Study Fails to Find Evidence That Succulents Add Personality to Dorm Rooms

Written by: Stephen Lightfoot

The companion study researching whether adding a human to a garden of succulents gave it personality was inconclusive.
Photo by Jack Yang

First-years across the world were stunned after the results of a recent study from New York University revealed that there is no correlation between personality depth and the presence of succulent plants in one’s room. The study, which took place over three and a half years, was conducted by a large interdisciplinary team of graduate and post-graduate students from the visual arts, communications, and sociology departments of NYU.

“This result is obviously not what we expected,” explained Paula Stern, the head researcher of the study. “I think that nearly everyone on my team is shocked, mainly because it’s something that everyone accepted as the truth for so long. We figured we would get some variation in the results depending on which succulents were used in what locations, but it turns out that no matter what type of succulent you have, and no matter where you put it, you end up with no additional individuality or uniqueness. The theory has been proposed before, but the consensus was it was too outlandish to be true, like String Theory.”

Researchers in the study examined multiple variables, including location, room size, and occupants, trying to isolate the effect of succulents on personality, but no positive conclusions could be made. “It was saddening at first,” one researcher stated. “We kept thinking, ‘Okay, well this variable didn’t react the way we thought it would, maybe it will for the next one.’ But then it just kept going and going, and everything kept coming back with no correlation. They actually had to set up a workplace therapy booth to keep morale up, it was heartbreaking.” Another researcher, while sad, felt that the results were somewhat expected, explaining, “Personality is really unique to every person, so it was difficult to quantify that sort of ‘je ne sais quoi’ that comes with every one of us. Though, looking back on it, maybe we cast too wide of a net. Turns out it’s really hard to measure a variable that has no scale.”

Despite this setback, researchers are still determined to widen the field of interior design-based research. The Live Laugh Love Institute, a design think tank based in Illinois, has promised $1.25 million in grant money for additional research. “We were waiting for the results of this study for quite some time, and like many, we’re disappointed with the results,” a representative said in a press conference held on Monday. “But we have to look at the bigger picture. This was a fantastic team effort from everyone involved, and just the start of the type of research we want to pursue. As such, today, we’re announcing new research grants based around fairy lights and tapestries for researchers who are willing to take on the challenge, and fudge the numbers in our favor this time.”

Editor in Chief Emeritus at The MQ

Stephen Lightfoot is Editor in Chief of The MQ.

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