Past Pleasures Make it Hard to Say No

I read this fascinating article on some research that shows that people are wired to respond to past pleasures/reward patterns even on a subconscious level, explaining why it is so challenging to change a pleasurable habit or addition.

Neuroscientists demonstrated that when people see something associated with a past reward, their brain flushes with the neurotransmitter chemical dopamine—even if they aren’t expecting a reward and even if they don’t realize they’re paying that thing any attention. The results suggest we don’t have as much self-control as we might think.

“We don’t have complete control over what we pay attention to,” says senior author Susan M. Courtney, professor of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University. “We don’t realize our past experience biases our attention to certain things.”

This could be why it’s so hard to break a pleasurable addiction and why dieters keep thinking about fattening food when they’re trying to eat better.

Read the full article here/below.

Past pleasures make it hard to say no

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