The Psychology Of Laziness

, , , , , | Learning | August 27, 2019

For a while, I was a psychology major in college. The major had some interesting electives, including “psychology of animal and human interaction.” I loved animals and thought psychology was interesting so it was a no-brainer to me.

Our final, worth a considerable portion of our grade, was a group research project. Groups of four to five students had to find participants and animals, and record how people talked to the animals. Each student had to have their own set of data so that the professor could still grade our individual contributions.

Enter Lazy Classmate, who, while seeming soft-spoken and nice, absolutely refused to participate meaningfully in this project worth a huge part of our grade. He was never confrontational, but he never delivered on anything promised and we had to write his portions of the paper for him, etc. Standard useless project member things. The real surprise was when we all reviewed the final paper and data.

The lazy classmate had apparently failed to collect his data set, as well, and it was incredibly obvious. He had taken my data and copy-pasted it completely. This was an upper-level, restricted elective. He couldn’t have been that stupid, right?

He was that stupid. The teacher noticed immediately and our feedback on his contributions to the project was the final nail in the coffin. The project was graded out of 100 total, and then divided for each student. So, a 100% for an individual student was a 20/20. Imagine my surprise when the lazy student didn’t show up on the final day, and the rest of the group had found we’d all been given 25/20. The teacher had not only reported the student, but had given us his points, as well, giving us all a big grade boost right before the semester’s end.

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