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Re: [evol-psych] social psych hedonism

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  • Steven D'Aprano
    ... I can counteract the displeasure of being hungry by eating, but eventually if I eat enough I become full, then over-full, at which time eating now becomes
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 31, 2004
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      On Sat, 31 Jan 2004 01:02 am, steve reiss wrote:
      > The social psychological concept of intrinsic
      > 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.

      I can counteract the displeasure of being hungry by eating, but
      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
      displeasurable.

      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 session.

      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.



      --
      Steven D'Aprano
      =============================================
      I might be wrong, but at least I'm certain.
      (Paraphrase of Robert A. Heinlein, "Friday")
      =============================================
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