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Habituation and the Hedonic Treadmill

s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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2/16/2014 11:13:38 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Most people believe Hugh Hefner lives in a constant state of sexual gratification, or at least I once did, until I discovered the concept of "habituation", the idea repeated stimulus loses its response over time. For instance, you can take a dog and lock it up, away from people and the dog is more likely to feel threatened by an intruder; or, you can take a dog and habituate it with the company of people and the threat is diminished. The same principle applies to other biological and emotional stimuli. The body responds to repeated biochemical stimuli, by reaching homeostasis; and, our emotions respond by adaptation. Most likely, Hugh Hefner has a lot less sex than most of us think, if any.

I said all that, to say this: Most people think of food, as the Puritans thought of pleasure, something to avoid; so, instead of habituating to food, we make ourselves more sensitive to its effects. In other words, like someone who fantasizes about sex twenty-four seven and merely has magazines, the internet, and peep shows to turn to, we also are obsessed with the very foods of which we deprive ourselves; and, the first opportunity that presents itself to indulge we take advantage, only to feel like failures, afterwards. The thought of self-loathing, as in drug addiction, drives us toward self-medicating behaviours, such as overindulgence. Maybe we'd fair better, to learn from Hugh Hefner and run towards our hedonistic desires, not away from them; and, in so doing make friends out of our perceived enemies.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,731
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2/16/2014 11:51:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
One good reason why technology doesn't make us happier ;)
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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2/16/2014 4:45:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/16/2014 11:51:43 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
One good reason why technology doesn't make us happier ;)

It's the idea, for the most part, an organism builds a resistance to repeated stimulation.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,731
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2/19/2014 3:53:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/16/2014 4:45:06 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 2/16/2014 11:51:43 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
One good reason why technology doesn't make us happier ;)

It's the idea, for the most part, an organism builds a resistance to repeated stimulation.

Yes it certainly does. A caveman is no less happy than a metrosexual iPhone user, I'd argue that the caveman is actually happier because he is more independent and resourceful, and not concentrated so much on indulgence. Finding a shiny shell causes more happiness to a caveman than buying a new smartphone does for us...
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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2/21/2014 7:51:03 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/19/2014 3:53:29 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
At 2/16/2014 4:45:06 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 2/16/2014 11:51:43 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
One good reason why technology doesn't make us happier ;)

It's the idea, for the most part, an organism builds a resistance to repeated stimulation.

Yes it certainly does. A caveman is no less happy than a metrosexual iPhone user, I'd argue that the caveman is actually happier because he is more independent and resourceful, and not concentrated so much on indulgence. Finding a shiny shell causes more happiness to a caveman than buying a new smartphone does for us...

Studies have shown, like a thermostat, our minds regulate our emotional temperature. Of course, we experience highs and lows, in our lives; however, over time, our happiness remains relatively the same; and, this has been witnessed in people who have had tremedous changes in their lives. Whether we're speaking about physiological or psychological phenomena, the human organism has a tendency to homeostasis; it doesn't like extremes; extremes indicate instability, and instability is indicative of falling apart. When I was younger, I believed people with greater wealth, better looks, or more popularity enjoyed greater degrees of happiness. Yet, the results of research are not reaching that conclusion.