but we're no scientists.
Mike Powell / Getty
We're barely cyclists.
The researchers then gauged the enjoyment each participant had experienced while watching the footage -- a term used very loosely when applied to speed skating -- and found no discernible difference between the two groups. After all was said and done, regardless of the winner's personality or worthiness, the audience simply enjoyed taking in an exciting athletic competition.
Of course, during the footage, people were inclined to root against the dicklord and support the nice guy. And afterward some voiced feelings of disappointment if the bad guy won -- but this disappointment did not affect how much they enjoyed the event overall. So basically, it doesn't matter if you're a giant inflated douchebag, as long as you win with style.
Mark Wilson / Staff / Getty
That's true with a number of things.
Sorry, every single movie filmed during the 1980s: Science says you're full of shit.
Scientists say you'll definitely like Karl Smallwood's Twitter account, purely because you get to laugh at his last name. He also has a blog. Dennis runs a group blog and a crowdsourced dating advice site. He'll do cartwheels if you follow him on Twitter.
For more things science hates to break to you, check out 5 Random Factors That Determine Whether You Succeed in Life and 6 Reasons Assholes Are Healthier (According to Science).
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out Fat Is Officially Incurable (According to Science).
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn why we should all agree to punch science in its stupid face.
Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up RIGHT NOW and pitch your first article today! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infographic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!
Related Reading: For the exact opposite of this article, read Adam Brown's look at supposedly fun activities no one actually enjoys. Next, read the sequel and admit that not a damned soul has ever enjoyed a game of Monopoly. More interested in the things people really hate? Read this article and learn why your zoomed in profile picture makes the world despise you. And if you'd like to know why your pet hates you, read this article and stop hugging your dog or locking eyes with your cat.