Doing something you shouldn't - Deepstash





Can Guilt Make You Happy?

Doing something you shouldn't

Doing something you shouldn't

Guilt is considered to be a negative emotion - a sense that you've done something wrong.

But, there is a special kind of enjoyment that comes from doing something you shouldn't do. For example, eating a forbidden chocolate bar can boost pleasure.


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

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Can Guilt Make You Happy?

Can Guilt Make You Happy?


Key Ideas

Guilt and pleasure

The connection between guilt and pleasure could be powerful for marketers. Appealing to a negative attribute that is connected to pleasure can be more effective at persuading people than directly talking about positive attributes.

We may think our choices are rational, but the things we think or feel in the moment affect our preferences. In a study, giving respondents a choice of donating $5 to charity or using it for a Starbucks espresso drink, the likelihood and amount of donations increased, compared to a second group who had to choose between a charitable donation and a $5 laundry detergent.




Shame is a universal experience. Shame enforces adherence to beneficial social norms.

Shaming is a tool and can be used for good or evil. We should use it when the outcome has a great...

Guilt vs shame

Guilt is a private feeling of regret about something you did, and the discomfort leads to self-regulation regardless of exposure.

Shaming is about the possibility of being exposed to an audience.

Effective shaming

Shaming can give the weak greater power. It can be used as a tool to encourage structural changes of institutions, organizations, and powerful individuals by exposing a transgressor to public disapproval.

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Bad Advice From Professional Advisors
Bad Advice From Professional Advisors

There are advisors for everything: fashion, investment, career, relationship, nutrition and spirituality, all with best intentions. And professional advisors commit an unintended mistake of being t...

Unintentionally Bad Advice
  • If a professional advisor is too risk-averse, due to being liable for potential loss, the advisee suffers from a lack of good advice.
  • If the advisor is too close to the advisee, things get personal and both parties try to compromise on the risky decisions so that the social bond is not strained or broken, leading to long-term opportunity costs.

These psychological factors contribute to conflicted and substandard advice from the professional advisors.

How we make decisions
How we make decisions

New studies examined the relationship between how people make decisions - if they make it rationally or emotionally - and how determined they are to defend that choice.

They found t...

Implications of emotional decision-making
  • For marketers: Drawing out a decision based on feelings could encourage a stronger allegiance among consumers. This could be achieved through subtle tactics like visuals instead of words, or colors instead of gray-scale.

  • For consumers: Choices that need steadfast commitment should be made with emotion instead of weighing up pros and cons. Choices that need frequent consideration should be made rationally.