Don't Underestimate Good Intentions Recent research published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science shows that good intentions can play a major role in our everyday experience of pleasure and pain. In the first study, researchers had participants sit in an easy chair with an electronic massage pad. In one group, the machine was turned on by a computer; and in the other group, the machine was turned on by another human. Although the massages were exactly the same, researchers found that individuals consistently experienced more pleasure by the massage when a person flipped the switch. As it turns out, the idea that another human being made a conscious effort to turn on the machine made the participants perceive the massage as more enjoyable.