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Prizes and Punishments for the Trapped Miners

The miners, having regained some of their weight and strength, are starting to push back against the mandatory daily sessions with a psychologist. In order to increase compliance, the psychologies are offering rewards for good behavior and punishments for bad. 

In recent days, the miners have been asked to conduct interviews using a video camera. The videos were then carefully listened to by a team of psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors and nurses. In a further attempt to protect the men’s mental health, the 33 men are divided into groups of three, allowing a near constant observation and platform for feedback about the health of each man.

In an effort to dominate the miners, the team of psychologists led by Mr Iturra has instituted a series of prizes and punishments. When the miners behave well, they are given TV and mood music. Other treats – like images of the outside world are being held in reserve, as either a carrot or a stick should the miners become unduly feisty.

In a show of strength, the miners have at times refused to listen to the psychologists, insisting that they are well. ”When that happens, we have to say, ‘OK, you don’t want to speak with psychologists? Perfect. That day you get no TV, there is no music – because we administer these things,”’ said Dr Diaz. ”And if they want magazines? Well, then they have to speak to us. This is a daily arm wrestle.”

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