Veteran smokers are greatly amused by watching nonsmokers try to smoke for the first time, according to a new study.
The study, which was performed over the course of four years at the University of Texas, put groups of smokers in isolated rooms with one or two nonsmokers and studied the smokers’ reactions shortly after introducing the habit to the nonsmokers. In every case, the nonsmokers hacked and coughed when trying cigarettes for the first time, causing the veteran smokers to cackle like hyenas and in some cases make petty insults. Shortly into the experiments, a hypothesis was made.
“It seemed that, in the mind of a smoker, there was nothing more amusing than watching an amateur poorly accomplish a task that they’ve never attempted before,” said lead researcher Dr. Sarah Reymond. “So we decided to take it one step further.”
The researchers then observed the actions of smokers when the nonsmokers attempted to change the oil of a car for the first time. Not surprisingly, the smokers again responded with obnoxious laughter and petty insults. The same results came when the experiment was modified further, having the nonsmokers attempt to discharge a firearm or ride a motorcycle for the first time.
Astonishingly, however, the results were different when groups of nonsmokers were made to observe one or two smokers try to do things they had never done before, such as brushing their teeth or reading a book. The reaction of the nonsmokers in those experiments was characterized as “bored and uninterested.”
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