Last night, my roommate asked us to fill out a survey for her psych class. After we'd completed it, she told us what it's for - she and her group are conducting research on belief in a "just world." Their hypothesis is that people who believe that everyone gets what they deserve will be more likely to hold individuals responsible for bad things that happen to them (car accidents, lung cancer), even when there's not much evidence supporting that.
I realized my results were going to be a little odd. Bad things happen to people all the time and there's nothing they did to deserve it. Children are born into poverty and have deal with the effects their whole lives - not their fault. Their lives may not ever improve much, but that doesn't mean that they "deserve" what ultimately happens. People get cancer and Alzheimers and schizophrenia and diabetes, and it's not an indication that they're bad people. Planes go down. Boats sink. Cars turn left when they shouldn't. Bad things happen to people, but it's not their fault.
Me, however. I'm different. When something bad happens to me, it is my fault. If I get sick, it's because I didn't wash my hands enough or didn't get enough vitamin C. If I get cancer, it's because I didn't eat the "right" foods. If other people gain weight, it's because of metabolic or genetic issues outside of their control. If I gain weight, it's because I'm a fatass and eat too much. Did poorly on a test? Didn't study enough, even if I spent hours at the books. Anything bad that happens to me is partly, if not mostly or entirely, my own fault.
My roommate looked at me after I told her. "Goddamn, that is pessimistic," she said.
This might be something to tell Dr. M. I don't think this is normal.