Baboon Research: Discussing Oregon Football can Relieve Stress?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials 1 Comment

A study passed along to me indicates that I have been operating the Our Beloved Ducks forum in a similar way to what occurred in a research setting involving baboon behavior. Our OBD results have been matching what was in the findings, and what has occurred in the wild. Pretty surprising and unexpected, yet let’s see whether it’s just coincidence or if we actually do match up!

Most fans would say that discussing the Ducks when the games are frustrating would create stress, not relieve it–right? Let’s learn how our gathering and sharing of fellowship with other Duck fans can improve our health, as well as teach us more about our favorite Oregon Sports. It is a story worthy of GameDay that in a week in which the team is improving, we as fans learn how we are as well, even if inadvertently.

Much as been learned in the last 15 years about how stress can damage our bodies and make us more prone to disease and early mortality. Professor Robert Sapolsky is an award-winning neurobiologist who felt he could learn more about stress in humans by studying non-humans (baboons) who create their own stress through a regimented hierarchy within a troop. It takes only a few hours a day to forage for food, thus much of their time each day is spent establishing and reestablishing the complicated troop pecking order.

From YouTube Video

The Alpha Males could be pretty fierce and mean to others.

Alpha males have little stress, as they are the ones delivering it to others, in fact tormenting all in sight. This stress created by such aggression is passed down the social strata until even the infants feel the effects of a family dust-up with a dominant male. Professor Sapolsky took blood samples and documented the stress damage at the cellular level, with the greatest negative impact being felt at the bottom of this social order. It was ground-breaking research at that time, demonstrating how a species could hasten its own demise.

Then disaster struck this baboon troop being studied…

They decided to forage in a garbage dump of a tourist lodge where they found tasty meat that the alpha males kept for themselves. Unfortunately, it was tainted with disease and all the alpha males within this highly studied baboon troop died within a short time. What was left were predominantly females, but also males who exhibited a low level of aggressiveness toward others. While most thought the research value was now dashed, a fascinating thing evolved from it.

When I want to take a break and do some gaming action (especially when I’m in Asia) I like to turn to Thai sports betting for some fun before the next Oregon game.

The troop atmosphere was completely changed, and the prevailing aggressive behaviors of the past were no longer allowed. Adolescent males who joined the troop went through an adaption period, (like newbies do in the Our Beloved Ducks forum) but these new members of the troop had to conform to the non-aggressive behaviors practiced by all. The result was an improvement in the general health of the troop, and the bodily internal damage due to stress was documented to be much less at the cellular level of these “civilized” baboons.

The video above tells the whole stress research story, but I have it set to begin at the spot where a short segment explains this disaster and the aftermath that is studied with great interest.

Most surprising is how this required decorum in the baboon troop is not a recent development, as this momentous event occurred over 20 years ago! Thus new generations are taught how to behave from the very beginning in this unusual troop, and the result is a thriving community that is both harmonious and healthy. To quote the video…“Robert’s baboons could point us humans to a stress-free utopia?”

Trust me, I have not been modeling the rules of commenting over the last four years at FishDuck or at the Our Beloved Ducks Forum from baboon behavior! But the video above explains that whether it is a group of people who flock together to discuss a common love (like Oregon Sports) or a baboon troop in a research study — improved health and happiness increase substantially if aggressive behaviors are no longer tolerated.

Think of it — just one generation of baboons transformed a social system that was set in stone for thousands of years?

Oregon Gridiron Twitter

Not everyone in here is peaceful, but they always are in the Our Beloved Ducks Forum!

I do not have to tell you about the aggressive behaviors in the media, social media or all the other Oregon message boards/forums out there. The Our Beloved Ducks Forum is the solution, the GREEN REFUGE from all that is distasteful, and the good news is that the rules have proven to work in thousands of posts over the last four and a half years. To have the affirmation from science above is comforting, but the real reward comes from reading a thread of well thought-out, and well-written posts that are remarkable in their absence of tension or aggression.

It is peaceful, and only appropriate for the devoted Duck fans in this community. We did not have a game today, but we can reflect upon our victory of a forum creation that is as rare as an amicable baboon troop, and we all have each other to thank for its success.

“Oh, how we love to ponder in peace about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo by Oregon Gridiron Twitter

Come join us in the new Our Beloved Ducks Forum, where you get the news and article links about Oregon Sports, AD press releases and is the safest place on the web to read and post your opinions!

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The Comments Below are CLOSED, as we are moving to the OUR BELOVED DUCKS Forum!

Comments below articles are now closed as we have moved all conversation over to the free Our Beloved Ducks Forum. It has been a big success already with many more posts than what we could fit into the comments below articles.

The Our Beloved Ducks Forum is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there.  At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.

Be a part of the forum and stay caught up!  When you wish to post there, do know that you are protected just as you were on FishDuck. Join us on the free forum right here!

Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

OBD Forum members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!

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Washington Waddler

For some reason, your interesting comparison of these two completely different communities that oddly share a similar purpose for social indoctrination, and apparently gain similar results by becoming islands of amicable calm in seas of turbulent aggression got me to thinking about where in my experience the two most closely meet, and what that might tell me about being a sports fans, and being Ducks.

Now, while I don’t have a baboon living in my home (although my wife might beg to differ), I do have a dog that shares 99% of it’s genetic make-up with wolves, a highly social, group-oriented animal that operate with the same organizational intent of baboons: to survive. Now, while wolves may have nothing near the social development of baboons, you could say they share common survival tactics: they learn to stay fit, where to be in order to eat and how to manage all the individual and group interactions that allow them to get along. Not science, but the best I can do.

Anyway, Lucy (our dog) too stays physically fit with daily hikes in the Olympics with her ‘pack’ after which she returns to where she knows she’ll get to eat. She then takes care of her individual needs (cleaning, doing her business in the backyard) before joining up with her ‘pack’ again in the den. However, that is where human needs diverge from animal. While Lucy wants me to play and give her rubs — group socializing — I’m busy paying attention to the needs of that thing lodged between my ears by doing what I’m doing right now: bury my head in my Ipad and looking at sports media sites —primarily Oregon.

Now, what’s my point? Being a sports fan is inherently stressful. It’s a state of being as helpless as a baby — maybe more so. At least when a baby cries and wets itself someone cleans up after it. Do that as a sports fan and see where it gets you. And, we regularly cry and wet ourselves (figuratively speaking) over the fate of another group (our team) that we have no power over whatsoever to correct. Stress.

Most sports sites re-enforce this behavior. Like politics, negativity sells itself. That is where the FishDuck forum helps me to rejoin my pack. After the agitation of normal sports sites, it helps calm me with a thoughtful, well reasoned approach to the same subject. As sports fans we still can’t do anything about our team but watch. However with the forum, we at least feel a bit better about our helplessness. And my dog likes me better.