Emotional Adaptation and Desire

26I’ve done a fair amount of research on how people emotionally adapt to life circumstances. My research is mainly in the context of illness and disability, where people bounce back from adversity more than expected. But people can also emotionally adapt to good things, a very important phenomenon for consumer behavior. We are ecstatic when we finally fork over at the money for a large-screen television, but pretty soon we get used to the experience. It looks like this psychological phenomenon has been known at least since the time of Epicurus, who once said:

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

Great advice, that hopefully should help us appreciate what we have.

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