Battery loss causes psychological damage, study finds

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UBC study ends in bloodshed and police intervention

March 31, 2016

By Jake Wray

Mental health issues are directly correlated with cellphone battery levels, a UBC study has found.

Dr. Wikus Thompson, the UBC professor who led the study, said the results will radically change the way medical professionals approach mental health.

“This undermines much of what we thought we knew about psychology. Now, instead of prescribing anti-psychotic drugs, doctors will provide patients with a free Lightning iPhone charger,” said Thompson.

“We didn’t take this research too seriously at first. It’s hard to believe that people are so emotionally attached to their phones, but after how messy things got—well, let’s just say this is something we need to pay more attention to.”

Researchers gathered 15 men and 15 women together in a waiting room, telling the subjects to stay put and that the study would begin soon. In actuality, the study had already begun. The room was not equipped with plug-ins. After several hours, as phone batteries depleted, the subjects began behaving erratically.

Thompson said a man in his mid-20s, who arrived at the study with a hangover and without having fully charged his phone, was the first to break.

“Subject 16 was ill prepared for the emotional stress. His phone died well before the others’, and he immediately started pacing nervously,” said Thompson. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it. He began chanting to himself, and then attacked another subject.”

Subject 16 overpowered the much weaker Subject 23, a middle-aged soccer mom with a bad back. He took her phone and forced her to provide the passcode so he could continue browsing Reddit.

As other phone batteries began to die, more subjects became unstable.

“It eventually devolved to sort of a Lord of the Flies type scenario,” said Thompson. “Subject 2 ended up with the last functioning phone, and she became the queen of the group. She ordered the group to kill and eat one of the weaker subjects, and then she smeared feces over the lenses of our security cameras.”

VPD Sgt. Johnathan Khan said officers had to assist in shutting the study down, and that the VPD was launching an investigation against Thompson and his colleagues. Khan personally attended the scene.

“It was a bloodbath. One of our rookies slipped on a severed hand as soon as we entered the zone,” said Khan. “In 24 years of police work, I have never seen anything so gruesome.”

One of the subjects from the study agreed to be interviewed. Jeb Maxwell, or Subject 9, told the Other Press about his experience.

“Eyes in the night!” he said, as he curled into the fetal position on the floor. “Six per cent, five per cent, four per cent, no, no, oh god, make it stop! Make it stop! Please!”

 

Article originally appeared in The Other Press

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