Hate your Boss? Stabbing a Voodoo Doll Could Help, Say Scientists

Ever had a bad encounter with a sadist boss? The kind who loves to ridicule you in front of everyone or satiate his dark pleasures by shredding your confidence to pieces in his personal cabin? Well, researchers say that you can do something about it. Have you ever surfaced those feelings for a clean catharsis? Try stabbing a voodoo doll.

Try a voodoo doll

Hate your boss? STAB a voodoo doll
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Now, however sinister it may look but two studies have clearly shown that stabbing a voodoo doll can actually help to purge oneself of those malign feelings for your boss. Under the study, upset employees were given a chance to hurt the doll using pins, pliers and fire and while doing that it generated a sense of justice in the volunteers.

Around 400 participants were asked to volunteer for the study with a compensation of a dollar each, of which 195 were employees. They were asked to recall the time when they were abused by their bosses; abuse of any kind; being yelled at or the likes. Now, half of them were asked to visit a website where a virtual voodoo doll was present, ready to be named with the initials of their bosses and harmed. The tools were the pins, pliers, and fire. The other participants were shown a screenshot of the doll, named as nobody, and were asked to trace the outline with a cursor.

The science behind it

The study was concluded using a set of five apparent unrelated word puzzles. The ones who harmed the voodoo doll felt a higher sense of justice. This, in psychology, has roots in a thing called Transference. The feelings that are welled up inside a person are put outside in front of a shrink. The feelings are, thus, transferred and the individuals are left with a clear conscience. Here, in this case, the object of transference is the voodoo doll.

Why does it work?

Researchers such as Paul Rozin, proved in his influential paper in 1986, related to magical thinking, that “two laws of sympathetic magic” that were introduced in the early 1900’s still is viable for modern American culture. One of the law is based on the ability of things to be contagious, i.e. those things belonging to celebrity sells at a very high rate. The other law says the image of the object equals the object, working on the system of similarity between the two. And so voodoo dolls hold a significant power even for those who do not believe in the superstitions.

Similar researches have been conducted, but with volunteers that hold different interest and also with different equipment. In some cases, couples were asked to stab a voodoo doll whenever they fight with their partners unbeknownst to them. And in other instances Hot sauce paradigm was employed to take revenge; participants were asked to put the hot sauce, as much as they desired, in a dish that will supposedly be served to the person they hate. In all these cases participants were relieved to an extent of their worries and felt a sense of satisfaction and justice.

Read More: Finding Meaning In A Job Where You Feel You Don’t Belong

Let us know in the comments if you would like try something like this to alleviate your sufferings given by your boss.

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