Examples of Hedonic Adaptation

  • People who win the lottery are likely to revert to their original levels of happiness after the novelty of the win has worn off.
  • It is also true for those who are in major accidents. People generally tend to return to their pre-accident levels of happiness after a period.
  • Research has found that the first bite of something delicious is experienced as more pleasurable than the subsequent bites.

@jackh255

🧐

Problem Solving

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Hedonic adaptation refers to people’s common tendency to return to a determined level of happiness regardless of life’s ups and downs.

Hedonic adaptation is often referred to as “the hedonic treadmill” because we always end up where we started.

Researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky has examined this set-point:

A full 50 percent of our happiness set-point is due to genetics. 10 percent is affected primarily by circumstances like where we were born and to whom. 40 percent is subject to our influence.

Certain pleasures are more prone to hedonic adaptation. These pleasures can lift your mood quickly, but their effects can be short-lived. You may also get used to them fairly quickly. For example, If you have the same meal every day, you may find it to be less enjoyable by the end of the week. This is also true for fresh flowers or listening to your favorite song.

Gratifications, as well as activities that give a strong sense of meaning to us, are more immune to the effects of hedonic adaptation.

  • Make sure you include several pleasures throughout your day. Get a cup of coffee or call your friend.
  • Alternate your pleasures. This way they always feel new.
  • Make time for your hobbies.
  • Find time for meaningful activities.
  • Savor your positive experiences. Keep a journal and write about three things you enjoyed every day.
  • Take note of your happiness levels. Make time for whatever you can do to lift your mood.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEAS

Critics view the hedonic adaptation tendency as a generalization that fails to take potentially shifting factors into account.

  • Significant life events such as loss of employment or the end of a major relationship can change one's original level of contentment.
  • Negative events are often more significant than positive ones.
  • Consuming certain medication may also alter the set level of happiness in a person who has mental illness or other clinical problems.

5

IDEAS

Subjective well-being

This is the primary way Positive Psychology researchers have defined and measured people's happiness and well-being.

It's defined as your evaluations of your own life and your moods and emotions (that's why it's labeled as "subjective").

We have a tendency to adapt to pleasurable things—a phenomenon called “hedonic adaptation”—and appreciate them less and less over time. 

We can interrupt this process by trying the Give it Up practice, which requires temporarily giving up pleasurable activities and then coming back to them later, this time with greater anticipation and excitement.

© Brainstash, Inc

AboutCuratorsJobsPress KitTerms of ServicePrivacy PolicySitemap