"People consume enjoyable experiences too rapidly for their own good, being blind to the fact that this precipitates satiation"

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People consume enjoyable experiences too rapidly for their own good, being blind to the fact that this precipitates satiation




Consumers are often able to choose how often to consume the things they enjoy. The research presented here suggests that consumers tend to consume too rapidly, growing tired of initially well-liked stimuli such as a favorite snack (Experiments 1 and 4) or an enjoyable video game (Experiments 2 and 3) more quickly than they would if they slowed consumption. The results also suggest that this because of an underestimation of the extent to which breaks reset adaptation. The results present a paradox: Participants who chose their own rate of consumption enjoyed the stimulus less than participants who had a slower rate of consumption chosen for them.

Thanks for sharing that!

It's an interesting study. First of all, I never did like being called a consumer. We are so much more than that. But there can be a lot of reasons people (we) consume too quickly, or over-consume. There is so much unknown information buried in the word *unconstrained* that the author mentions. What is the reason for the lack of constraint? A big chunk of it could be psychological, some of it might be physiological, and there may be other influences as well, I imagine.

Habit (and the habit of making a habit out of everything) can be one thing that drives consuming too quickly, I believe. Society is that way though. Everything we do it seems is more and more connected to the big consumption machine that drives our society, and that keeps steadily speeding up. We're better off not getting hung up in that.

My feeling is that if we have a practice that involves awareness of the actions we take (with body and mind), as we develop insight, we learn how to constrain ourselves without it being a bore, then that becomes sort of second nature, for the most part. That's what I believe. That "second nature" is similar to the person who chooses for us how much we should consume, because that "other person" is our higher nature.


This happens to me also in the realm of music. I put a certain song on constant repeat, and by the end of an hour or even few hours, I'm sick of that song.

Stasis and dynamism

Yes, that research is true Marnia, the benefits of mindfulness are real. But I personally have a hard time with that word, mindfulness. I think it can be misleading here in our society. Buddhist scholar, Michael Leutchford wrote an essay called One Moon, Two Moons. In that essay he mentions that "oneness in action" is a more accurate way to think about what we in the West call mindfulness. That works for me, but I'm not saying to stop using the word mindfulness.

Now about stasis and dynamism:

I think this consumption problem has much to do with stasis and dynamism. Repetition and avarice lead to stasis and death, whereas when we are simply being with whatever the experience is without attachment, and we're open and responsive to it, the exchange is more dynamic, more full of life, and more enjoyable. We don't become bored with it, wishing we had something bigger and better, always trying to fill the void inside of ourselves that can never be filled.

Greed is a hungry ghost, always trying to get all that can be gotten as quickly as possible, or before anyone else takes it away. It is habitual and it has no consideration for anyone or anything in it's path. It destroys as it gets until it ultimately destroys itself, and the one who is obsessed with it.

I have noticed how much freer I feel emotionally when I am not unconstrained. But in order to sustain myself there I need to be able to exercise "oneness in action" at all times. When body and mind are split (however that might happen for me), I feel like two different people at the same time, very conflicted and full of fear. If I stay there I need to find some way to shut off the pain. This is how addiction starts, unless the way out is through the pain itself by means of acceptance, support and the willingness to do whatever it takes to recover.

Slow down, breathe, relax, awaken in the terrible dream and be alive. That would be my suggestion. :)