Question on the power of "Hope"

John Ross jross at
Sun Nov 3 04:23:08 EST 1996

I remember seeing a film not too long ago, I think it was called The
Rat Catcher and it was from Poland (I think). It was a documentary
type film on, you guessed it, about a rat catcher. Fascinating stuff,
seems that the average rat is really quite intelligent.

But my question relates to an intro on the film about what appeared to
be laboratory footage on rats that were dropped into an glass tank of
water and left to drown.

The first rat was placed into the water and it swam around for
something like 30mins before it tired, gave up and drowned.

The second rat was dropped in and just as it was tiring and about to
go under it was taken out. After a few minutes rest, it was dropped
back in, but this time it lasted about 15 hrs before it drowned. Or so
the voiceover was saying, suggesting that it was the "hope" of another
rescue that kept it going.

15 hrs seems a bit long to me and and I don't usually blindly accept
TV "facts", but the idea of hope keeping motivation alive seems
sensible. Anybody know of any studies on the subject of hope or care
to comment on the above.


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