ITHACA, NY—Citing a range of behavior that experts could only describe as “profoundly disturbed,” a new study released by Cornell University’s psychology department Thursday revealed that most otherwise normal people transform into complete psychotics when alone in the confines of their own homes.
The study, conducted in the households of millions of Americans over an 11-month period, states that from the moment the average person sets foot inside their front door, they begin exhibiting wildly unhinged mannerisms, including loudly talking to themselves; suddenly snapping their fingers for brief, three-to-five-second bursts for no reason whatsoever; and walking into their bathrooms, staring into the mirror, inflating their cheeks while making a grotesque face, and then leaving as if what they did was completely normal.
“Before we began, none of us could have guessed at the depths of psychosis the general public sinks into every day behind closed doors,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Peter Gibbon, told reporters. “Yet, as our research points out, even the most seemingly mentally healthy person devolves into fits of hysteria once in private, performing activities such as dancing in an entirely silent room and singing snippets of nonsensical songs that they’ve made up on the spot.”
“If they did any of these activities in public, a coworker would more than likely be compelled to report the individual to human resources, who would in turn contact a local psychiatric hospital or mental health center,” Gibbon added. “And a pedestrian would just assume the individual was a raving lunatic.”
Of those subjects who were observed, the report noted that 45 percent tend to break up periods of prolonged silence with quick, random sounds like “Hup!” “Tketetata,” and “Hello!” 63 percent would enter their kitchen, look into the refrigerator, close it, and go back to their living rooms without accomplishing anything—sometimes five times in a one-hour span—and 23 percent would create bizarre physical projects for themselves such as attempting to pick up a pen near their couch using only their toes.
In what could only in most cases be described as symptoms of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder and mania, nearly 95 percent of individuals, when alone in their houses, would spend three consecutive hours mindlessly scrolling through their smartphones, then looking at the same three websites on their computers, then bouncing back and forth between the same television channels, and then picking up their smartphones, thus setting the process into motion once again.
More than 500,000 individuals engaged in imaginary arguments in which they supplied lines of dialogue for their bosses or parents, and then proceeded to win the seemingly hallucinated verbal dispute point-by-point.
“We discovered that the private mannerisms of most people, if seen in public, would be considered nearly identical to the those of a person with a severe case of schizophrenia,” Gibbon stated. “For example, if you were to witness someone on a subway car obsessively pulling their elbow skin to check its elasticity or see an individual randomly say to themselves, ‘Okay, okay, I’ll call her’ to no one in particular, your immediate reaction would be to think, ‘This person is insane and needs professional help.’”
Yet the researchers were quick to point out that by far the most mentally unstable individuals they encountered were pet owners, who, when alone, would reportedly walk amongst their animals entirely in the nude, talk to them as if they were humans by saying such things as “I don’t want to go to the gym today, Corker,” and would cover them in blankets for no discernible reason other than to indulge in their own sick curiosity.
“Many pet owners would lie naked in bed and let their cats walk on their bare bodies, an act that, if done in public, would merit that person’s admission to a psychiatric treatment ward,” the study’s co-author Dr. Erica Crain said. “And though these people seemed to love their pets, they would also purposely frustrate them by poking their stomachs, squeezing their paws slightly harder than what would be deemed acceptable, or cornering them just to see what the pets’ reaction would be.”
“These are the actions of people with deep psychological problems,” Crain added. “And based on all of our findings, from the tens of millions who, out of nowhere, made cluck sounds with their tongues, or, completely unprompted, tried out a Barack Obama impression, we have been forced to conclude that all human beings are utterly out of their minds.”