BERKELEY, Calif. – Professors in UC Berkeley’s Department of Psychology appeared flabbergasted this past week when results of their research on characteristic success of Berkeley students suggested, with high statistical significance, that the student with the highest performance capacity is quite literally a robot with no emotions, hobbies, family, friends, desires, trauma, opinions, or values. 

“We didn’t see it coming. You know, these kids are so talented, especially the ones who seem unphased by any kind of hardship. I mean, my students actually manage to keep up with the 100-page readings I assign per night! So I had thought our study would implicate an actual human-student, but oh, was I wrong,” commented behavioral psychology professor Hume Annoid, gazing fondly at a large framed portrait of himself mounted above his desk. 

The surprise about the robot was accompanied by a puzzling correlation between high academic performance and a stark absence of fundamental socio-human characteristics. Based on the study, it appears that these characteristics – having family, opinions, emotions – are associated with a drastically lower capacity for achievement of any kind. 

“Students have so much heart – that is, the ones who agree with what I have to say, and don’t wimp out with a hissy-fit when I lecture about [air quotes] triggering things,” said co-researcher and mathematical psychology professor, Froidio Slippet. “Yes, I expect that they neglect their families and loved ones to succeed in my class. But they have heart! Especially the ones who profusely stroke my ego, to whom I assign As. Now, how could they have fallen behind an emotionless, opinionless piece of machinery?” 

The study has already made waves – not only among psychology faculty (many of whom plan to solely use robots and machine learning to study human behavior) but also among administration. According to a representative, the Office of the Chancellor as well as the Office of Admissions are both currently in talks considering “alternative” candidates for the incoming class of 2027.

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