Re: [evol-psych] social psych hedonism
- On Sat, 31 Jan 2004 01:02 am, steve reiss wrote:
> The social psychological concept of intrinsicI can counteract the displeasure of being hungry by eating, but
> motivation is fatally flawed. The goal of an
> intrinsically motivated behavior is enjoyment when the
> factors producing such enjoyment are intrinsic to the
> activity. If the enjoyment were intrinsic to the
> activity, then a person experience the displeasure
> associated with fatigue from climbing a mountain could
> counteract that displeasure by doing more climbing.
eventually if I eat enough I become full, then over-full, at which time
eating now becomes displeasurable.
Likewise when I have a cold, I can counteract the displeasure of having
a stuffy and blocked nose by blowing my nose. But if I countinue
blowing my nose enough, the skin around it become cracked and sore and
tender. Eventually both blowing my nose and not blowing my nose become
Likewise for moutain climbing. To those who get pleasure from climbing
mountains, the pleasure they get from climbing counteracts the physical
displeasure from the hard work they do. But eventually they reach their
physical limits and the displeasure they feel from fatigue is greater
than the pleasure they get from climbing mountains.
I haven't climbed mountains, but I have done judo, and there is a level
of activity where the pleasure I got from judo was far greater than the
discomfort I got from the physical activity. Judo is a full contact
martial art, including strangles, arm locks, and other moves which are
very uncomfortable and painful. Nevertheless, eventually the time would
come that I was tired enough that the pleasure I was still receiving
was not enough to make up for the discomfort. That would be the time
that I'd start counting the minutes until the sensei called a halt to
The error you are making is to assume that activities provide a constant
amount of pleasure or displeasure. That is not the case. In fact, the
same activity can not only vary in the amount of pleasure it gives, but
the direction of that sensation can vary from nett pleasure to nett
displeasure or vice versa under different circumstances.
I might be wrong, but at least I'm certain.
(Paraphrase of Robert A. Heinlein, "Friday")