Back in May listening to NPR Radio I heard the details of an experiment I first heard of in the late 1980's. During the interview I finally heard the details.
To prove a theory this experiment was conducted. Researchers took 2 groups of rats.
With the first group, the "control group", individual rats were placed in a jar of water with a stream of water falling down onto them. The average time it took for the rats in the first group to drown was about 15 minutes.
second group of rats, the "experimental group," were put into the same jar of water then after one minute it
would be taken out, dried off, and given a couple of minutes to relax.
Then it was put back into the jar of water. The average time it
took for the rats in the second group to drown approximately was 6
hours. (It was so unexpected I still wonder if I heard that right.)
What was it that caused this difference?
The answer given during the interview was that the second set of rats was, "... were given a choice."
The second group had two experiences. One of being in a desperate situation then suddenly being in a safe environment.
When placed back in the jar of water they kept swimming until they got back to that safe place.
From a human perspective it may be be interpreted as having hope.
And the other set of rats that drowned after only 15 minutes? From the human perspective it may be intreperted as they being quitters.