Science Says Rubik’s Cube Makes You Feel Dumb
New studies show that the Rubik’s Cube, a popular 3D combination puzzle, actually lowers users’ self esteem and makes them question their intelligence.
A whopping 99% of Rubik’s cubes go unsolved, making it a hard puzzle to crack.
Most people have toyed around with the popular novelty item, invented in 1974 by a Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture named Erno Rubik.
Despite naming it after himself, lore suggests the egotistical asshole couldn’t solve the thing himself.
Many frustrated users say it’s impossible, claiming that they wouldn’t want to be able to do it anyway.
In a laboratory setting, 24-30 year old college graduates were given twenty minutes to attempt to solve the Rubik’s cube. Before attempting the puzzle, all subjects identified as intelligent, and had generally positive outlooks in regards to their own intellectual capabilities. Following the mostly unsuccessful Rubik’s attempts, their scores on the same tests dropped significantly. These findings suggest that attempting the Rubik’s Cube has a negative overall effect on self esteem.
Post study interviews were telling, with a whopping 84% of subjects changing their future outlooks on life from positive to negative. Multiple subjects described the event as the single most humiliating of their life. The Rubik’s cube makes you feel dumb.
One problem is inflated expectation. The Rubik’s Cube has been around for so long that it has become a part of popular culture. It’s hard to forget the scene in The Pursuit of Happiness where Will Smith’s character solves the puzzle during a short cab ride.
The perception is that a genius can intuitively work their way through the cube, whereas the mere ignoramus cannot. Finding out which side of that equation you fall on can be devastating for the ego. Even a well trained child can blitz through the Rubik’s Cube, why can’t you?
Follow up studies will be necessary to determine how deep this effect goes. Long term studies that gauge the differences of life outcome between those who have, and have not attempted the Rubik’s Cube. It might also be interesting to see what happens to the golden ticket winners who successfully complete the cube. Is Willy Wonka’s Intelligence Factory all it is cracked up to be?
The Rubik’s cube is more than a game. It is a blade of truth, and unless you can cope with the revelations it sets forth, stick to Tetris.