You're left in an empty room to your own devices for 15 minutes of quiet time. You do have one option for entertainment, however—a button that will painfully shock you if you press it. Do you do it? 

That may sound like a ridiculous question on paper, but the actual answer may surprise you. A team of researchers from Harvard and the University of Virginia just published a new study that proves that people are dumber (or just way more masochistic) than you'd probably think.

According to Animal New York, volunteers were first kept in an empty room and then polled about how much they liked the experience. Then scientists upped the ante asking volunteers to do the same at home, where a third admitted they cheated by going on the Internet or using their phones. Finally, volunteers were placed in a room where they could either choose to do nothing or shock themselves with electricity. 

Two thirds of men and 25 percent of women decided to try the button, while one creepy guy shocked himself 190 times. Scientist behind the study think that it shows what lengths people will go not to be bored. That, or we've underestimed just how self-destructive humans really are. Yeesh. 

[via Animal and Arstechnica]

UNRELATED: You're Doing It Wrong: Online Dating 

Send tips, photos and news developments to