Like an emotional regression to the mean, hedonic adaptation is the psychological process whereby heightened feelings fade with time. It helps explains things like why a year or so after winning the lottery, winners often report being no happier than non-winners.
Want that initial happiness back? Dare to be different.
In a series of studies on hedonic adaptation, Robert W. Smith from The Ohio State University and Ed O'Brien from University of Chicago found that consuming things in unconventional ways enhances enjoyment of them.
For example, in one of their experiments, participants were asked to eat popcorn using their hands (conventional method) or chopsticks (unconventional method). Those eating with chopsticks reported enjoying the popcorn a lot more.
To explain their finding, Smith and O'Brien suggest that novelty results in people paying more attention and when you pay more attention to something enjoyable, it follows that you are more likely to enjoy it more.
source: The Daily Snooze
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